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Triton XXIII – Session Two – Greek Coinage Part II through Roman Imperial Coinage Part I

Lot nuber 678

Civil War. AD 68-69. AR Denarius (16mm, 3.09 g, 6h). Legionary issue. In the types of L. Clodius Macer. Carthage mint. Group I, circa spring-early June AD 68.


Triton XXIII – Session Two – Greek Coinage Part II through Roman Imperial Coinage Part I
Lot: 678.
 Estimated: $ 5 000

Roman Imperial, Silver

Sold For $ 4 750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

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Civil War. AD 68-69. AR Denarius (16mm, 3.09 g, 6h). Legionary issue. In the types of L. Clodius Macer. Carthage mint. Group I, circa spring-early June AD 68. LIBER[AT]RIX S • C, draped bust of Africa right, wearing elephant-skin headdress / LEG III L IB AVG , aquila between two signa. Cf. RIC I 3; cf. Hewitt coin 4 (same position of rev. legend), Group A/1; cf. RSC 6a. Darkly toned, a few minor marks under tone. VF. Unique.

Clodius Macer, propraetore in North Africa, rose in rebellion against the reign of Nero during the Civil War in the spring of AD 68. The legion he commanded was Legio III Augusta, based in Numidia. He then raised another legion, Legio I Macriana; both of them were entitled Liberatrix which means Liberating. “It was with these forces behind him that he took control of Carthage until his death: it figured prominently on his coins” (RIC II, p. 188). Apparently the only coinage relating directly to this legion, Legio III Augusta, is that of the rebel Clodius Macer. Like most of his coins, this denarius does not bear his portrait. Only in his latest issues does Macer have his portrait placed on his coins. He includes S C (senatus consulto) on his denarii, most likely to show that his revolt was not against the senate, but against Nero. Africa in elephant-skin headdress is considered to be the earliest obverse type of Macer’s coins. Neither does this denarius bear his name. Clodius Macer did not strike coins in his name until after the death of Nero. Nero committed suicide on 9 June AD 68, thus, the dating of this coin to early in the rebellion, perhaps sometime in late spring to early June. All of Macer’s coins are of rather crude style, an indication of the lack of skilled die engravers and the haste at which they were produced. By October, Galba had solidified his power in Rome and ordered Macer’s execution.

K.V. Hewitt in “The Coinage of L. Clodius Macer” in The Numismatic Chronicle, 1983 says that “there are a remarkable number of types and varieties, several known by only single specimens” (p. 64). All of Macer’s coins are extremely rare, with fewer than 85 coins of all types known.

The final winners of all Triton XXIII lots will be determined at the live public sale that will be held on 14-15 January 2020. Triton XXIII – Session Two – Greek Coinage Part II through Roman Imperial Coinage Part I will be held Tuesday afternoon, 14 January 2020 beginning at 2:00 PM ET.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and in person at the public auction, 22.50% for all others.