Q. Minucius Thermus M. f. AR Denarius. Rome, 103 BC. Helmeted head of Mars to left / Two warriors in combat, one on left protecting a fallen comrade; Q•THERM•MF (ligate) in exergue. Crawford 319/1; BMCRR Italy 653-6; RSC Minucia 19. 3.91g, 19mm, 1h.
Good Very Fine.
From the inventory of Roma Numismatics Ltd.
This coin records the brave deeds of the moneyer's ancestor and namesake, Quintus Minucius Q. f. L. n. Thermus, who was elected consul in 193 and assigned Liguria as his province. From his base in Pisa, he waged war against the Ligurians. His command was extended for the following year, during which time he defeated the Ligurian forces near Pisa. He remained as proconsul in Liguria for 191–190. During this time it appears that he may have won the distinction of the corona civica, the second highest military award to which a Roman could aspire, by saving the life of a fellow citizen in battle through slaying an enemy on a spot not further held by the enemy army that day - this act being depicted on the reverse.
He may also have been the same Thermus who served as military tribune under Scipio in North Africa in 202 BC. Appian relates that about this time there was a cavalry engagement between the forces of Hannibal and those of Scipio near Zama, in which the latter had the advantage. On the succeeding days they had sundry skirmishes until Scipio, learning that Hannibal was very short of supplies and was expecting a convoy, sent the military tribune, [Quintus Minucius] Thermus, by night to attack the supply train. Thermus took a position on the crest of a hill at a narrow pass, where he killed 4,000 Africans, took as many more prisoners, and brought the supplies to Scipio.