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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 64, Lot: 795. Estimate $400. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2003. 
Sold For $900. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

L. Sulla. 84-83 BC. AR Denarius (3.33 gm). Diademed head of Venus right, Cupid standing before, holding long palm / Capis and lituus between two trophies. Crawford 359/2; Sydenham 761; Cornelia 29. Toned, nice VF. Scarce. ($400)

This type was struck in a military mint travelling with Sulla in the east after his successful campaign against Mithradates VI. The obverse type of Venus refers to Sulla's belief that he was under the protection of Venus, who granted him victory in the battle against Mithradates. On the reverse, the trophies refer to the battles of Chaeronea in 86 BC and of Orchomenos in 85 BC. The capis and lituus, normally symbols of the augurate, were probably regarded by Sulla as symbolizing a claim to imperium, as Sulla did not become Augur until 82 BC.