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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Portrait of Eprius Marcellus

Triton XXI, Lot: 509. Estimate $1500.
Sold for $1100. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

PHRYGIA, Kibyra. T. Clodius Eprius Marcellus. Legate of Lycia, AD 53-56. Æ (18mm, 5.47 g, 12h). MAP-KEΛΛOC, laureate head of Marcellus right / ΚIBY-PAIΩN, eagle standing left on altar. SNG von Aulock 8397 (“time of Tiberius”); SNG Leypold 1608; RPC I 2890. VF, dark green surfaces. Very rare.

The figure on the obverse likely portrays Titus Clodius Eprius Marcellus, legate of Lycia (D. Erkelenz, “Das Portät des Statthalters in der Lokalprägung der Römischen Provinzen,” RSN 81 [2002], p. 87, 27). Born in Capua of humble origins, Eprius Marcellus rose through the political ranks by ingratiating himself with various emperors. He held the consulship twice and is best known today for his prosecution of Thrasea Paetus, a critic of the emperor Nero. In AD 79, Marcellus committed suicide after being found guilty of participating in a plot against Vespasian.