Roman Republic, Denarius


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

The obverse of this Roman denarius from the year 62 BC shows Bonus Eventus, the personification of a successful outcome. He is identified by the legend BONEVENT in front of him. The inscription LIBO behind him refers to the moneyer Lucius Scribonius Libo, about whom nothing is known.

In Roman religion, the gods and their worshippers entered a kind of contract: The people made sacrifices to the gods, who in turn granted them their support. Bonus Eventus was often evoked before the start of a journey and was also a favorite of soldiers.

The reverse depicts the PVTEAL SCRIBON, the Puteal Scribonianum. It is decorated with a garland and two lyres. At the base lies a hammer, perhaps symbolic of Vulcan, the god of fire.

A puteal was actually a stone enclosure around a water well; it could, however, also be a sacred monument enclosing a holy place. The Puteal Scribonianum was located on the Forum in Rome, at the site where in times immemorial a lightning had struck. A man called Scribonius, presumably an ancestor of our moneyer, had built or renovented a puteal there, hence the name.


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