Cornelia 17
Circa 118-107 BC. Roman Republic silver denarius. Mint - Rome.

On the front of the coin is the head of Roma wearing a Phrygian helmet with gryphon crest, facing right. Behind his head are the letters SISENA. In front of his head are the letters ROMA. There is the letter X below his chin.

Coin Ref: Cornelia 17, Babelon 17, Crawford 310/1, Sydenham 542, Sear 187

The reverse side of this coin depicts the God Jupiter in quadriga, facing right and hurling a thunderbolt. Quadriga is a Latin word meaning a chariot drawn by four animals; which in this case are horses. Above the horses is the head of Sol with a crescent Moon to the right. Underneath the horse's heads is a star, along with a second star directly behind Jupiter. Below the horses is the defeated Anguipede who has the legs of serpents and huge, beaked face of a cock. There is a thunderbolt to his right. In the exergue; which is a small space on the reverse side of a coin below the principle image, are the letters CN CORNEL L F. ... the letters NE are in Monogram.

This letter X, which is often found on Roman coins, is a value mark. The term denarius translates as meaning "containing ten." X is the Roman numeral for ten. It meant that the denarius was worth ten Asses; the As being a small bronze, later copper, coin introduced around 289 BC. These coins were round in shape, had a two-faced Janus head on one side, and a ship's prow on the other.

1. Coins of the Roman Republic in the British Museum
by H. A. Grueber, London, 1910, Vol. II, pgs. 267, 508
2. Roman Silver Coins Vol.I Republic to Augustus by H.A.Seaby 1952, pg. 31
3. The Coinage of the Roman Republic by E. A. Sydenham, 1976, pgs. 70, 241
4. Roman Coins and Their Values by David Sear, Vol.1, 2000, pg. 108
5. Roman Republican Coinage Volume I by Michael H. Crawford 2001, pg. 318-319

Seaby places the date between 103-100 BC, Sydenham simply states circa 100BC while David Sear places the date of this coin between 118-107 BC.

"Tradition states that before his battle with the giants Zeus (Jupiter) forbade the Sun and Eros to shine. This type [i.e. coin] may refer to the victories of Scipio over Antiochus the Great at Magnesia and Mount Sipylus in B.C. 190."
Roman Silver Coins Vol.I Republic to Augustus by H.A.Seaby 1952, pg. 31

“The rare denarii of Cn. Cornelius L. f. Sisena and A. Manlius Q. Sergia differ in many ways from all other issues of this period, but as they show certain resemblances to one another it is probable that both are of the same date and mintage. For example, the general treatment of the ‘Roma’ heads and details, such as the helmet and ear-ring, are quite unusual; the style inclines to be elaborate but the workmanship is almost invariably weak. The legends are similarly arranged, with the cognomen and word, ROMA, on the ob. Both issues use the mark of value X and contain allusions to the sun, moon, and stars. No satisfactory explanation has so far been given of the rev. types and their place of mintage and date of issue are alike uncertain. Their peculiar style and numerous irregularities rather suggests a late date, but as a specimen of A. Manilus was included in the Sierra Morena Find (XI), which was buried about 99 B.C., we have some clue as to its date of issue. It is interesting to note that, although both these issues are rarely met with in any coin-finds, the Barchidda (Sardinia) Find (XXI) contained no less than 33 specimens of A. Manilus and 3 of Cn. Cornelius Sisena.”
The Coinage of the Roman Republic by E. A. Sydenham, 1976, pg. 70

The giant, Anguipede, is the Latin version of the Greek name for Abraxas.

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