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5603470. SOLD $1750

L. Torquatus. 58 BC. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.76 g, 4h). Rome mint. Laureate head of Sibylla right; [S]IBYL[L] below; all within wreath / Tripod surmounted by amphora between two stars; L • TORQAT downward to left, III • VIR upward to right; all within ornamented torque. Crawford 411/1a; Sydenham 837a var. (same); Manlia 11 var. (same); RBW 1489. Deep old cabinet tone; light scratch and a few surface marks. Near EF. Rare.

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 23 (19 March 2002), lot 2489.

The Sibyl of Cumae was a legendary prophetess whose poetical pronouncements, codified in three books kept at the Temple of Jupiter on Capitoline Hill, were consulted in times of crisis. According to Ovid, as a beautiful young woman, she captivated the god Apollo, who offered to grant her any wish in return for her virginity. She scooped up a handful of sand and asked to live as many years as the number of grains within it. However, she had neglected to ask for eternal youth, and so, over 1,000 years, her body withered away until only her voice remained.