ANCIENT THEMES, Roman Republican. Marcus Curtius.
†362 BC. Cast AR Medal (24mm, 5.08 g, 12h). By Concz Welcz. Dated 1535. • MARX • KO RCIVS •, draped bust of Curtius left / 1535 to left, Curtius on horseback left, about to leap into chasm in the Roman Forum; · 1 · 5 · 3 · 5 · to upper left. Katz 216. Good VF, toned, chased.
Ex RBW Collection, purchased from Numismatica Ars Classica, 8 December 1991.
According to myth, an earthquake of 362 BC left a large pit in the Roman Forum. Hoping to appease the gods in light of this disaster, the Romans consulted an oracle and were informed that they needed to sacrifice Rome’s greatest treasure. The soldier Marcus Curtius, realizing that courage was the Roman people’s greatest virtue, rode his horse into the opening, which thereafter closed.