Capitoline Temple Again

Just more overlap between my Dionysius bibliographical research and my love of coins.

Reverse of RRC 487/2, ANS specimen

Mura Sommella, Anna. “Un frontone di età arcaica per il tempio di Giove Capitolino.” Atti della Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia. Serie III, Rendiconti 89 (2016-2017): 277-298.

Abstract: The late Republican denarius of « Petillius Capitolinus », issued by the mint of Rome in 43 BC. C., confirms what is described in D. H. 1, 4, 61, 4 regarding the appearance of the Temple of Capitoline Jupiter after the destruction of the Sullan period (rebuilt identical to the original archaic building in terms of dimensions and decorative apparatus) and allows to identify in the pedimental space the presence of the Gorgon in the race on his knees, an image interpreted as a celebration of the origin of the Tarquini, who claimed to belong to the Corinthian lineage of the Bacchiadi.

Contrast this Campana tile I posted earlier.

On this passage of Dionysius also see:

Kaderka, Karolina and Tucci, Pier Luigi. “The Capitoline Temple of Jupiter: the best, the greatest, but not colossal.” Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Römische Abteilung = Bullettino dell’Istituto Archeologico Germanico, Sezione Romana 127 (2021): 146-187. Doi: 10.34780/09q1-1e01

Cf also this other earlier post.


RRC 239/1

This morning I’m trying to catch up on my historiographical bibliography on Dionysius of Halicarnassus. [I look away for a couple of years and my friends and colleagues go and publish a mountain of stuff without telling me!] So this is just to get this bit of cross over numismatic bibliography on file.

Zanin, Manfredi. “« Servilia familia inlustris in fastis » : dubbi e certezze sulla prosopografia dei « Servilii Gemini » e « Vatiae » tra III e I secolo a. C.” Tyche 34 (2019): 221-236. [ download link]

Abstract: Despite some progress, it is still not possible to reconstruct the genealogy of the Servilii Gemini / Vatiae down to the last detail. The prosopographic hypotheses presented here are possible starting points for further considerations. Using Greek and Latin inscriptions as well as literary (including Dionys von Halikarnass, Pliny the Elder and Cicero) and numismatic evidence (including RRC 239).

This in turn led to some scholarship on this odd bit of Pliny turning up in my search results

Viglietti, C. “The Servilian triens reconsidered.” I Quaderni del Ramo d’Oro on line (2012): 177-202. [download link]

Mommsen’s coin?

This is the only illustration in whole of Über das römische münzwesen von Theodor Mommsen (1850).

And, it’s not even a product of the Roman mint but rather of Luceria (HNItaly 668 = Vecchi 333 = Haberlin 196 no. 2 Pl. 72.16). For good context see Termeer 2019. The iconography is likely borrowed from RRC 15/1, BUT we should bear in mind that earlier the same types were used by Arpi (HNItaly 633 = Yarrow 2021: fig. 3.1). Arpi is very close neighbor of Luceria.

The best known specimen is that in Berlin (below) once owned by Haeberlin, but the letter formations are slightly different (notice the R on the bottom left). It weighs 326.40g, almost exactly a Roman pound.

Bull-Prow Aes Grave again

This is HN Italy 359 = Vecchi 276 = Haberlin, pp. 157-158. A favorite of mine. This specimen from Hirsch 1914 gets a blog posting because of its heavy weight, 172.40 gm. Vecchi notes a weight range of 167.96-118.20g and this exceeds that. Maybe I’ll have to do a histogram of the known weights for myself one day soon, but not today. I got to Hirsch from Sydenham 1926

Prior posts.

26 Oct 2019

18 Nov 2019

1 Apr 2020

Early Aes Grave in Milan

I’m sitting in the ANS library post lecture and allowing myself a little time with the Belloni 1960 catalogue.

Image from Schaefer archive.

The RRC 4/1 bar has really weird edges. I’m trying to think how the could have occurred. Some pits and holes are common enough, but the number and the gathering of them at the edges seems v strange indeed. Did it come out of the mold like this? Is this the resule of deposition. Note that on the eagle side there is a significant straight/smooth edge on the right. I notice that the BM bar is broken or rough on the left side as well with the right edge smoother than the other sides. My current thought is that this was cast single entry with that smooth right edge being opposite the entry point of the molten metal.

The coins below are also in the Schaefer archive but I wanted to to have the full plates as well.

Relevant catalogue pages

Scaurus in Tyre

Berlin 18201837 reverse of RRC 422/1

The above moneyer (striking as Curule Aedile in 58 BCE), M. Aemilius Scaurus tries to inflate his claims to conquest on his coinage celebrating the ‘surrender’ of Aretas of Nabataea. I don’t know why but of all the Romans of this period I find him particularly irritating but then so do many of our sources. Anyway today I learned that rather un surprisingly he made the people of Tyre set up a statue to him. The inscription is now in the Louvre.

A Statue on the Capitoline

Aemilius Lepidus, puer etiam tum, progressus in aciem, hostem interemit, civem servavit. cuius tam memorabilis operis index est in Capitolio statua bullata et incincta praetexta senatus consulto posita: iniquum enim putavit eum honori nondum tempestivum videri qui iam virtuti maturus fuisset. praecucurrit igitur Lepidus aetatis stabilimentum fortiter faciendi celeritate, duplicemque laudem e proelio rettulit, cuius eum vix spectatorem anni esse patiebantur: arma enim infesta et destricti gladii et discursus telorum et adventantis equitatus fragor et concurrentium exercituum impetus iuvenibus quoque aliquantum terroris incutit, inter quae gentis Aemiliae pueritia coronam mereri, spolia rapere valuit.

While still a boy, Aemilius Lepidus went into battle, killed a foeman, and saved a fellow countryman. As a token of so memorable an exploit, a statue was placed on the Capitol by decree of the senate with a locket, enveloped in a boy’s gown. For they thought it unfair that one who had already shown himself mature for valour should be held unripe for honour. So Lepidus ran ahead of the firming that comes with age by his precocious gallantry and brought double glory back from a battle which his years would scarce allow him to watch. For hostile arms, drawn swords, darts flying here and there, the noise of advancing cavalry, the violence of conflicting armies strike some terror even into grown men. Amid it all the boyhood of the Aemilian clan could win a crown and seize a spoil. (Val. Max. 3.1.1)

I think the ID of the reverse of RRC 419/1 is correctly identified as this statue, but I wanted to note the visual representation differs from the literary text. No trophy, different costume. Above is clearly appropriate military garb, not the clothes of a male citizen child.

I’m here posting this as I think there is a chance that this statue is the same one shown much earlier by M’. Aemilius Lepidus c. 111 BCE (RRC 291/1).

I got here because of how similar the obverses are, both unidentified goddesses with both crown and laurel wreath and that they are made by members of the same branch of the same gens and both have statues on the back.

Crawford has the moneyer as the father of the consul of 66 BCE and the son of the consul of 126 BCE BUT we don’t know how the family tree goes back after. Who is the father of the consul of 126 BCE? Is it the consul of 158 BCE? Is it the son of the consul of 187 BCE who was military tribune in 190 BCE? How many kids did the consul of 187 BCE have anyway? The DPRR team entertains the idea that he could have been the father of 158 BCE or even the cos of 126 BCE or the cos of 137.

We just don’t know. But could this Manius be celebrating a Marcus as ancestor? Sure even if the relationship isn’t true.

Handout for Today’s Numa Lecture

Handout link

Update 10/27/22:

Relevant Bibliography

Corre, Nicolas. “La prière secrète du pontife ou Silence et murmure, des gestes vocaux signifiants dans la tradition religieuse romaine.” Revue Belge de Philologie et d’Histoire = Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Filologie en Geschiedenis 95, no. 1 (2017): 39-58. Doi: 10.3406/rbph.2017.8988

Plutarch evokes, on the subject of the punishment of an incestuous vestal, the “secret prayers”, εὐχάς τινας ἀπορρήτους, pronounced by the great pontiff (Num. 10, 12). This is a public rite officiated by a state executive, whereas “secret” prayers are usually associated with private and magical rites. The prayers ἀπορρήτοι of the pontiff are not ineffable but inaudible because pronounced in a low voice; they can be compared to the “murmur” of the haruspex or the “ignorata” prayer of the pontiff during the burial of lightning and are associated with gestural communication. The “secret” prayers take place in a rite of inversion, of setting aside the pontiff from the rest of the citizens and of separating the vestal virgin from the world of the living, in an evocation of the “funus”. The rite is part of the “sacra occulta” which fall completely within the scope of Roman public religion.

A symbolic representation of time?

RRC 422/1

This reverse type is accepted to celebrate the destruction of Privernum in 329/328 by Gaius Plautius Decianus Hypsaeus the consul. He triumphed on 1 March. BUT what does Jupiter and a Scorpion have to do with that?

My colleague Lucia Carbone recently published an ANS Magazine piece on the Alexandrian Zodiac coins.

Mars in Scorpio with Antoninus Pius

I wonder if the family claimed a tradition that the triumph or the actual sack took place when Jupiter was in Scorpio. The Augustan era fasti list the triumph as being held on the Kalends of March. So I guess scorpio might represent March as it is the month of Mars and Jupiter the triumph. That seems an unlikely stretch.