524/2 #0925-36 Q.LABIENVS Labienus Parthian horse Denarius
Denarius. 40BC. 3.6grams. Syria camp Labienus mint. Labienus Atia. Crawford 524/02 Q.LABIENVS. Obverse: hd Labienus r Q LABIENVS PARTHICVS IMP. Reverse: Parthian horse r. Extremely Rare.
One of the most sought after coins of the Roman Republic: this was struck by the renegade Quintus Labienus who was ambassador to Parthia (Persia) for the Republicans after the Ides of March. After the two Republican leaders were both killed at Phillipi in 42BC he joined the Parthian forces and campaigned against Mark Antony's forces before being killed by Ventidius in 39BC. This famous coin has the head of Labienus and on the other side a Parthian horse, one of their famed cavalry. Apart from the breaks :-( it is remarkably well preserved, hardly any wear.
Northumberland Smyth 1856; ATIA (Plebeian):
Obv — Q(uintus) LABIENVS PARTHICVS IMP(erator). The bare head of Labienus, whose name is assumed by numismatists to be a cognomen of the Atia gens; but though that assumption is here adopted, the authority for so doing is very questionable. The coin is rare.
Rev — Sine epigraphe. A horse standing bridled and saddled, with cloth trappings, which afford a proof that the Roman horses had cloths on their backs either for ornament or the comfort of their riders. On the death of Brutus, Q. Labienus went over to the Parthians — but it is hardly probable that this reverse should be in compliment to the equestrian skill of that people. He fell in 39 BC.
In Mr. Bosanquet's cabinet is a neat — but very suspicious — denarius of the T. Labienus who deserted Caesar. It has a fortified city on the reverse, over which is inscribed CINGVLVM. It will be
recollected that the Picene town of Cingulum was beautified at a lavish expense by Labienus, yet was one of the first to open its gates to the Dictator. T. Labienus was father of the above Q. whose son, from his bitter partisanship, was dubbed "Rabienus" by the imperial party. An aureus with the above reverse brought only £2 10s, at Mr. Samuel Tyssen's first sale in 1802, where it was marked unpublished — which shows that its authenticity was doubted.