980966. The Pompeians. Cnaeus Pompey Jr. Summer 46-Spring 45 BC. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.60 g, 6h). Corduba (Cordoba) mint. M. Poblicius, legatus pro praetore. Helmeted head of Roma right; [M • P]OBLICI • LEG • PRO PR around / Hispania standing right, shield on her back, holding two spears and presenting large palm frond to Pompeian soldier standing left on prow, armed with sword; CN • MAG NVS [• IMP] around lower right. Crawford 469/1a; CRI 48; Sydenham 1035; Kestner 3645-6; BMCRR Spain 72-3; RSC 1 (Pompey the Great). VF, toned. Well struck and centered. ($895)
978902. The Caesarians. Julius Caesar. Late spring-early summer 48 BC. AR Denarius (18mm, 4.17 g, 4h). Military mint traveling with Caesar. Laureate female head (Clementia?) right, wearing triple-pellet earrings, hair in jewels, and necklace; LII (= 52) to left / Gallic trophy, holding oval shield and carnyx surmonted by wolf’s head; securis to right; CAE SAR across field. Crawford 452/2; CRI 11; RSC 18; Sydenham 1009; Kestner 3558-3559; BMCRR Rome 3955. EF, toned. ($1450) The letters LII behind the female head have long been recognized as representing Caesar’s age, thereby placing this issue firmly within the year 48 BC,. Caesar’s fifty-second birthday was on 13 July 48 BC; the battle at Pharsalus, the final major conflict between the Caesarian and Pompeian forces occurred one month later.
978587. The Triumvirs. Octavian. 28 BC. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.74 g, 4h). Pergamum mint. Countermarked under Vespasian at Ephesus, circa AD 74-79 . CAESAR • DIVI • F COS • VI, bare head right; below, small Capricorn right / AEGVPTO above, CAPTA below, crocodile standing right with jaws closed. For coin: RIC I 545; CRI 432; RSC 4; BMCRE 653 = BMCRR East 246; BN 928-30. For c/m: Howgego 839. Host Coin Good Fine. Countermark Fine. ($1450) A denarius of Vespasian (Classical Numismatic Group 45 [18 March 1998], lot 1965), dated to the emperor’s fourth consulship (72-73 AD) and countermarked MP VES, suggests a starting date of 74 AD for this countermark’s use. This countermark appears mostly on late Republican and Imperatorial denarii, although denarii of Augustus and denarii of the Flavians struck at Ephesus are also recorded. The MP VES countermarks circulated specifically within the province of Asia Minor. Martini noted that the output of silver coinage in relation to the civic bronze for this region was much smaller during the Julio-Claudian period. This suggests the denarii were countermarked to validate locally circulating silver coinage at an acceptable weight while the regional mints opened by Vespasian were gearing up production, a theory which the countermarking of cistophori with the contemporary MP VES AVG countermarks seems to support. The similarly countermarked Flavian denarii struck at Ephesus can be accounted for then as examples accidentally countermarked by unobservant mint workers during the transition.