104 BC Roman Republic L.Ap. Satruninus AR Denarius obv Roma rv Saturn in Quadriga (#01-B104-AN100)

As one of the largest and most enduring civilizations in the history of the world, the Roman Republic and the imperial period that followed have fascinated historians and archaeologists for centuries. They are considered to be a major part of the foundation of western culture and have directly influenced our philosophy, language, politics, and art. Coins of the Roman Republic are those that were minted in the 500 year period before 27 BC when the Roman Senate granted Octavian the title of Augustus, thus officially recognizing him as emperor. Coins minted during this period did not bear the likeness of the politicians or officials that issued them. Instead they featured the iconic images popular in Roman mythology that were associated with them.

This silver denarius was issued during the second tribuneship of Lucius Appuleius Saturninus. Satruninus, a Roman Tribune, was an elected official charged with defending the rights of the people. In 104 BC he opposed the Senate and supported the demand of the people to reduce the price of grain and further earned the ire of the Roman Senators when he and other Tribunes managed to assign land grants to veterans of the Roman Legion that were loyal to him.

In 100 BC, Satuninus was accused of organizing the assassination of another Tribune, Gaius Memmius. Before he could be arrested, Saturninus and his followers seized the Capitoline Hill where the Senate convened, but his enemies in the republic stripped the roof off of the Capitol building and stoned Saturninus and his followers to death. Afterwards, the Senate voted to repeal much of the legislation that Satuninus helped to pass.

The obverse features the image of the goddess Roma who was the personification of Rome itself and the city’s protector and patron goddess. Her likeness appeared on many coins of the Roman Republic, usually as a helmeted, warrior-like figure.

The coin’s reverse depicts Saturn, the Roman god of fertility and agriculture, riding in a quadriga, a four-horse chariot used battle and in races throughout the Republic. Saturn was the father of Jupiter, and before being deposed by his son, was said to be responsible for bringing mankind out of the wilderness and introducing them to law, order, and agriculture.

Graded AU (About Uncirculated) by NGC, one of the most respected coin grading services in the United States, this silver denarius exhibits a well centered strike with superb detail and would make an excellent addition to any collection.

(The image is for reference purposes only. Since each ancient coin is unique, the one pictured may not be the exact coin you receive.)