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Faithful Argus


C. Mamilius Limetanus. 82 BC. AR Serrate Denarius (20.5mm, 4.01 g, 9h). Rome mint. Draped bust of Mercury right, wearing winged petasus; to left, A above caduceus / Ulysses walking right, holding staff and extending hand toward his dog, Argus. Crawford 362/1; Sydenham 741; Mamilia 6. Attractive light golden toning. Choice EF. Struck on a broad flan. A wonderful coin in hand.

Dog lovers the world over have always been touched by the scene on the reverse of this denarius: Ulysses returns to his home on the island of Ithaca, in the disguise of a beggar. No one recognizes him but his aged dog Argus, who rushes up to his master, overjoyed at the sight of his master after 20 years, and falls dead at his feet.