Classical Numismatic Group, LLC
Triton XXIII  14-15 Jan 2020
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Lot 677

Estimate: 3000 USD
Price realized: 4500 USD
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Civil War. AD 68-69. Fourrée Denarius (17.5mm, 2.85 g, 4h). Tarraco mint. Struck under Galba in Spain, April-June AD 68. LIBERTA[S], Draped bust of Libertas right, hair is waved from brow downward and knotted at back / P R to left and right across field, RESTITVTA below, pileus between two vertical daggers. Cf. RIC I 24; cf. CSB 24; cf. AM 49; cf. RSC 394; cf. BMCRE 7; cf. BN 8. Toned, some scratches, a couple of small breaks in plating show copper core, area of edge smoothing. VF. Extremely rare, the first we have offered since 2006.

On April 2nd or 3rd AD 68 Galba was hailed imperator by Spanish legions at Carthago Nova. Refusing to accept the title, he acted as legatus of the Senate and Roman people. Galba was openly supportive of the revolt of Vindex who also had the support of the Arverni and Remi among other of the Gallic tribes. At Vesontio in May of that year, the rival armies of Verginius and Vindex clashed, resulting in the death of Vindex and the utter destruction of his army. Shaken at the failure of Vindex, Galba stated publicly that he would not attempt to seize the empire. In the middle of June Galba was appointed princeps by the Senate upon the death of Nero. One of Galba's main motivations for supporting Vindex's revolt had been the role of the Senate in restoring constitutional freedom. Thus the reason for the Libertas Restituta type.

Peter-Hugo Martin, in his Die Anonymen Münzen des Jahres 68 nach Christus cites only five examples of this extraordinary type, in the Haag (now Leiden), London, Turin, Paris, and Vienna. Rarer by far than the celebrated EID MAR denarius struck by Brutus, the reverse type serves as a form of political propaganda reminding everyone, not only of the famous assassination of Julius Caesar, but of how quickly the then current revolt may succeed.

See CNG 72 (14 June 2006), lot 1405 for the last example we offered, which hammered at $18,000.
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