This is the first instance in the republican series when ROMA is replaced by the cognomen of the moneyer. A classic rarity, NOM in the exergue reflecting the moneyer’s cognomen, Lucius Atilius Nomentanus. Crawford RRC p. 261 writes that “the astonishing substitution of NOM for ROMA remains unexplained”. A reasonable explanation would lie in the Roman tradition of punning names often seen on the coinage, this being a rhyming rather than punning quip intended to briefly draw attention to the coin and thus make the moneyer’s name stay in a voter’s mind. Crawford notes that Nomentanus followed a later political career on the staff of Quintus Mucius Scaevola. [Andrew McCabe].
This issue was hand struck in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (ancient Roman province Philippopolis). It goes without saying you always get the exact item in the picture.
L. Atilius Nomentanus was one of the moneyers for the year 141 BC. He later served on the staff of Q. Mucius Scaevola, Praetor in Asia in 120 BC.
Gens Atilia, sometimes written Atillia, was a family at Rome, which had both patrician and plebeian branches. The first member of this gens who obtained the consulship was Marcus Atilius Regulus, in 335 BC. The Atilii continued to hold the highest offices of the state throughout the history of the Republic, and well into imperial times.
The cognomina of the Atilii under the Republic are Bulbus, Calatinus, Longus, Regulus, and Serranus; and of these the Longi were undoubtedly patrician.
Helmeted head of Roma right; XVI behind
Victory, holding reins and whip, driving biga right
L • (AT)ILI, NOM in ex.
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