C. Annius, North Italy. c. 82-81 BC

C. Annius, North Italy. c. 82-81 BC


AR Denarius, 3.91g (7h, 20mm). C·ANNI·T·F·T·N· PRO·COS·EX·S·C Diademed and draped female bust r.; below, M. Rev. Victory in quadriga r., holding reins and palm-branch; above horses, Q·. In exergue, L·FABI·L·F·HISP.

Pedigree: From the E.E. Clain Stefanelli collection

References:  Babelon Annia 3 and Fabia 17. Sydenham 748c. Crawford 366/2a var. RBW 1378

Grade:  Good VF, toned  (rr1023)

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C. Annius was a moneyer during a very intense time of change in Rome’s history.  At exactly the time of the striking of this coin, the dictator Sulla was firmly entrenched in changing the Roman style of government.  His constitutional reforms are well-known and were meant to strengthen the Roman Republic. His main intention was to establish the supremacy of the Senate in the Roman State and for this he was successful as it remained strong until its demise. A few of his reforms were increasing the number of courts for criminal trials, a new treason law that would prevent insurrection by provincial governors or army commanders and more laws protecting citizens from the judicial system.

After Sulla felt satisfied with his work he retired to his home in Puteoli in Campania where he died shortly after in 78 BC.  Sulla is often compared to the Greek reformer Solon (c. 638 – c. 558 BC), who instituted reforms in Athens and then left once completed.