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561014. SOLD $1100

L. Roscius Fabatus. 59 BC. AR Serrate Denarius (18mm, 3.85 g, 5h). Rome mint. Head of Juno Sospita right; uncertain symbol (traguardo?) behind / Female standing right before erect serpent; hammer to left. Crawford 412/1 (symbol 4?); Sydenham 915; Roscia 3. Beautiful iridescent toning over subdued lustrous surfaces, detailed strike. Choice EF.

This type is thought to represent an annual ceremony at Lanuvium, where a virgin is selected and sent into the grotto underneath a temple sacred to Juno Sospita to feed her sacred snake. If the woman selected is chaste, she survives; otherwise not.