King Tatius, mythology and the founding of Rome

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by expat, Apr 19, 2024.

  1. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else Supporter

    At Saturnalia my Santa sent me a coin of King Tatius. As I was not aware of this character some reading was needed.

    The coin I was gifted alluded to the rape of the Sabine women


    According to the Roman foundation myth, Titus Tatius, also called Tatius Sabinus, was king of the Sabines from Cures and joint-ruler of the Kingdom of Rome for several years. During the reign of Romulus, the first king of Rome, Tatius declared war on Rome in response to the incident known as The Rape of the Sabine Women. After he captured the stronghold atop the Capitoline Hill through the treachery of Tarpeia, the Sabines and Romans fought an epic battle that concluded when the abducted Sabine women intervened to convince the two sides to reconcile and end the war. The two kingdoms were joined and the two kings ruled jointly until Tatius' murder five years later. The joint kingdom was still called Rome and the citizens of the city were still called Romans, but as a community, they were to be called Quirites.

    Painting of the Sabines intervening.

    So, enchanted as I was with the story, I purchased another Tatius issue. This one is related to the story and the greed of a woman who saw riches in her future.


    L. TITURIUS L. F. SABINUS. Denarius (89 BC). Rome.
    Head of Tatius right, SABIN behind, A.PV before / L TITVRI in exergue, Tarpeia buried to her waist in shields, fending off two soldiers about to throw their shields on her. Tituria 5
    sear5 #252,Cr344/2c, Syd 699a.
    ( 3.69 g. 19.4 mm ).
    In Roman legend, Tarpeia, daughter of the Roman commander Spurius Tarpeius, was a Vestal Virgin who betrayed the city of Rome to the Sabines at the time of their women's abduction for what she thought would be a reward of jewelry. She was instead crushed to death by Sabine shields and her body cast from the southern cliff of Rome's Capitoline Hill, thereafter called after her the Tarpeian Rock (Rupes Tarpeia).

    Please feel free to comment, show your Tatius coins or anything mythological related.
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  4. GarrettB

    GarrettB Active Member

    Nice coin, expat and thanks for sharing that piece of history (which is new to me).
    Bing, I'm impressed how you seem to have a coin for all occasions!
    expat likes this.
  5. Cherd

    Cherd Junior Member Supporter

    Nice coins!

    Both varieties shown are on my "To Get" list, but I haven't managed to land either yet. Coins like these make it more fun to tell people about old stories.
    GarrettB and expat like this.
  6. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Thanks. I don't have the nicest coins, but I've been collecting for over 40 years so I do have a few coins to share. :angelic:
    GarrettB and expat like this.
  7. GarrettB

    GarrettB Active Member

    Not at all, Bing. You have some lovely coins. I'm particularly impressed with your collection of Mark Antony legionary Denarii. Must have taken some time to assemble them. 40 years is very impressive and requires some dedication. I've been collecting ancients for about 4 years (started when I was 39).
  8. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I was 32 when I purchased my first Ancient, which, by the way, was a MA Legionary Denarius (Legio XI). I've told the story before but will share again. I was in an acting troupe as a teenager. One of the many roles I played was Mark Anthony in Shakespear's the Death of Julius Caesar. So, when I saw I could afford an MA coin, I had to have it. My youngest son I named Marcus Antonius. So, you see I have an obsession with all things MA. And to keep it about numismatics.....
    Marcus Antonius  1.jpg Marcus Antonius  2.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2024
    philologus_1, GarrettB, expat and 3 others like this.
  9. Mr.MonkeySwag96

    Mr.MonkeySwag96 Well-Known Member

    I got a denarius from the same moneyer, but a different reverse type:


    ROMAN REPUBLIC L. Titurius Sabinus Moneyer, 85 BC AR Denarius. 3.89g, 18.2mm MINTED: Rome mint, 89 BC REF: Crawford 344/2b; Sydenham 699 OBVERSE: SABIN, bare head of King Tatius right; palm to lower right. REVERSE: Tarpeia, facing, buried in shields, raising both hands in protest; to left and right, two soldiers about to cast shields at her; star in crescent above; L.TITVRI in exergue.

    Grade/Notes: Good Very Fine. Well-struck, centered and complete.

    Historical Notes: The reverse type shows the killing of Tarpeia, the Vestal Virgin who betrayed Rome to the Sabines, who were attempting to break into the city to rescue their womenfolk, who had been abducted by the Romans. When she greedily asked as payment what the soldiers wore on their arms, meaning their jewellery, the Sabine men instead took off their shields and threw them on her, crushing her to death. Her body was then tossed off the steep cliff of the Capitoline Hill, which henceforth became known as the Tarpeian Rock, a place where the Romans would execute traitors, perjurors and murderers.

    Ex. Minotaur Coins
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  10. GarrettB

    GarrettB Active Member

    I wasn't aware of that, Bing. Fortunate you didn't play Brutus and need to buy one of those...
    Apologies for any hijacking of the thread, folks!
  11. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Yeah, that would be expensive, and my son would not be thankful.

    I too apologize for hijacking this thread.
  12. GinoLR

    GinoLR Well-Known Member

    The design of L. Titurius Sabinus' denarius in 89 BC has been an inspiration for later artists.
    No doubt, this denarius represents Tarpeia being stoned with shields: the pile of shields from which her bust emerges is clear enough. This image was reproduced some decades later on denarii of P. Petronius Turpilianus, in 19/18 BC, without the warriors, just with Tarpeia facing, arms extended, half-buried in a pile of shields.

    But it is obvious that some people in modern times had an alternative reading of the scene visible on Sabinus' denarii : the woman could be a Sabine woman trying to stop the fight between Latins and Sabines. I think that David's painting "The Intervention of the Sabine Women" (1799) was inspired by Sabinus' denarius, or some other modern picture inspired by the denarius. At the woman's feet the pile of shields has been replaced by a pile of babies.
    Even later, in Tintin in the Congo, Hergé drew inspiration from David's picture, therefore from L. Titurius Sabinus' denarius, for a similar scene...

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