ON HOLD Beautiful silver denarius – M. Aemilius Scaurus 58 BC
Beautiful silver denarius – M. Aemilius Scaurus 58 BC
Full description: Silver denarius issued by Marcus Aemilius Scaurus and Publius Plautius Hypsaeus
Obverse: Nabatean King Aretas kneeling right, holding reins in left hand and olive branch tied with fillet in extended right hand before camel standing right; M SCAVR/AED CVR above; EX S C across field; REX ARETAS in exergue
Reverse: Jupiter driving galloping quadriga left, holding reins in left hand and hurling thunderbolt with scorpion below forelegs of horses; P HVPSAE/AED CVR in two lines above; CAPTV upwards to right; C HVPSAE COS/PREIVE in two lines in exergue
Die engraver: Unknown engraver at the mint of Rome.
Origin: Mint at Rome.
Materials and method: Struck in good quality silver from engraved dies.
Dimensions: 16 mm diameter.
Weight: 4.10 gm
Date of minting: Attributed to the year 58 BC.
Condition: Good Very Fine; well centred, sharply struck and nicely toned. A beautiful example of this historically rich coin.
Stock no: C031
- Marcus Aemilius Scaurus was sent by Pompey to secure Seleucid Syria which included Judea where there was a civil war being waged within the Hasmonean dynasty by the two brothers Hyrcanus and Aristobulus. Nabatean armies, under the leadership of King Aretas III, besieged Jerusalem. Scaurus was successful in getting the Nabateans to withdraw.
- He was accused of extortion and bribery on many occasions, including in relation to his efforts with the Hasmoneans, and eventually went into exile.
- He is said by Pliny the Elder to have been a major collector of engraved gems.
- King Aretas III extended the Nabatean empire north into Syria including Damascus and south into Saudi Arabia. He was entombed in the Treasury in the Nabatean capital, Petra.
- King Aretas III was never enslaved by the Romans or M Aemilius Scaurus, so the imagery on this coin is Roman propaganda.
- The reverse of this coin refers to an ancestor of Publius Plautius Hypsaeus, Gaius Hypsaeus, who captured the Volscian town of Privernum.
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