472/1 #0722-40 L.PAPIVS CELSVS III VIR Juno Sospita Wolf fire eagle Denarius
Denarius. 45BC. 4.03grams. Rome mint. Papia. Crawford 472/01 L.PAPIVS CELSVS III VIR. Obverse: hd Juno Sospita r. Reverse: wolf, fire and eagle. Common.
A she-wolf, holding a burning brand in her mouth, kindles a heap of combustibles ; on the other side of which an eagle fans and animates the sparks with its wings. This at once shows the Samnite origin of the Papii, and illustrates the well-known legend related by Dionysius of Halicamassus, respecting the fire so conveniently made for Aeneas, while founding Lavinium. This was the city which they say he built subsequent to the defeat of Turnus, on the banks of the Numicus, due south of Rome, and named after the King of Latium's daughter. Being on a dead plain, it was soon found that Lavinium was altogether indefensible against a vigorous enemy; recourse was therefore had to the neighbouring heights, where they founded a second city, Lanuvium, in a pleasing and commanding situation. This seems to be the fact which connects this obverse showing Juno Sospita, with the reverse before us; for there was in Lanuvium a grand Temple of Juno, who was worshipped there, with special pomp and ardour, under the three names Moneta, Regina, and Sospita, — the last being the most appropriate and tutelar. Herein we are reminded of the modem infinity of madonnas.