Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 110

The June 2-5, 2019 Pre-Long Beach Auction

Roman Republican Coinage
Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 1832
L. Furius Cn.f. Brocchus. Silver Denarius, 64 BC. Rome. III VIR across field, BROCCHI below, draped bust of Ceres right, wreathed with grain ears, between wheat ear and barley corn. Reverse: L FVRI / CN F in two lines above, curule chair between fasces. Crawford 414/1; Sydenham 902; Furia 23. ANACS grade EF 45 Our grade lightly tond. Choice Very Fine. Estimate Value $200 - 250
The obverse possibly relates to a family history where an ancestor served as aedile of the grain supply, the cura annonae, or it may just reflect the moneyer's populist political philosophy. At the time this coin was struck, Catiline's conspiracy was secretly developing, only to be exposed and crushed the following year during Cicero's consulship. Although grain shortage was not one of the social causes of the Catiline conspiracy as outlined by Cicero - remember that Pompey had cleared the Mediterranean of the pirate menace in the early 60s BC and thus the grain supply had been secured - after the revelation of the plot, Cato proposed a grain measure extending the dole to include Rome's poor. Obviously, then, even though supply was plentiful, it was a source of discontent for the many urban plebs who were not benefitting from free distribution, and perhaps it was this mood that Brocchus was attempting to exploit by his choice of types on this coin.
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