The rape of the Sabine women

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Jochen1, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

    Dear Friends of ancient mythology!

    We are advancing in the early history of Rome.

    The Coin:
    Roman Republic, L. Titurius L.f. Sabinus, gens Tituria
    AR - denar, 20 mm, 3.95 g
    Rome, 89 BC
    Obv.: bearded head of king Tatius r.
    behind SABIN, before T / A as monogram
    Rev.: Two Roman soldiers each carrying away a Sabinian woman
    in ex. L.TITVRI
    Ref.: Crawford 344/1a: Sydenham 698; Tituria 1
    VF, lightly toned, rev. slightly excentric
    ex Lakeview coll.
    The rev. shows the famous rape of the Sabine women. Thus we are in the time shortly after the foundation of Rome.

    Livius, Ab urbe cóndita I, 9:
    The Roman State had now become so strong that it was a match for any of its neighbours in war, but its greatness threatened to last for only one generation, since through the absence of women there was no hope of offspring, and there was no right of intermarriage with their neighbours. Acting on the advice of the senate, Romulus sent envoys amongst the surrounding nations to ask for alliance and the right of intermarriage on behalf of his new community. It was represented that cities, like everything else, sprung from the humblest beginnings, and those who were helped on by their own courage and the favour of heaven won for themselves great power and great renown. As to the origin of Rome, it was well known that whilst it had received divine assistance, courage and self-reliance were not wanting. There should, therefore, be no reluctance for men to mingle their blood with their fellow-men.

    Nowhere did the envoys meet with a favourable reception. Whilst their proposals were treated with contumely, there was at the same time a general feeling of alarm at the power so rapidly growing in their midst. Usually they were dismissed with the question, `whether they had opened an asylum for women, for nothing short of that would secure for them inter-marriage on equal terms.' The Roman youth could ill brook such insults, and matters began to look like an appeal to force.

    To secure a favourable place and time for such an attempt, Romulus, disguising his resentment, made elaborate preparations for the celebration of games in honour of `Equestrian Neptune,' which he called `the Consualia.' He ordered public notice of the spectacle to be given amongst the adjoining cities, and his people supported him in making the celebration as magnificent as their knowledge and resources allowed, so that expectations were raised to the highest pitch. There was a great gathering; people were eager to see the new City, all their nearest neighbours-the people of Caenina, Antemnae and Crustumerium-were there, and the whole Sabine population came, with their wives and families. They were invited to accept hospitality at the different houses, and after examining the situation of the City, its walls and the large number of dwelling-houses it included, they were astonished at the rapidity with which the Roman State had grown.

    When the hour for the games had come, and their eyes and minds were alike riveted on the spectacle before them, the preconcerted signal was given and the Roman youth dashed in all directions to carry off the maidens who were present. The larger part were carried off indiscriminately, but some particularly beautiful girls who had been marked out for the leading patricians were carried to their houses by plebeians told off for the task. One, conspicuous amongst them all for grace and beauty, is reported to have been carried off by a group led by a certain Talassius, and to the many inquiries as to whom she was intended for, the invariable answer was given, `For Talassius.' Hence the use of this word in the marriage rites.1 Alarm and consternation broke up the games, and the parents of the maidens fled, distracted with grief, uttering bitter reproaches on the violators of the laws of hospitality and appealing to the god to whose solemn games they had come, only to be the victims of impious perfidy.

    The abducted maidens were quite as despondent and indignant. Romulus, however, went round in person, and pointed out to them that it was all owing to the pride of their parents in denying right of intermarriage to their neighbours. They would live in honourable wedlock, and share all their property and civil rights, and--dearest of all to human nature-would be the mothers of freemen. He begged them to lay aside their feelings of resentment and give their affections to those whom fortune had made masters of their persons. An injury had often led to reconciliation and love; they would find their husbands all the more affectionate because each would do his utmost, so far as in him lay to make up for the loss of parents and country. These arguments were reinforced by the endearments of their husbands who excused their conduct by pleading the irresistible force of their passion--a plea effective beyond all others in appealing to a woman's nature.

    The Sabines were ancient people of central Italy, centered principally in the Sabine Hills, NE of Rome. Not much dependable information on them can be gathered. They were probably Oscan-speaking and therefore may be classed among the Sabelli. From the earliest days there was a Sabine element in Rome. After foundation of the double kingdom of Romulus and Titus Tatius the Romans were called Quirites too (Populus Romanus Quiritium), referring to Cures, the capital of the Sabinians, where Numa Pompilius was originated too. The story of the rape of the Sabine women to supply wives for the womanless followers of Romulus is a legend explaining this fact. Many Roman religious practices are said to have Sabine origins. Rome was involved in numerous wars with the inland Sabines; Horatius is supposed to have defeated them in the 5th cent. BC, and Marcus Curius Dentatus conquered them in 290 BC. The Sabines became Roman citizens 268 BC. The Samnites were possibly a branch of the Sabines. Anyway often the Samnites were confused by the Romans with the Sabinians.

    I have added

    (1) a pic of the statue "The rape of the Sabine women" by the Flemish painter Giovanni da Bologna from the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, AD 1579, and

    (2) a pic of the homonymous painting by Nicolas Poussin from AD 1637/38, Louvre/Paris.

    Best regards
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  3. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    These come in several varieties.

    With palm rather than T/A

    Palm and A.PV (public silver) fourree
    octavius, Jochen1, ominus1 and 3 others like this.
  4. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE


    RR Titurius Sabinus 89 BCE AR Den Tatius Sabine rape S 249 Cr 344-1a

    RR Titurius Sabinus 89 BCE AR Den Tarpeia buried shields S 251 Cr 344-2a
    octavius, Jochen1, ominus1 and 2 others like this.
  5. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes?

    Fantastic coin, and a great telling of the story!
    Jochen1 likes this.
  6. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  7. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    L. Titurius L.f. Sabinus. (89 B.C.)
    AR Denarius
    O: Bare head of King Tatius right, SABIN downward behind, TA in monogram before;
    R: Two Roman soldiers running left, each bearing a Sabine woman in his arms, L·TITVRI in ex.
    Crawford 344/1a,RSC I Tituria 2, Sydenham 698a, SRCV I 249
    octavius, Jochen1, Bing and 3 others like this.
  8. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    Tarpeia, the traitorous Vestal virgin, and the noble Sabine maidens.

    JRHA564LG.jpg KVA0821.jpg
  9. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

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