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419/1 #0838-39 M.LEPIDVS AN XV PR HOCS Roma Equestrian statue Lepidus Denarius | by Ahala
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419/1 #0838-39 M.LEPIDVS AN XV PR HOCS Roma Equestrian statue Lepidus Denarius

Denarius. 58BC. 3.94grams. Rome mint. Aemilia. Crawford 419/01 M.LEPIDVS AN XV PR HOCS. Obverse: hd Roma r laur diad, wreath simpulum. Reverse: statue Lepidus r, AN XV PR HOCS. Scarce. There is additional discussion of this coin on


Northumberland Smyth 1856:

A female head, with a frontal diadem, considered to be that of the Vestal Aemilia, mother of Romulus and Remus. At the back of the lady's head there is a laurel garland, and in front of the neck a simpulum — emblematic of the sacerdotal rank of Lepidus. R — M(arcus) LEPIDVS, AN(norum) XV PR(ogressus) H(ostem) O(ccidit) C(ivem) S(ervavit). This commemorates the act of M. Lepidus, who, at the age of 15, still wearing the toga praetexta, slew an enemy, and saved a citizen, as is neatly expressed in the legend. This representation of bearing the spolia opima is a figurative honour, for as the distinction applied only to the commander of a Roman army who managed to obtain the spolia opima, in a field of battle, from the corpse of the leader of the foe, the honour would necessarily apply to but few. Among the Romans, spoils taken in battle were the most distinguished acquisitions; and no victory was considered as complete unless the conquerors could succeed in stripping the bodies of the slain. This came from still earlier ages. It was a custom with the ancients in general, to make offerings to the gods of part of the plunder taken from their enemies. Indeed, there is a precedent for it as far back as the days of Abraham, for that patriarch gave tithes of all the spoil which he had taken from Chedorlaomer and other kings in battle, to Melchizedek — or the Church. (Genesis xiv. 20)

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Taken on May 17, 2009