Circa ? BC. Roman Republic Aureus (gold). Mint – Antioch [?]
On the obverse side of this coin is the head of Jupiter
facing right; laurel on head; bead and reel boarder. The
reverse has an eagle facing left on a thunderbolt with
head turned right; below are the letters CN. LENTVL,
the letters NT are in monogram. Bead and reel border,
Ref: Babelon 57, Crawford 549, Sydenham 753
For Further Reading:
a. Coins of the Roman Republic in the British Museum by H. A. Grueber
London, 1910, Vol. II, pgs. 360, 61
b. The Coinage of the Roman Republic by Edward A. Sydenham, 1976, pgs. 122, 241
c. Roman Republican Coinage Volume I by Michael H. Crawford 2001, pg. 544, 454
Sydenham places the date of this coin between 76–74 BC. He writes, “The date and connexion of this extremely rare aureus have been matters of dispute (see G. ibid.). Gold issues under the Republic are usually of an extraordinary character and, as in the case of Sulla’s aurei, are of non-Roman mintage. There seems little doubt that these gold coins are rightly assigned to the same moneyer who struck denarii in Spain; and it may be assumed that they were intended for distribution among Pompey’s troops at the of the campaign in 72 B.C.”The Coinage of the Roman Republic by Edward A. Sydenham, 1976, pgs. 122
Crawford disagrees with Sydenham and he places the date at 59 BC. He writes, “The weight standard of this issue (7.84 gr.) is close to that of the gold struck by Octavian from the series with IMP CAESAR and CAESAR DIVI F, onwards, but it can hardly be of the same period – a non-Triumviral gold issue so late as this would take a lot of explaining. Otherwise the issue has no point of contact, in style, fabric or weight standard, with any other Roman gold issue, a fact which excludes all attributions so far suggested. My tentative attribution is based on the following considerations:
(1) The form of the titulature most closely resembles that on no.548, which perhaps suggests an issue struck in similar circumstances.
(2) The weight standard is about half that of the Roman tetradrachms struck at Antioch from 53 onwards.
(3) The bead and reel border is throughout a distinctive feature of coins struck at Antioch.
(4) I find it hard to believe that the Cn. Lentulus of an issue as striking as this is otherwise unknown; the only available person is Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus, governor of Syria in 59-58; the issue will have been struck in his honour and will fall between the fine tetradrachms of Tigranes, ending in 69, and the inferior Roman tetradrachms, beginning in 53."