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    Description

    Spectacular Metellus Scipio Denarius

    Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio, with P. Licinius Crassus Junianus (47-46 BC). AR denarius (18mm, 3.92 gm, 10h). Utica mint. Female head (city-goddess of Utica?) right, wearing turreted crown; grain ear to left, caduceus to right, uncertain rectangular object above, rostrum below; LEG • PRO • PR on left, CRASS • IVN on right / Trophy; lituus on left, jug on right; SCIP • IMP on left, METEL • PIVS on right. Crawford 460/3. Sydenham 1049. RSC Caecilia 52. Very rare and among the finest known examples. Exceptionally well-centered and struck on a large flan for the type. NGC MS? 5/5 - 4/5.

    From The Lexington Collection of Jonathan K. Kern.

    The denarius above was struck just prior to the battle of Thapsus, probably at the Republican headquarters of Utica.  The head of the city goddess on the obverse is rendered in a charming provincial style resembling coins issued by the North African Roman client state of Numidia. The legend SCIP IMP evokes the memory of the great Scipio Africanus, the Roman general who defeated Hannibal in the Second Punic War. Legend held that a general with the name Scipio was invincible in Africa, and this was one reason the marginally competent Metellus Pius Scipio was given command of the Republican forces. Caesar countered by making one of his underlings, also named Scipio, the nominal commander of one of his legions.


    View all of [The Lexington Collection of Jonathan K. Kern ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2014
    8th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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