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Tarpeia Transformed

364, Lot: 204. Estimate $150.
Sold for $160. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EASTERN EUROPE, Geto-Dacians. AR Denarius (19mm, 4.46 g, 9h). Various obverse prototypes, reverse type of L. Titurius Sabinus. After 89 BC. Helmeted head of Roma right / Two soldiers fighting diminutive third figure. Davis A/II (website M26); cf. Crawford 344/2 (for rev.). Near VF, lightly toned, green encrustation on reverse.

From the RBW Collection. Ex Phillip Davis Collection (Gemini IX, 8 January 2012), lot 620.

The reverse derives from Titurius Sabinus’ famous “death of Tarpeia” type, but here the traitor of Rome is rendered as a smaller, half-length soldier who appears to be battling the two Sabine soldiers.