Last independent king of Numidia

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Parthicus, Oct 24, 2021.

  1. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Numidia Juba I.jpg
    Numidia. AR denarius (3.53 g). Juba I (60-46 BC). Obverse: Bearded bust of Juba right, with diadem and scepter, hair in fancy curls, Latin inscription before face REX IVBA (King Juba). Reverse: Octastyle (eight-columned) temple, Neo-Punic legend around Yubai hammamleket (King Juba). Reverse strongly off-center. References: SNG Copenhagen 523, Sear Greek Coins 6607. This coin: Ancient & Medieval Coins Canada Auction 3, lot 93 (July 24, 2021).

    Numidia was the region in North Africa immediately to the west of Carthage and extended to the border of Mauretania; its territory is now western Tunisia and northern Algeria. The inhabitants were originally nomads, related to the Berbers, who picked up agriculture and began living in settled towns by copying their Carthaginian neighbors, while remaining politically independent. During the Second Punic War, Masinissa unified the Numidian tribes and allied himself with Rome, and was named the first King of Numidia. Numidia continued to be an important ally of Rome in North Africa. In 81 BC Rome sent Pompey to help restore King Hiempsal to the Numidian throne; Hiempsal's son and future successor Juba may have formed an early admiration for Pompey at this time. Regardless, Juba sided with Pompey against Julius Caesar when the Roman Civil War broke out at the start of 49 BC. In August 49 BC, Juba's troops routed a Caesarean force under Gaius Scribonius Curio, killing the former Tribune of the Plebs. Juba led a large force to join Metellus Scipio at the Battle of Thrapsus in 46 BC. However, realizing that Scipio was doomed, Juba opted to stay out of the battle and led his troops away from the fight. Finding their retreat cut off, Juba and a Roman Pompeian general named Marcus Petreius made a suicide pact and decided to fight each other to the death, so that at least one could die an honorable death. Petreius won the duel. In the aftermath, the eastern part of Numidia became the Roman province of Africa Nova, while the western region was annexed to the Kingdom of Numidia. A son of Juba I, named Juba II, would later serve as King of Mauretania under Augustus.

    I like the distinctive portrait on this coin, especially the hairstyle with dozens of detailed ringlets. Despite a decent amount of wear the portrait is still clear on this specimen, and all the letters of REX IVBA are present (even if the A is just barely). The reverse, of course, is heavily off-center, but for this type the obverse is the main attraction, so I don't mind the off-center strike. I ended up buying this coin thanks to winning a contest (about Roman coinage) run by @Ocatarinetabellatchitchix in December 2020. My prize, generously donated by @Severus Alexander , was a $100 CAD credit for the next Ancient & Medieval Coins Canada auction. Without that credit, I might not have been willing to purchase this coin, which is outside my usual collecting area, but with the subsidy it seemed a lot more reasonable. Please share your coins of Juba I, or other Numidian coins, or whatever else is related.
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  3. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana

    Nice! I've been wanting this type for awhile and yours has a great obverse.

    NUMIDIAN KINGDOM Juba I - AE28 ZeusAmmon Elephant 4214.JPG
    AE28. 16.49g, 28.2mm. Uncertain Numidian mint, circa 60-46 BC. Mazard 92; MAA 35; SNG Copenhagen 529. O: Head of Zeus-Ammon right. R: Elephant standing right; Punic inscription IOBAI HMMLKT in two lines above.
    Ex Vitangelo Collection

    Here's one with Juba's son and daughter-in-law...

    MAURETANIA Juba II Cleo Selene - AR Denarius 4132.JPG KINGDOM OF MAURETANIA. Juba II and Cleopatra Selene II
    AR Denarius. 2.91g, 17.2mm. Iol-Caesarea mint, circa 20 BC - AD 20. Mazard 361; MAA 108; SNG Copenhagen 566. O: REX IVBA, diademed head of Juba right. R: BACIΛICCA KΛEΟΠΑΤΡA, diademed and draped bust of Cleopatra Selene left.
    Ex Stein A. Evensen Collection, purchased from John Jencek, July 2009
  4. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Well-Known Member

    Great pick-up, one of my favorite coins, fantastic portrait. Congrats. Juba.jpg
  5. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander find me at NumisForums

    Great coin, and one I was definitely eyeing for myself! I must say I prefer my photo though. :p I enjoyed your writeup very much!

    An important correction: while I did contribute, @Ocatarinetabellatchitchix ended up funding most of that prize. He is an awesome guy like that. :D
  6. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    +VGO.DVCKS and Parthicus like this.
  7. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    I was the underbidder on that Juba denarius – there were so many attractive coins in AMCC3! I'm happy that this one ended up with you, @Parthicus .

    My only Numidian coin so far:
    Griechen – Zeugitania, Numidien, AE 30, Micipsa.png
    Kings of Numidia, Massinissas or Micipsa, ca. 203–118 BC, AE31. Obv: head of king (?), laureate, l. Rev: horse galloping l.; below, pellet. 31mm, 20.15g. Ref: SNG Copenhagen 505–7; MAA 18a.
    Spaniard, +VGO.DVCKS, Pavlos and 6 others like this.
  8. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Well-Known Member

  9. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  10. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Nope, @Parthicus and @Orielensis, I was the one who only bid C150 on that! @Parthicus, from your OP, I can echo @Orielensis about being glad it went to such a demonstrably good home.
    ...I was really just looking for one representative example of Numidia, and I liked the coiffure. Evoking this, from Trajan's Column.
    BERBERS, ALMORAVIDS, MOORS, BEST ONE, Lusius_Quietus_on_Column_of_Trajan.jpg
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