Cornelia 24
circa 106 BC, Roman Republic silver denarius. Mint - Rome.

On the front of this coin, facing left, is the laureate head of the Roman God Jupiter. This coin is usually serrated or notched. 

Coin Ref: Babalon 24, Cornelia 24, 24a-c, Crawford 311/1a-b,
Sydenham 576a-c, Sear 188

On the reverse side of this coin is the God Jupiter holding a sceptre in one hand and a thunderbolt in the other. He rides in a quadriga; a chariot drawn by four animals which, in this case, are horses. They are all facing right. In the exergue; which is a small space on the reverse side of a coin below the principle image, is the name L SCIP ASIAG. There is a control mark above.
Control Marks - On this paricular coin they often consist of single letters. The debate has ranged as to what a Control Mark refers, especially considering not all moneyers or Questers used them. Many experts tend to lean toward two assumptions. First, that the Control Mark refers to the city or location where the coin was minted. Or second, it refers to the fact that when a stamp or die had worn out and a new die was made, it received a new control mark as a means for the moneyer to know the exact date and sequence that a coin was issued and this enabled the moneyer to keep close accounts of the silver being used. Still, although both solutions sounds logical, this is one of those mysteries of ancient coins.

There are many different control marks on the back of the Cornelia 24; a few examples are noted below:

E                           G                           K                           Q
S                           V                             X                
Cornelia 24a

Cornelia 24a is identical to the 24 on the front but the control mark on the reverse is below the letters L SCIP ASIAG at the bottom.
Cornelia 24b

Cornelia 24b has no control mark on the reverse. The mark is found on the front, behind the head.

Here are two examples of different control marks.
Cornelia 24c

Cornelia 24c has no control mark on the reverse. The mark is found on the front, below the chin.

The back of the Cornelia 24b & 24c are indentical and have no control marks.

Roman Silver Coins by H.A.Seaby
London: B.A.Seaby Ltd. 1952, p.31.
The method used to classify the Cornelia 24 on this webpage is taken  from Roman Silver Coins Vol.I Republic to Augustus by H.A.Seaby 1952, pg. 31. However, I should point out that Edward A Sydenham (The Coinage of the Roman Republic 1976, pg. 79) uses a different set of classifications for the Cornelia 24 by control marks. His method is as follows:: 

Cornelia 24 – The control mark [letter with dot] is on obverse to right; behind head. No
control mark on reverse.

Cornelia 24a - The control mark [letter with dot] is on obverse under the chin. No control
mark on reverse.

Cornelia 24b – No control mark on obverse. The control mark is on the reverse above

Cornelia 24c - No control mark on obverse. The control mark is on the reverse; below the
letters L SCIP ASIAG at the bottom.

David Sear (Roman Coins and Their Values Vol.1, 2000, pg.108) avoids given a breakdown by control marks. He simply notes that the ‘Cornelia 24b-c’ has the control mark “behind or below chin.” Which uses Seaby’s classification and not that of Sydenham. Sear then he adds; “Other varieties have the control-letter on rev, either above or in ex. The reason for the introduction at this time of denarii with notched edges as part of the mainstream coinage of Rime is quite unclear. They had previously been struck a dozen years before in Gaul.”

Michael Crawford (Roman Republican Coinage Volume I 2001, pg. 3100) classifies these coins from 1a to 1e; noting the Control Marks [CM] as such:.

1a  Obverse: CM behind headReverse:  No CM
1b  Obverse: CM in front of head  Reverse:  No CM
1c  Obverse: No CM     Reverse:  CM above to left of sceptre
1d  Obverse: No CM     Reverse:  CM above to right of sceptre
1e  Obverse: No CM     Reverse:  CM below


L = Lucius
SCIP = Scipio
ASIAG = Asiagenes

Lucius is his first name. His family name is Scipio. The Scipios are a lesser clan within the larger clan of the Cornelii, thus his middle name of Cornelius. He commanded the armies against Antiochus III of Syria and defeated him at the Battle of Magnesia. Upon his triumphant return to Rome he was given the title Asiagenes.

1. Coins of the Roman Republic in the British Museum by H. A. Grueber
London, 1910, Vol. I, pg. 1360
2. Roman Silver Coins Vol.I Republic to Augustus by H.A.Seaby 1952, pg. 31
3. The Coinage of the Roman Republic by Edward A. Sydenham, 1976, pg. 79, 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. 319


The Cornelii clans of Scipones, or Scipio are some of the most documented. One of the earliest recorded members of this family was Cornelius Lucius Scipio Barbatus. He was a Roman Consul in 298BC. He led the Roman army in victory against the Etruscans near Voltaterrae. His sarcophagus, which is preserved in the Vatican Museum, has the following epitaph written on old Latin.

It means: "Cornelius Lucius Scipio Barbatus, sprung from Gnaeus his father, a man strong and wise, whose appearance was most in keeping with his virtue, who was consul, censor, and aedile among you - He captured Taurasia, Cisauna, Samnium - he subdued all Lucania and and led off hostages."  The position of censor, which was always held by two people, was that of record keeper. Historically what makes Cornelius Lucius Scipio Barbatus important is that he and Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus Maximus are the oldest known names of any Romans who held this position.

Barbatus' son was named Lucius Cornelius Scipio. He was a great commander in the First Punic Wars which was fought between 264 BC to 241 BC. It was the first of three major wars fought between Carthage in North Africa. It was Luicius, who in 259, led the Roman fleet in the capture of Aleria and then Corsica, but he failed against Olbia in Sardinia. He became a Roman Consul in 259BC. He later dedicated a temple to the Tempestates, locating it near the Porta Capena.

Lucius Cornelius Scipio had two sons; Publius Cornelius Scipio who became a Roman Consul in 218 and Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, who became a Roman Consul in 222BC. Josephus the Jewish historian and soldier mentions Publius Cornelius Scipio in his two books, The Wars of The Jews and Antiquities of The Jews. Publius was second in command of the Roman Army under Marcus Turius Camillus. It was Camillus who fought against Hannibal in Italy, while Publius Cornelius was sent to Spain in 212BC to assist another army to fight Hannibal's brother Hasdrubel, in order to destroy Hannibal's supply lines. The other army which was already in Spain was that of Publius' brother Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus. History records that while in Spain both Gnaeus and Publius Cornelius died in battle in the Baetis River valley in 211BC, in different engagements.

As for Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, he had a son named Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica. He was a Roman Consul in 191. Nasica's son, named Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum, was a Roman Consul in 162.

As for his brother Publius Cornelius Scipio; he had two sons. Although Rome knew that reinforcements were needed in Spain, no senior general would undertake the task. This was during the period of the Second Punic War, which was fought between Carthage and Rome from 218 to 204 BC. During this period Publius' son, who was also called Publius Cornelius Scipio, offered his services to revenge his father's death. In 208BC he engaged Haninibal's brother Hadsrubal in the vicinity of Baecula on the upper Guadalquivir River in southern Spain which inevitably lead to one engagement after another until Scipio conquered all of Spain. In 205BC he was elected as a Consul. Shortly afterwards he went to Africa where he finally conquered Hannibal. From that point on he becomes known as Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Major, or the Elder. He died in 184BC.

His brother, Lucius Cornelius Scipio, who had been with him in Spain, Sicily and Africa, became a Roman Consul in 190BC. Lucius Cornelius Scipio later commanded the armies against Antiochus III of Syria and defeated him at the Battle of Magnesia. Upon his triumphant return to Rome he was given the name Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiagenes, the conqueror of Asia.

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Major had only one sons; Publius Cornelius Scipio  who would inevitably infuriated Rome and be expelled from the Senate.

His son, who was an adopted child originally born in 185 BC as the second son of Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus, was re-named Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus Numantinus, or Africanus the Younger. He became a Roman consul in 147BC. While he was stationed in Spain grave issues were brewing in Rome dealing with a political revolt being led by his cousin and step-brother, Tiberius Gracchus. It is believed that Scipio convinced a mutual cousin of himself and Gracchus, namely Scipio Nasica, to deal with the problem. Nasica dealt with it by having his followers met with Tiberius Gracchus on the steps of the Capitol one morning in 133BC where they clubbed him to death. Although Scipio Aemilianus publicly 'condoned' the murder, he was spared from complicity simply because he had not yet returned from Spain. He return in 129BC. Shortly afterwards he was found dead in his bed under mysterious circumstances. He was 45. Some claim that he was murdered by supporters of Gracchus.

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