Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 91

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Lot 1981

Civil Wars. Silver Denarius (3.36 g), AD 68-69 Choice VF. Uncertain mint in Southern Gaul, ca. AD 69. I O M CAPITOLINVS, diademed and heroic bust of Jupiter Capitolinus left, small branch before, with slight mantle showing on near shoulder. Reverse: VESTA P R QVIRITIVM, Vesta seated left, holding patera and torch. RIC 125a; AM 96; BMC 72; RSC 432. Very Rare. Attractively toned. Choice Very Fine.
This interesting Civil War type was struck for Vitellius, perhaps by his commander Fabius Valens, in southern Gaul shortly before the First Battle of Bedriacum, which saw the annihilation of Otho's forces in mid-April, AD 69. The figure of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus invokes the invincible might of Rome, while the figure of Vesta, who was the goddess of the Rome's sacred hearth, symbolizes the Empire's permanence. Coincidentally, the only priestly college in Rome with full-time acolytes was the order of Vestal Virgins, whose duty it was to keep Vesta's flame continuously alight.

Although all Civil War coinage of AD 68-69 is rare today, it was originally struck on a vast scale in order to pay for the wartime expenses of various imperial contenders during this tumultuous period. The types are all anonymous in that they do not portray any of the figures involved, although one issue probably struck under Galba does indeed show the portrait of the deified emperor Augustus. Estimated Value $3,000 - 4,000

Tom Peterson collection; Private purchase from Tom Cederline.

Realized $3,408

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