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5603405.

Lucius Appuleius Saturninus. 104 BC. AR Denarius (20mm, 3.85 g, 6h). Rome mint. Head of Roma right, wearing winged helmet, ornamented with griffin’s head, the visor in three pieces and peaked, wearing triple-pendant earring and pearl necklace, hair arranged in three symmetrical locks / Saturn driving galloping quadriga right, holding harpa and reins; C below; L • SATVRN in exegue. Crawford 317/3b; Sydenham 578a; Kestner 2588; BMCRR Rome –; Appuleia 1; RBW 1171. Iridescent toning. EF.


Lucius Apuleius Saturninus was elected a moneyer in 104 BC, from whence he rose to Tribune of the Plebs from 103 to 100 BC as an ally to the "outsider" general and Consul Gaius Marius. At Marius's behest, he introduced land reform measures rewarding retiring soldiers with large tracts of land in Italy and the provinces, which put him squarely at odds with the aristocrat-favoring optimates in the Senate. Like the Gracchi before him, he relied on the votes of the common people, along with violence and illicit coercion, to retain office and ram his program through. Ultimately he pushed things too far and lost the support of Marius, who ordered his arrest following the Senate's "Ultimate Decree." Kept in the Curia Hostilia awaiting trial, he and dozens of his supporters were murdered by the hired goons of his enemies, who climbed on the roof and pelted the prisoners with roof tiles. His descendants included the Triumvir Lepidus.