|CNG 84, Lot: 957. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $1200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
Autumn 31-summer 30 BC. AR Denarius (24mm, 3.84 g, 4h). Italian (Rome?) mint. Bare head left / Victory standing left on globe, holding wreath and palm. CRI 407; RIC I 254b; RSC 64. Good VF, reverse lightly double struck. Struck on a very broad flan.
Following his victory at Actium, Octavian ordered a golden statue of Victory, standing on a globe and holding a wreath and palm, to be set up on an altar in the Curia in Rome. This statue had been captured by the Romans from Pyrrhus in 272 BC, and it assumed a somewhat tutelary mystique, protecting the Roman state from dissolution. In AD 382, the emperor Gratian ordered its removal. Two years later, the senator and orator Symmachus urged Valentinian II to replace it, a request that was met with stiff opposition from the bishop of Milan, Ambrose. Though it was briefly returned to its place by the usurper Eugenius, it was again removed following his defeat. Petitions to Theodosius I for its subsequent replacement were refused, on grounds that the once-important symbol of the gods’ blessing on the Roman Empire was now nothing more than a piece of paganism.