519/2 #9924-38 CN.DOMITIVS AHENOBARBVS IMP Ahenobarbus Prow trophy Denarius
Denarius. 41BC. 3.81grams. Ionian sea fleet mint. Domitia. Crawford 519/02 CN.DOMITIVS AHENOBARBVS IMP. Obverse: hd L.Ahenobarbus r. Reverse: prow r, trophy. Scarce.
DOMITIA (first Plebeian, then Patrician). Obv — AHENOBAR(bus). A long-visaged peculiar head, with curly hair, sunk eyes, and a bare neck. It is rare.
Rev – Gn(aeus) DOMITIVS IMP(erator). The prow of a praetorian galley, with a trophy of armour and arms erected on its forecastle; the bows are very elaborately decorated. Here the obverse appears to commemorate the father of the great-grandfather of Nero — which is a full fathom of Roman genealogy; and the symbols on the reverse refer to the naval advantages gained by Cn. Domitius over the fleet of Octavius at Brindisi, 41 BC. The cognomen Ahenobarbus is accounted for by Suetonius and by Plutarch through the circumstance that two youths, of uncommon size and beauty, arrived at Rome with the news of a battle gained over the Tarquinian forces, and ordered their hearer to carry the news of the victory to the senate. While refreshing their foaming horses at the public fountain, Domitius expressed his surprise at such a sudden and unexpected announcement whereupon these Dioscuri, for such they proved to be, smiled and stroked his beard, which, in proof, immediately turned from black to yellow, like brass — whence the discriminative soubriquet Ahenobarbus.