T. Vettius Sabinus. Rome, 66 BC

T. Vettius Sabinus. Rome, 66 BC


AR Serate Denarius, 3.93g (19mm, 6h). Bareheaded and bearded head of King Tatius right; SABINVS downward to left, S • C downward to right, TA monogram (for Tatius) below chin / Togate figure, holding reins and magistrate's scepter, driving biga left; IVDEX above, stalk of grain to right, T. VETTIVS in exergue.

Pedigree: Triton VI, 14 January 2003, lot 701

References: Crawford 404/1; Sydenham 905; Vettia 2; RBW 1446

Grade: Near EF, nicely toned and well centered  (rr1064)

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The coinage from the Roman Republic is largely unknown men in history. When we get closer to Imperatorial Rome we start to understand the men that strike and most of the time grace the coinage. Up until then there are only beautiful images that allude to the individual moneyers. In this case the moneyer uses the image of the legendary early king of Rome, Tatius who ruled with Romulus. He was initially ruler of the Sabines, another allusion to the moneyer’s name. Some scholars have suggested that the reverse figure is a certain Sp. Vettius who appointed the King Numa, second of the seven kings that ruled Rome before the foundation of the Republic in c. 509 BC. Crawford suggests that this is not likely and the figure is only a magistrate engaged in “judicial activity”.