Roman Republic, Denarius


Roman Republic, Denarius (obverse) Roman Republic, Denarius (reverse)

This denarius was issued in the year 83 BC by Gaius Norbanus. His name is given on the obverse below the head of Venus. The moneyer was probably the son of the Roman consul of the year 83 BC, also of the name Gaius Norbanus.

The obverse depicts Venus, the goddess of love, wearing a diadem. Behind her are the letters CLX, one of a number of mint control-marks found on these issues.

The reverse design shows an ear of corn, a fasces, rods bound with an axe, carried by officials who attended high magistrates. Also a caduceus, a herald's staff carried by ambassadors at times of war can be seen. They were symbols of the authority of the Roman state and supposedly alluded to the events of the year 83 BC: that year, the moneyer's father attempted to stop the patrician Lucius Cornelius Sulla, who was marching on Rome with his legions, indenting to seize control. Sulla defeated Norbanus, however, and in 82 BC installed himself as dictator in Rome.


Signet Sunflower Foundation