Roman Republic, P. [Publius] Sulpicius Galba, AR Denarius, 69 BCE. Obv. Veiled head of Vesta right, S•C• [Senatus consulto] downwards behind / Rev. Sacrificial implements (Long knife [secespita], short-handled simpulum or culullus,* and single-bladed axe [securis] ornamented with lion’s head**, left to right), AE in left field, CVR in right field [together = Aedilis Curulis]; in exergue, P•GALB.*** Crawford 406/1, RSC I [Babelon] Sulpicia 7, Sear RCV I 345, BMCRR 3517, Harlan, RRM I Ch. 28 at pp. 160-163 [Harlan, Michael, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins, 81 BCE-64 BCE (2012)], Sydenham 839, RBW Collection 1454.**** 18 mm., 3.97 g. Purchased from Kölner Münzkabinett, April 2021; ex. Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. KG, Auction 347, Lot 918, March 22, 2021. (With 19th[?]-Century handwritten French-language coin ticket, citing Babelon Sulpicia 6 [bearing the reverse legend AED-CVR] on one side, and Babelon Sulpicia 7 [this coin-type, bearing the reverse legend AE-CVR] on the other.) The ticket that came with the coin; the dealer thinks it's 19th century but I have a feeling it's a bit more recent than that (one side appears to be in pencil, and the other in ink): * “Culullus: The Culullus is a horn-shaped vessel like the rhython held aloft by the Penates, holding milk or wine. This was an emblem of the Vestales Virgines as well as of the pontifices.” https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Culullus. But see Jones, John Melville, A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins (Seaby, London 1990) (entry for “Culillus or culullus” at pp. 78-79): “This is said to have been the name of a drinking cup used in religious ceremonies by the Roman pontifices and Vestal Virgins. For this reason the digger or scoop which appears on the reverse of a denarius of P. Sulpicius Galba issued in 69 BC, with a head of Vesta on the obverse, has been identified as a culillus. It seems, however, to be only a simpulum, perhaps with a slightly shorter handle than usual.” See also Jones, entry for “Simpulum” at p. 290: “the name for a ladle made of earthenware which was one of the traditional implements of the pontifices at Rome. It should be distinguished from a culullus, which was a drinking vessel.” ** If I'm interpreting it correctly, the "lion's head" at the top of the axe (according to BMCRR) is facing upwards, with his mane at the bottom, his open mouth at the top with a tooth protruding from his lower jaw on the left, and his ear to the right. Oddly, neither Crawford nor Harlan nor RSC nor Sear mentions the lion's head. I don't have access to Sydenham. ***The moneyer is known to have been “appointed one of the judges in the trial against Verres in B.C. 70 [for extortion and corruption as provincial governor of Sicily, prosecuted by Cicero; see https://www.famous-trials.com/gaius-verres] but was rejected by Verres on account of his reputation for severity. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the consulship in B.C. 63, and he is mentioned as pontifex in B.C. 57, and augur in B.C. 49.” (BMCRR Vol. I at p. 433 n. 1.) See also Harlan, RRM I at 160 (quoting Cicero’s characterization of Sulpicius Galba, in a letter to his brother Atticus in July 65 BCE, as “sobrius et sanctus”). Crawford states at Vol. I p. 418 that the moneyer was already a pontifex (i.e., a member of the senior college of priests) at the time of his term as moneyer in 69 BCE -- as is demonstrated by the head of Vesta on the obverse of this coin (given that the pontiffs had oversight of the ceremonies of Vesta, trials of delinquent Vestal Virgins, etc.; see Harlan, RRM I at p. 161), as well as by the depiction of sacrificial implements on the reverse. The moneyer’s position as curule aedile in 69 BCE, expressly mentioned in the coin’s reverse legend (AE - CVR), was separate from his status as a pontifex. At any given time in Rome, there were two curule aediles -- i.e., patrician aediles entitled to use the sella curulis (curule chair). They were the magistrates charged with “the general administration of the city and its buildings and the organizing of public games and spectacles.” (See Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins, supra, entry for “Aedile” at p. 5.) See also the NumisWiki entry for “Aediles Curules,” from Stevenson’s A Dictionary of Roman Coins (1889), at https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Aediles Curules: “To the curule ediles were entrusted the care of the sacred edifices (especially the temple of Jupiter), the tribunals of justice, the city walls, and the theatres; in short, all that was essential to the religion, defence, and embellishment of the city, came under their cognizance.” According to Harlan (RRM I at p. 163), this coin represents “the first time under the Sullan constitution that an aedile minted” as moneyer. The specific special purpose for the Senate’s authorization of this issue (as signified by the “S•C” on the obverse) is unknown, although Harlan suggests (id.) that the purpose may have been related to the need to purchase extra grain from Sicily to alleviate the severe grain shortages during that period, exacerbated by Verres’s peculations as provincial governor. Cf. the Stevenson entry on Aediles Curules quoted in NumisWiki at the link above, citing various coin issues expressly depicting corn ears, and noting that “[t]he addition of EX. S. C. denotes that those Curule Ediles purchased wheat for the supply of the Roman population, with the public money, by authority of the Senate.” ****The coin pictured as RBW Collection 1454 (at p. 301 of the book) is actually the same type as my coin ([RSC I] Babelon Sulpicia 7, bearing the reverse legend AE - CVR), even though the book’s text (at p. 300) erroneously identifies it as [RSC I] Babelon Sulpicia 6, mistakenly characterizing it as bearing the reverse legend AED-CVR. (Both types have the same Crawford number, namely 406/1.) Here is the text: And here is the RBW Collection photo, in which it's clear that the reverse legend says AE - CVR rather than AED-CVR, meaning that the coin should properly have been identified as Babelon Sulpicia 7 rather than Babelon Sulpicius 6: The RBW Collection coin was sold by Numismatic Ars Classica (NAC) with that erroneous identification on May 17, 2012. Here's the photo of the same coin from ACSearch, as listed by NAC. Like on mine, there's obviously no "D." (Note that it sold for about four times as much as mine, despite the missing lion's head! That's a very beautiful, luminous portrait of Vesta, though.) For comparison purposes, here's an example from the British Museum which does have AED-CVR on the reverse (with a ligate AE): And an example sold by Roma on Dec. 17, 2020: Interestingly, NAC proceeded to sell at least two other Sulpicius Galba AE-CVR examples in 2015, and another in 2016, all with the exact same erroneous identification as purportedly bearing the AED-CVR legend. Making the mistake once is odd; I don't know what to say about four times! Here are two of the three others, all I can fit in this post. (Note the very clear lion's head on the second one): The mis-identification of the RBW Collection coin is hardly a major error, of course, but it still surprises me that both NAC (repeatedly) and the authors of the book could have missed it. The distinction isn't exactly obscure. It just goes to show that nobody's perfect, no matter how esteemed or reputable, and that one should always try to double-check and confirm the identifications of one's coins when it's possible. Please post any or all of the following: (1) coins depicting Vesta, (2) coins depicting sacrificial implements, (3) coins that came with very old coin tickets, and/or (4) anything else you think is relevant.