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Important and Extremely Rare Denarius of L. Staius Murcus

380, Lot: 477. Estimate $1000.
Sold for $1900. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

The Republicans. L. Staius Murcus. 41 BC. AR Denarius (19.5mm, 2.76 g, 12h). Mint traveling with Murcus in the Ionian Sea. Head of Neptune right, trident over shoulder to left / Murcus standing left, holding sword and with right hand raising female figure (Roma?) on left, who kneels right; trophy in background between them. Crawford 510/1; CRI 337; Sydenham 1315; Statia 1; RBW 1782. Fine, darkly toned, numerous scratches, banker’s mark on reverse, areas of porosity, hairline flan crack. Extremely rare.

From the estate of Thomas Bentley Cederlind.

Originally serving with Caesar – as legate from 48 to 46 BC, and then as praetor in 45 BC – L. Staius (Statius) Murcus was appointed by the Senate as proconsul in Syria following Caesar’s assassination. Following the arrival of Cassius in Syria in 43 BC, Murcus transferred control of his legions over to the tyrannicide, who, in turn, gave Murcus command of a fleet. Murcus immediately demonstrated his tactical abilities and soon joined forces with Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus to gain joint control of the eastern Mediterranean. Following Philippi, Murcus (along with Ahenobarbus) picked up many of the survivors. He then began raiding along the Ionian Sea. In 41 BC, Murcus defected to Sextus Pompey. Soon, however, the two began to quarrel and Murcus was executed in 40/39 BC on a charge of conspiracy.