Res Publica Coin Gallery

Ancient coins in the collection of Jordan Montgomery, focused on the Roman Republic and related series. The attributions and information are all verified to the best of my ability but, if I have made a mistake, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to rectify it. For more information about the reference works listed, a bibliography is provided. Additionally, this site is made available purely for informational purposes and none of the coins are currently for sale.

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is copyright Jordan Montgomery and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Home / Tag silver /

Cr. 83/3 "Spearhead-right" quinarius, after 212 BC, Apulian(?) Mint

Cr083.3-1200.JPG Cr. 220/1 M·IVNI(Marcus Junius Silanus?) AR Denarius, 145 B.C., Rome mintThumbnailsCr. 544/20 Marc Antony AR denarius, 32-31 BC, Leg VII, Patrae(?) mintCr. 220/1 M·IVNI(Marcus Junius Silanus?) AR Denarius, 145 B.C., Rome mintThumbnailsCr. 544/20 Marc Antony AR denarius, 32-31 BC, Leg VII, Patrae(?) mintCr. 220/1 M·IVNI(Marcus Junius Silanus?) AR Denarius, 145 B.C., Rome mintThumbnailsCr. 544/20 Marc Antony AR denarius, 32-31 BC, Leg VII, Patrae(?) mintCr. 220/1 M·IVNI(Marcus Junius Silanus?) AR Denarius, 145 B.C., Rome mintThumbnailsCr. 544/20 Marc Antony AR denarius, 32-31 BC, Leg VII, Patrae(?) mintCr. 220/1 M·IVNI(Marcus Junius Silanus?) AR Denarius, 145 B.C., Rome mintThumbnailsCr. 544/20 Marc Antony AR denarius, 32-31 BC, Leg VII, Patrae(?) mintCr. 220/1 M·IVNI(Marcus Junius Silanus?) AR Denarius, 145 B.C., Rome mintThumbnailsCr. 544/20 Marc Antony AR denarius, 32-31 BC, Leg VII, Patrae(?) mint

Roman Republic AR quinarius(1.62g, 15mm, 5h). Anonymous(Spearhead series), after 212 BC, Apulian(?) mint. Helmeted head of Roma right, V behind / The Dioscuri riding right; below, ROMA and Spearhead. Crawford 83/3

Ex Pegasi Spartan sale S77, 1/16/2018, lot 185, ex Naville Numismatics 1, ex Naville Numismatics Auction 1, 6/15/2013, lot 62, ex Numismatica Ars Classica Auction R, 5/16/2007, lot 1263


This spearhead quinarius is of a completely different style than the majority of examples of the type. It is my belief that it is likely from the Apulian spearhead series whereas most spearhead quinarii based on their style should likely be placed in Sardinia either directly before or directly after the C, MA, AVR series minted under the Sardinian Praetors. Read below for how I came to this conclusion.

In RRC Crawford actually defines two separate Spearhead issues: Crawford(Cr.) 83, containing victoriatus(83/1a and 83/1b), denarius(83/2) and quinarius(83/3) denominations, and Crawford 88 containing 60-as gold(88/1), denarius(88/2a and 88/2b), and as through uncia bronzes(88/3 through 88/8). He assigns both series to a mint in Southeast Italy(Apulia), Cr. 83 coming first circa 211 B.C. and Cr. 88 coming later circa 209 B.C.. Interestingly, while the Cr. 88/2 denarii and Cr. 88/3a asses have the spearhead facing to the right, all the other denominations of both Cr. 83 and Cr. 88 have the spearhead facing up. In "Unpublished Roman Republican Bronze Coins" from Essays Hersh, Roberto Russo further breaks down the bronze portion of Cr. 88 into three separate series separated by style and fabric, the first of which(referred to as 88A) he dates to circa 211 B.C. and places in Southeast Italy, the second of which(88B) he dates to circa 195 B.C. and places in Central Italy and the third of which(88C), in which he includes the spearhead-to-the-right asses as well as an unpublished spearhead-to-the-right semis, he dates to circa 185 B.C. and places at the Rome mint. Russo does not discuss the silver at all in this paper, but given that there have now been shown to be at least three Spearhead bronze issues it follows there might be more silver to look for...

More recently, Andrew McCabe has pointed out in this presentation(a preview of an upcoming paper) given at INC Taormina, that Russo's "88B" series are actually a stylistic match to the bronzes of the Sardinian praetor issues of circa 211-208 B.C. and further that the Spearhead quinarii(at least those of the normal style...) are actually a stylistic match for the rare series of quinarii of the Sardinian Praetors as well and assigns both the Cr. 83/2 denarii and Cr. 83/3 quinarii and the aformentioned Russo 88B series to this same Sardinian mint. No specific reason is given to the reassignment of the denarii except, I assume, that it seems logical to place them with the quinarii of the same symbol.

So where does this leave my quinarius, which is patently not of Sardinian style like most spearhead quinarii? One place we can look for clues is at the bronze unciae of the other spearhead issues as the unciae feature a similar obverse bust and so stylistic comparisons can be made. Comparing with the unciae from Russo's 88A series from Southeast Italy, I believe the style is a match: in particular the angular shape of the nose, the shape of the helmet and the slightly upward angle of Roma's gaze. So I think this is likely the silver sibling of Russo's 88A series.

0 comments

Add a comment