Q. Minucius Rufus, moneyer
AR Denarius. 3.73g, 19.9mm
MINTED: Rome mint, 122 BC
REF: Crawford 277/1; Sydenham 421
OBVERSE: Helmeted head of Roma right; X (mark of value) below chin, RVF behind.
REVERSE: Dioscuri on horseback riding right; Q MINV / ROMA below.
Very Fine. Deep, old collection toning with some blue-purplish iridescence and a hint of porosity.
Excellent pedigree - provenanced to the Huntington Collection, and previously held by the American Numismatic Society.
Ex Archer M. Huntington Collection, American Numismatic Society 1001.1.25440 (CNG E 328, 11 June 2014), lot 429
Archer M. Huntington III (1870-1955) was one of the great philanthropists of the early decades of the 20th century. From his mother, he acquired a deep appreciation for the arts, and when he was 30 years old, he inherited a portion of the vast wealth of his stepfather, the railroad tycoon Collis Huntington, which allowed him to become one of the most important benefactors to many cultural institutes and societies in America. It was almost a statement of fact when he once casually remarked that "Wherever I put my foot down, a museum springs up." As a scholar and a collector, Huntington's passion was the history and art of Spain, and he was a prodigious collector of all things Hispanic. His collection of Spanish and Spain-related coinage, from pre-Roman bronzes and Roman silver and gold, to medieval and modern issues, numbered almost 38,000, and was not only the largest and most complete, but also the most important ever assembled outside Spain.
The twins Castor and Pollux were known together as the Dioscuri, literally meaning 'Zeus's boys'. In spite of this sobriquet, only Pollux was the son of the god Zeus, who had seduced Leda in the guise of a swan. Castor was the son of Leda's husband, Tyndareus, the king of Sparta.
The Dioscuri were worshipped as gods in both Greece and Rome. They had a special place in the mythology of the Roman Republic as patrons of the battlefield. One popular legend tells of the twins fighting with the Roman army at the Battle of Lake Regillus in 496 BC, shortly after the founding of the Republic. There, the Romans defeated the Latin League, led by Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the last King of Rome, who had been banished in 509 BC. After the victory, the Roman Dictator Aulus Postumius Albus had a temple built to honour the Dioscuri in the Roman Forum, at the spot where where the twins were said to have watered their horses.
ROMAN REPUBLIC . Q. Minucius Rufus, 122 BC . AR Denarius . **Ex Huntington/ANS**
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