Cornelia 54
76-75 BC, Roman Republic silver denarius.  Mint - Spain [?]

The main bearded image on the front of this coin is known as Genius Populi Romani, or the 'Genius of the Roman People.' Hair tied with band. Above his head, barely visible in this case, are the letters GPR. Over his shoulder is a sceptre. He faces right.

Coin Ref: Crawford 393/1a; Sydenham 752;
Sear 323; Cornelia 54
Different examples of the 'face'
On the reverse side of this coin there is a wreathed behind a scepter on the left, a terrestrial globe in the middle & a boat rudder on the right. The letters EX are seen on left side and S C on right. Together they refer to Ex Senatus Consulto, or an ex-Senatorial Consul. In the exergue, which is a small space on the reverse side of a coin below the principle image is the name, are the letters CN LEN Q.

Cornelia 55
circa 76-75 BC, Roman Republic silver denarius.  Mint - Spain [?]

The image on the front of the coin is a younger image of the genius of the Roman people. Over his shoulder is a sceptre. He is facing right. The letters GPR; Latin for Genius Populi Romani, or 'Genius of the Roman People,' are above his head. [not seen in this image]

Cornelia 55; Crawford 393/1b; Sydenham 752a; Sear 324.

The reverse side of the Cornelia 55 is similiar to the Cornelia 54 but instead of C LEN Q this coin has LENT CVR X FL, or Lentulus curator denariorum flandorum; which stands for 'Lentulus curator of the casting of the denarii.' The letters NT are in monogram. 


“Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus may be the same moneyer whose issues have been already described (no.s 702-704). Mommsen suggested that these coins were struck in 74 B.C. as a special issue, authorized by the Senate, to defray the cost of armaments against Mithridates of Pontus and the Mediterranean pirates.  But Grueber’s view that they were struck in 76 B.C. by Cn. Cornelius Lentulus acting in the capacity of quaestor of Pompey, seems more in accordance with the evidence of finds (see G. ii, p. 359n). The style of the coin tends to be coarse and clumsy, and the head of Genius varies a good deal in size.”  
The Coinage of the Roman Republic by Edward A. Sydenham, 1976, pgs. 1

H. A. Seaby shows the coin with the smaller head (Roman Silver Coins Vol.I Republic to Augustus  pg. 33) while David R Sear shows a coin sporting a larger version (Roman Coins and Their Values, pg. 132).

“Cn. Lentulus strikes in Spain in his capacity as quaestor to the proconsul Pompey, who had been sent to the peninsula to assist Q. Caecillus Metellus Piusagainst sertorius.” 
Roman Coins and Their Values by David Sear, Vol.1, 2000, pg. 132

This is not an impertorial minted coin for Pompey. At the time these coins were minted the Procounsel Pompey was sent to Spain to aid in the war against Sertorius. The moneyer Cn Lentulus served as his Quaestor where he continued to mint coins for Rome.

CN = Cneaus       
LEN = Lentulus

Cneaus was his first name. His last, or family name is Lentulus and this clan is a lesser clan within the Cornelii, which is what his middle name of Cornelius implies.

Q = This tells us that he was a Quaestor, or Roman magistrate with judicial powers at the time when the coin was issued, with the responsibility for the treasury. Had this been a position that he once held it would be noted on the coin as PROQ or pro [past] Questor.

For Further Reading on the Cornelia 54 & 55:
a. Coins of the Roman Republic in the British Museum by H. A. Grueber
London, 1910, Vol. II, pgs. 358, 359, 52, 57
b. Roman Silver Coins Vol.I Republic to Augustus by H.A.Seaby 1952, pgs. 32-33
c. The Coinage of the Roman Republic by Edward A. Sydenham, 1976, pgs. 122, 241
d. Roman Coins and Their Values by David Sear, Vol.1, 2000, pg. 132, 133
e. Roman Republican Coinage Volume I by Michael H. Crawford 2001, pg. 407


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