Roman Social War. Bovianum (?), 89 BC

Roman Social War. Bovianum (?), 89 BC

5,750.00

AR Denarius, 3.78g (18mm, 5h). Head of Italia with laurel wreath, behind head, VITELIU (Italia in local language) / Standing soldier with bull to his side.

Pedigree: Ex Glendining’s, London, 20 Feb 1972, lot 157

References:  Campana 147; Sydenham 627

Grade: Some minor overall wear, but in great condition for the type. EF  (rr1057)

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The Social War was a volatile time in Rome’s long history. The War was sparked by the denial to admit the Socii (Italians outside of Rome) into Roman society. The Socii had fought side by side with Romans in conflicts. This led to a desire to be incorporated into the society and get all the benefits fitting Roman citizens. Marcus Livius Drusus, a tribune, appealed to the Roman Senate, to have equality to all. His attempts were met with hostility by the Senate and led to his assassination which sparked the Social War.

The Marsi in the north and the Samnites in the south formed a confederacy and named themselves the Italia. They went so far as to create their own government and issue coinage, of which this example belongs. The army under Italia had success in the battles against the Romans but the conflict was ultimately settled when Lucius Julius Caesar helped persuade the Romans to accept those Italians that did not participate in the revolt.