Philippus. Rome, 56 BC

Philippus. Rome, 56 BC


AR Denarius, 4.05g (18mm, 6h). Head of Ancus Marcius to right (fourth king of Rome); behind, lituus / PHILIPPVS Statue of rider on horseback right over an aqueduct, within each bow from the bridge A Q V A MAR. Under the horse a small flower.

Pedigree: Ex Blaser-Frey Auction 12, 17 January 1964, lot 1181

References:  Crawford 425/1; Sydenham 919; BMC 3890; B. Marcia 28; Harlan 15

Grade: Minor overall wear, otherwise nice cabinet toning. Good VF (rr1045)

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This denarius commemorates the construction of the Aqua Marcia aqueduct. The Aqua Marcia was one of the 11 aqueducts that served Rome and was also the longest. Ancus Marcius whose head graces the front of this coin was the fourth king of Rome from c. 642-617 BC and clearly the Aqueduct was named in honor of him. The aqueduct was built in c. 144 BC by the praetor Quintus Marcius Rex, a relative of Julius Caesar, where a statue was placed in his honor. Crawford points out a problematic fact however in discerning the statue on the coin with the actual statue at the site. The statue of Q. Marcius Rex at the aqueduct was not equestrian in nature and thus the imagery on the coin is somewhat confusing. Crawford believes however that the equestrian statue on this coin must be Q. Marcius Rex atop of aqueduct that he was responsible for building. A lituus is possibly the symbol associated with the moneyer.