L. Titurius Sabinus
Moneyer, 85 BC
AR Denarius. 3.74g, 18mm
MINTED: Rome mint, 89 BC
REF: Crawford 344/2b; Sydenham 699
OBVERSE: SABIN, bare head of King Tatius right; palm to lower right.
REVERSE: Tarpeia, facing, buried in shields, raising both hands in protest; to left and right, two soldiers about to cast shields at her; [star in crescent above]; L.TITVRI in exergue.
Minor die breaks on a slighly worn obverse die. Lightly toned. Bold detailson the central figure of Tarpeia on the reverse being buried by shields.
The reverse type shows the killing of Tarpeia, the Vestal Virgin who betrayed Rome to the Sabines, who were attempting to break into the city to rescue their womenfolk, who had been abducted by the Romans. When she greedily asked as payment what the soldiers wore on their arms, meaning their jewellery, the Sabine men instead took off their shields and threw them on her, crushing her to death. Her body was then tossed off the steep cliff of the Capitoline Hill, which henceforth became known as the Tarpeian Rock, a place where the Romans would execute traitors, perjurors and murderers.
ROMAN REPUBLIC . L. Titurius L.f. Sabinus, 89 BC . Denarius . Death of Tarpeia
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