Let’s get geographically oriented:

Screenshot of Google Earth project (I enjoy this type of orientation to the landscape as I try to fix in my mind where something is in relation to more familiar landmarks)
Wikimedia map of Latium (public domain)

On the Goddess of this sanctuary I’m reading:


The article is very good at problematizing the whole ‘god of…’ approach to polytheistic religion and also has a succinct statement on syncretism with recent bibliography (for all she avoids using that term). This article will be good to circle back on when I return to either Feronia (last chapter of current book project) and/or Ino-Leukothea (esp. RRC 399/1, n.b. my glass paste article).

On page 5-6 she gives this summary of the temple chronology at Satricum:

She also has thoughts on how the cult might have re-enforced matrilineal ancestry and kinship ties, perhaps mildly relevant when discussing RRC 433/2.

This passage is interesting for HOW we interpret votive deposits, especially in terms of gender:

In this next passage I’m interested in how the transition in types of votives is ALSO generally speaking correlated to the Roman adoption of coin making. Perhaps BOTH indicative of bigger cultural shifts.

Ok. I’ve got a much better understanding of cult and the goddess so now we can get on to the coins!

Termeer, Marleen K. and Prins, Jelle. 2021. “Coins and aes rude as votive gifts : the coins and aes rude from the Hellenistic votive deposit at Satricum and the first coinage in Latium” Ancient Numismatics : an international journal 2: 43-91. DOI: 10.19272/202114401002 (paid content) Deposited unformatted final text, no images (open access)

“We argue that the long tradition of deposition of aes rude in religious contexts in Latium was continued in the period when coins were first introduced, and the coins seem to have been embedded in this tradition. Thus, the use of coins and aes rude had considerable overlap in this period.”

This sentence reminds me of the bits of Festus and Varro on a coin being used instead of rough bronze in ritual exchanges.

Raniero Mengarelli conducted excavations in 1896. I should look up his N. Scavi entries at some point. When the Dutch Institute began excavating in 1985 they found a ‘secondary’ votive dump, and thus original stratigraphy of deposition cannot be reconstructed, it is however possible some portions of the original deposit were untouched…

Votive I – LOTS of Aes Rude, no coins (assoc. archaic sacellum)

Votive II – (5-3rd cent) more aes rude, 5 coins likely deposited after 300 BCE

Votive III – 108 coins (26 from 1896, 82 from 1985, 1989) listed in appendix [but I’m still waiting for my ILL copy with the original table.]

29 total RRC 17/1 – which is now dated after 240 BCE by Molinari and Jaia 2021, ‘ do no seem to occur in Vicarello’

28 – Campanian

of which: Apollo-man-faced bull – 17 Naples, 8 ‘Campanian’, 1 Teanum, 1 Suessa

only 1 Suessa Hermes/Herakles-lion type, where are the Minerva/Cocks?! and other types?!

also on Velia coin which is real Campanian is it?!

4 – Punic

39 – so called Romano-Campanian

6 – aes grave

2 – currency bar rim fragments, I wonder how they established this identification…

15 – RR struck bronze

a plated RRC 249/1

and one RRC 340/1

Of these groups of particular note:

“one Lion bronze (no. 38) with reverse lion to the left is a variety of RRC 16/1a and 1b, only known from Vicarello and Carsoli”

Central Italy uncertain mint HNItaly 362 = Vecchi 281 (better image) (forepart of bull / lyre)

Praeneste (?) HN Italy 249 = Vecchi 281 (worse image) (frontal lion biting spear / horse head) – a fragment

“earliest coins that could have entered the votive deposit are the earliest Neapolitan bronzes from Taliercio’s series i (nos. 1-9), dated 325-300 bc, and the Punic bronzes (nos. 30-33), which are dated in the second half of the 4th century bc”

“Four of these seven Neapolitan coins (nos. 2, 5, 6 and 7) have chop marks.”

I wonder if the chop marks are a version of the same impulse seen on the graffiti-ed coins:

from Ailly reads FORTVNAI STIPE and indicates the coin was ritually deposited to the goddess. Only one parallel that I know of reads DIOVIS STIPE and was found at Collepietro (L’Aquila).
From Willers 1909
I’m grateful to Charles Parisot for sharing the modern photo and Gallica link with me via Twitter!

The photograph allows one to clearly see the reverse graffiti was created useing the same punch/chisel technique as the SF on the obverse. It is easiest to observe in the S an E of stipe.

I notice in the inventory that no. 97 is a folded coin and 96 is a melted ae/plated AR, perhaps again part of this phenomenon.

“cast aes grave (nos. 73-78), which may be a little earlier. Coins from this period, namely circa
270-240/225 bc, are the most common in the deposit” Narrow down that time frame!

“very few Roman coins from the period of the Second Punic War” – was Satricum loyal?

terminus post quem suggested by worn reduced uncial weight standard triens found in undisturbed portion of deposit : maybe c. 150 BCE or maybe later.

Points out that Vicarello seems unique in aes rude and coins being the preferred votive offering rather than those be tangential to other forms of offering.

“It is clear, however, that bronze was the preferred metal for oπering in Latium; precious metals are very rare”

“Our comparison will focus on the coins found in the votive deposits at Vicarello, Carsoli, Nemi, Via Tiberina and Casalvieri [Sora], and the Ardea hoard, which was probably part of a votive deposit or even a thesaurus.” [links are to earlier places on this blog I’ve talked about these finds]

I’ve ILLed Catalli 2005 (and his 2014 piece on the Nemi coins).

I was at this point panicking that I’d missed a currency bar hoard as I had no record of Via Tiberina, but thank goodness it just has two names! It’s La Bruna (CHRR 16), now mostly in Berlin. This just can’t be right. I’ve ILLed Cesano 1942. It’s very interesting to think of this as Stipe or Thesaurus rather than just a hoard…

“Farther from Rome, Carsoli and Satricum were indeed able to receive similarly high percentages of Romano-Campanian and Greek coins. The difference between these two and Nemi is striking, but we have no good explanation for it.”

RRC 16 (lion), RRC 17 (Minerva)

2 thoughts on “Satricum”

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