Roman Republic Mn. Aemelius Lepidus AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck ca. 114-113 BC Dia.: 18 mm Wt.: 3.83 g Obv.: ROMA, ligate MA; Laureate, diademed and draped bust of Roma, right. * behind. Rev.: MN AEMILIO; Equestrian statue right on three arches, L E P between arches. Ref.: Crawford 291/1 Ex zumbly Collection (AMCC Auction 1, lot 112; December 1, 2018), Ex Demetrios Armounta Collection (CNG E-Auction 325, lot 490; April 23, 2014), Purchased from Colosseum Coin Exchange (with tag) Obverse: A Beautiful Portrait of Roma When I think of Roma on Republican era coins I tend to think of the wing-helmeted warrior goddess ready to to battle with the enemies of the republic. However, this example shows Roma outfitted in a fashion better suited to a convivium than to a battlefield. I think it’s interesting to note how the iconography of Roma adapted over the century or so from the beginning of the denarius denomination down to this issue in order to accommodate designs showing Roma in a much less martial light. One might assume that this less war-like Roma could reflect the emergence of a relatively more peaceful period in Roman history. However, with the Cimbrian War just heating up this seems not to be the case with this particular design. The ligate ROMA is also visually interesting and elegant in my opinion. Reverse: Equestrian Statue and Aquaduct Mn. (Manlius?) Aemilius Lepidus issued this coin as Moneyer between 114-113 BC. Not much is known about him other than he was a member of the gens Aemilii, which was one of the most ancient and prestigious families in Rome. He may have been either an uncle or the grandfather of the famous Triumvir Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. The reverse shows the Aqua Marcia, whose construction was begun while a member of the gens Aemilii was Censor in 179 BC. The equestrian statue shown atop the arches of the aqueduct on the coin may have been of this Censor or possibly some other distinguished ancestor of the family. Crawford makes mention of a theory that the three arches are those that carried the Aqua Marcia over the Via Praenestina. As such, it might be reasonable to guess this intersection as one of the possible locations for the statue. I took this photo at the Capitoline Museum in Rome. It shows a Greek bronze horse that had a Roman rider added to it during the republican era. This was done around the same time as the minting of my above coin and shows the popularity of both Greek art and equestrian statues at the time. The Aqua Marcia was one of the oldest and longest aqueducts in ancient Rome and was renowned for its cold and good tasting water. Photo from Wikipedia. It is always fascinating when the remains of the structures depicted on ancient coins and art are still extant so that we can visit them and compare. I was fortunate to get to see many of the aqueducts in Rome on my trip last year but unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of this one so the above was taken from Wikipedia. Provenance From April 2014 to December 2018 this coin resided in the illustrious @zumbly Collection (what, no tags bro?). I purchased it in the first ever AMCC auction run by another great coin friend, @Severus Alexander . These recent provenance connections help make this coin an especial favorite of mine. Before April 2014 this coin resided in the Demetrios Armounta Collection (according to CNG listing). I do not know anything about this collection other than it was quite large and seems to have been sold in its entirety by CNG in 2013 and 2014. When I emailed CNG asking for information about the collection they said that they had no information to give . The best I can tell from some of the other coins is that this collector was active at least into the 2000s. No collector tag was included. The coin came with a tag from Colosseum Coin Exchange. I assume that this is the venue from which Demetrios Armounta purchased the coin. The tag doesn’t provide any dates, sale or auction listings. The dealer was active from the late 1960s until at least the 2000s. I am not sure if they are still in business as the only website I found for them was in Chinese (So they are either no longer at that domain or have permanently moved to Macao). Does anyone know if Colosseum Coin Exchange kept an inventory or online catalog of their coins that might allow me to further research the provenance for this coin? Based on when some of the other coins from the Demetrios Armounta Collection were acquired I am guessing this coin might have been purchased privately or at a show at some point between 2000 to 2010. I would be willing to compensate anyone for their time who would be willing to help look into archives I might not have access to (send PM). Please show: Your coins with an elegant Roma Your republican era architecture coins Your coins from the Demetrios Armounta Collection Your coins from the zumbly Collection (this one is a gimme for you Z ) Any other coins you want to show or think are relevant.