End of the Sextans

So the final sextans was c. 92 BCE as part of RRC 335 (CRRO erroneously lists this issue as c. 96 BCE whereas Crawford assigns it ‘late 90s’), but is only ‘signed’ by C. Publicius Malleolus, meaning the only indication of maker is the hammer above the name Roma in the field above the prow. Crawford distinguishes between 335/8a and 8b without and with caduceus over the shoulder but I think this is likely just a note taking error. The specimen he lists as WITHOUT caduceus is Paris A 2522 but that specimen clearly has one:

Detail with caduceus highlighted from CRRO entry. REP-3172 = Ailly 2522
This looks to be a specimen sold by MÜNZ ZENTRUM in 1979 list no.30, item 325. I don’t know who/what Zwicker 3325 is… perhaps related to the numismatist Ulrich Zwicker?

The Glasgow specimen *alas* is not online (much of their collection is not yet) and in a pandemic I cannot ask, but we can assume it is there and exists like these two illustrated above.

RRC 334 (c.93 BCE, according to Mattingly and certainly issue preceding 335) like 335 produced bronze coins or each denomination down to the sextans.

Schaefer binder 3, p. 113 detail. Not yet linked to CRRO record for 334/6. The BMCRR types are also in CRRO but the Kestner-Museum Hannover Collection and Puskin are ‘new’.

The last of the quadrans (that we know of) is RRC 350B/3a-d an issue from the under the Cinnan regime and likely corresponding to the moneyership of GAR OGVL VER (a massive issue!) but issued anonymously for whatever reason. Interestingly 350B is also missing the as; it runs semis, triens, quadrans only (or so we think). Not only is 350B is the last the quadrans it is also the last of the semis and triens too. It marks the end of the fractional bronze of the republic issued by the Roman mint. The as also dies under Cinna and with Sulla’s 2nd march on Rome.

That rare AS of Sulla in c. 82 was likely struck in camp, but is still the last of the official bronze issues until we get to Spain post Rubicon c. 45 …the last republican As of the Roman mint is Macer’s SC issue.

Macer is another well known historical figure. See Wiseman.

That there is no bronze struck under the Sullan constitution (cf. Flower) makes me think even more that bronze and small change might be a popular political gesture one that a small c conservative regime did not believe necessary/appropriate for the state. Not evidence, but not illogical supposition.

I am leaning towards seeing the period of the semuncia and uncia ‘revival’ as social experimentation with the nature and function of the mint. What is it FOR? What is the job to be done? And answer was proposed, to provide money for the market place and the answer was rejected for practical reasons? for ideological reasons? perhaps a bit of both?

Not sure what is next for these posts. I was thinking data visualization of weights and presumed date of manufacture, but I don’t think that will necessarily be terribly fruitful. I think I’m going to go dig around in votive deposits and see what I find…

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