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    Description

    Augustus (27 BC-AD 14). AR denarius (20mm, 3.91 gm, 1h).  Rome, 19 BC. Petronius Turpilianus, moneyer. CAESAR AVGVSTVS, bare head of Augustus right / III VIR TV-RPILIANVS, Tarpeia standing facing, hands raised, buried to the waist in a pile of shields. RIC 299. RSC 494. Scarce!  Minor banker's mark on neck. NGC Choice XF 5/5 - 2/5, banker's mark.

    There are two variant legends concerning Tarpeia, a maiden of Rome's mythical founding years. One story, probably the earliest, holds that she agreed to betray Rome to the Sabines by opening the city gates, in return for which she would receive what the Sabine soldiers wore on their left arms. She meant their heavy golden bracelets, but after the deed, the soldiers "rewarded" her buy crushing her under their shields, which they also "wore" on their left arms. A later version of the story holds that Tarpeia was in fact trying to save Rome by disarming the Sabines and thus died a martyr's death. It may be this later version of the story, which paints Tarpeia is a heroine, represented on this denarius of Augustus. The legends are probably an attempt to explain the name of the Tarpeian Rock, a promontory on Capitoline Hill off of which criminals were thrown to their deaths.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    13th-14th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 429

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