On the front of this coin is a helmeted head of Roma facing right with the words PROQ on the left side and L MANLI on the right. These two words refer to Lucius Manilus Torquatus who, at this period in time, was an ex-Questor.
Coin Ref: Cornelia 39, Sear 286, Crawford 367/5, Sydenham 759. Since the monetary magistrate L. Manlius Torquatus is of the family name of Manlia, this currency is also, or often, catalogued as a Manlia No.4.
The reverse side of this coin shows L. Cornelius Sulla in quadriga, riding towards the right. Quadriga is a Latin word meaning a chariot drawn by four animals; which in this case are horses in a perfect row leaning forward. Sulla is crowned by a Victory who flies above in the upper part of the field. In the exergue; which is a small space on the reverse side of a coin below the principle image, is the name - L SVLLA IM.
Cornelia 38 - This coin, identical to the 39, was struck in Gold.
The front of this coin is identical to a Cornelia 39. The difference lies in the reverse side shown left. Where the 39 has L SVLLA IM, the 40 has L SVLLA IMP, or IMPE.
Ref: Cornelia 40, Crawford 367/1, Sydenham 759, Sear 286. Since the monetary magistrate L. Manlius Torquatus is of the family name of Manlia, this currency is also, or often, catalogued as a Manlia No.5.
Cornelia 41 L MANLIUS TORQUATUS, Circa 82 BC. Roman Republic Aureus (gold). Identical to the Cornelia 42. Coin ref: Crawford 367/2
Cornelia 42/Manlia 7
circa 82-72 BC, Roman Republic silver denarius
Mint - moving with Sulla.
The front of this coin is almost identical to both Cornelia 39 & 40 except after the letters L MANLI there is a symbol looking like a sideways T.
Ref: Cornelia 42, Crawford 367/3, Sydenham 757, Sear 287. Since the monetary magistrate L. Manlius Torquatus is of the family name of Manlia, this currency is also, or often, catalogued as a Manlia No.7.
The reverse side of the coin has the four horses in a perfect row leaning backward. In the exergue; which is a small space on the reverse side of a coin below the principle image, is the name - L SVLLA IM.
Cornelia 43 - Mint - moving with Sulla. This coin is almost identical to the Cornelia No.42 except on the reverse side of the 42 which has L SVLLA IM, this coin has L SVLLA IMP, or an added P [some coins even have IMPE]. Ref: Cornelia 4,; Sears 287, Crawford 367/5, Sydenham 759.
Since the monetary magistrate L. Manlius Torquatus is of the family name of Manlia, this currency of a Cornelia 43 is also, or often, catalogued as a Manlia No.8.
Cornelia 46 - A MANLI A F Q, Circa 80 BC. Roman Republic Gold. Mint - Rome.
On the front of this coin is the bust of Roma facing right wearing crested helmet with side-feathers. Behind head are the letters A MAN going downward, in front LI A F Q going upward. Border of dots. On the reverse is an equestrian statue of Sulla wearing laurel-wreath and sagum, right hand raised and holding reins in his left hand. Below are the letters L SVLL FE and on the right LI DIC.
Cornelia 47 - A MANLI A F Q, Circa 80 BC. Silver Denarius. Mint - Rome.
Similar to the Cornelia 46 except instead of the letters L SVLL FELI DIC it has the letters
L SVLLA FELIX DIC.
Ref: Cornelia 47; Crawford 381/1b; Sydenham 762a.
~ NOTES ~
The letters PROQ means that at the time this coin was issued Lucius Manlius Torquatus was an ex-Questor, or someone who had been in charge of a Roman province. He was one of Sulla's Lieutenants. The Questor often held the position of a Roman magistrate with judicial powers in the governing area as well as the responsibility for its treasury. ... His birth name was Lucius Manlius. He took the surname Torquatus after he had captured the golden torque, or wreath of an oponent.
SVLLA IMP = Lucius Sulla Imperator, or dictator; an absolute ruler under the Roman Republic. It is a title conferred upon Lucius Cornelius Sulla (138BC-78BC) by salutations from the soldiers after many victorious campaigns.
65BC Lucius Manlius Torquatus and Lucius Aurelius Cotta became Consuls.
For Further Reading:
a. Coins of the Roman Republic in the British Museum by H. A. Grueber
London, 1910, Vol. II, pgs. 462, 8
b. Roman Silver Coins Vol.I Republic to Augustus
by H.A.Seaby 1952, pgs. 32 & 52
c. The Coinage of the Roman Republic
by Edward A. Sydenham, 1976, pg. 124
d. Roman Coins and Their Values by David Sear, Vol.1, 2000, pg. 126
e. Roman Republican Coinage Volume I by Michael H. Crawford 2001, pg. 386-387
Re: Cornelia 39: “Another military issue of Sulla, this time probably belonging to the period of civil war in Italy in 82 BC. Once again gold aurei were included in the series (see No.7). the coins also bear the name of one of ulla’s lieutenants who is described as proquaestor and was later consul (in 65 BC).”
Roman Coins and Their Values by David Sear, Vol.1, 2000, pg. 126
Note: reference to – see No.7 refers to Cornelia 38.
Mithradates Eupator (131BC-63BC) was King of Pontus. He extended his empire until he held Cappadocia, Paphlagonia, and the Black Sea coast beyond the Caucasus. It was inevitable that Rome's increasing influence in Asia Minor would bring the two empires into open conflict.
The first Mithradatic War occurred between 88 BC 84 BC. The Roman general Fimbria attacked him and defeated his armies in Greece. In the resultant treaty Mithradates paid compensation and gave up all but Pontus and a few colonies.
By 83 BC Rome found itself involved in a second Mithradatic War. It was begun by Lucius Cornelius Sulla's lieutenant Lucius Murena, but his armies were repelled by Mithradates and was superseded by Aulus Gabinius, who made peace with the king of Pontus.
The third Mithradatic War began around 74 BC when Mithradates attempted to prevent Rome from annexing Bithynia. The Rome sent an army under L. Licinius Lucullus to squash Mithradates but he did little more than force him to retreat. Lucullus was later replaced by Pompey, around 67 BC, who then drove Mithradates further eastward. In the end Mithradates had his slave kill him rather than be taken prisoner.
Pompey then created a plan to squash the threat of numerous pirates that plagued the seas. He set up thirteen districts which designated old and newly conquered territory; the commanders of each were responsible for the reduction of pirates in his own district. The African coast, from Carthage all the way to the Strait of Gibraltar was the region given to P Lentulus Marcellinus. Tiberius Nero was given command of Spanish waters from the Strait of Gibraltar to Mauritania, while L Manlius Torquatus took command as praetor of the Balearic Islands. Gnaeus Lentulus Clodianus patrolled the eastern coast of Italy and western coast of Illyria down to the heel of the Italian coast while the noted Roman soldier and historian Lucius Cornelius Sisenna commanded the eastern coast of Greece. Eight other noted Roman leaders filled out the thirteen regions.
Prior to becoming a praetor, which is a Consul member who has been placed in charge of an army of Rome, Lucius Manlius Torquatus was Sulla's quaestor, or Roman magistrate with responsibility for the treasury. During the Mithradatic Wars L. Manlius Torquatus resigned this position which is why he is often referred to during this period as a proquester, or ex-questor.