Q. Antonius Balbus
Praetor, 82 BC
AR Serrate Denarius. 4.2g, 19.4mm
MINTED: Rome mint, 83-82 BC
REF: Crawford 364/1d
OBVERSE: Laureate head of Jupiter right; S C behind.
REVERSE: Victory, holding wreath and palm, driving gallloping quadriga right; control letter below, Q (ANT)O B(AL)B / PR in two lines in exergue.
Ex Steve Clarke Collection
Good Very Fine. Well-centered and nicely toned.
An excellent example of a serrate denarius. It has been suggested that the purpose of the serrated edges on some Roman Republican issues was to make them harder to counterfeit. However, many contemporary forgeries (fourrées) are known, so if this was the purpose, it was not entirely successful.
This coin was struck at Rome during a time of crisis. The Roman general Cornelius Sulla, who had been declared a public enemy, was marching towards Rome with his legions, intent on seizing the city. The S C legend on this coin marks it as being issued ex senatus consulto (by decree of the Roman Senate). It was struck by Q. Antonius Balbus, praetor of Sicily in 82 BC, a pro-Marian who was assisting in organizing efforts at Rome to resist Sulla's advance. The reverse shows Victory riding a quadriga, a bit of overly optimistic propaganda for the anti-Sullan faction. Balbus was murdered in Sardinia after its capture by Sulla's forces under L. Philippus. Sulla took Rome and was declared Dictator.
ROMAN REPUBLIC . Q Antonius Balbus, 82 BC . Serrate Denarius . Anti-Sullan Issue
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