Faustus Cornelius Sulla. Rome, c. 57/6 BC

Faustus Cornelius Sulla. Rome, c. 57/6 BC


AR Denarius, 4.08g (16mm, 2h). FAVSTVS, draped bust of Diana right, wearing stephane with crescent, cruciform earring and pendant necklace, lituus behind / FELIX, L. Cornelius Sulla Felix seated left on raised curule chair above kneeling figures of Bocchus, before, who offers an olive branch, and Jugurtha (the king of Numidia), behind, hands tied behind his back.

Pedigree: Ex Prof. Dr. Fritz Hommel. Collector's notes: purchased 13 Oct 1976 from Auction S.A.G. Basel for 3200 DM

References: Crawford 426,1; Sydenham 879

Grade: Off-center on obverse and reverse. Die break on reverse extending from head of figure behind Sulla. Reasonably nice strike and cabinet toning. VF+ (rr1080)

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Faustus Cornelius Sulla was the son of the dictator L. Cornelius Sulla Felix. Upon his father’s death in 78 BC, a family friend Lucullus took over guardianship of Faustus and his sister Cornelia. In adulthood, the younger Sulla married Pompeia, the daughter of Pompey the Great. In fact, Pompey took Faustus on campaign with him to the East with the goal of settling a dispute in Judaea between two royal brothers. In the end the Romans took advantage of their position of power and stripped royal titles from the brothers and made Judaea subservient to the Republic. Faustus was apparently the first to climb the walls of Jerusalem in that infamous battle.

Later when Pompey and Julius Caesar were fighting for power, Faustus took the side of his father in law. After the Battle of Thapsus, Faustus was killed by a supporter of Caesar.

This coin was struck when he was a moneyer to honor his late father who is reflected on the reverse.