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Manius Fonteius AR Denarius Roman Republic 108-107 BC Silver Coin Dioscuri on Obverse Museum Reproduction CSRD0020


Silver Roman Republic Denarius (17.4mm, 03.41g.) Manius Fonteius, Rome mint, struck 108-107 B.C. References: Crawford 307/1; Sydenham 566; BMCRR Rome 1223; Babelon Fonteia 7.

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Price33,30 29,60 25,90 

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SKU: CSRD0020 Categories: , , Tags: , , , , ,

The obverse depicts the heads of the Dioscuri. The reverse shows a galley, a reference to Telegonus, son of Ulysses and founder of Tusculum.

The gens Fonteia was a plebeian family at Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned toward the end of the third century BC; Titus Fonteius was a legate of Publius Cornelius Scipio during the Second Punic War. The first of the Fonteii to obtain the consulship was Gaius Fonteius Capito, consul suffectus in 33 BC.
In his oration, Pro Fonteio, Cicero mentions that the Fonteii came originally from Tusculum, of which municipium it was one of the most distinguished families. The Fonteii claimed descent from Fontus, the son of Janus. A two-faced head appears on a coin of Gaius Fonteius, which Jean Foy Vaillant and others suppose to be the head of Janus, in reference to this tradition. But as Janus is always represented in later times with a beard, Eckhel maintains that the two heads refer to the Dioscuri, who were worshipped at Tusculum with especial honours, and who may be regarded as the Di Penates of the gens. Michael Crawford likewise favours a depiction of the Dioscuri, instead of Fontus, as they appear on other coins of the Fonteii.
The Fonteii used the praenomina Titus, Publius, Marcus, Gaius, Manius, and Lucius.
The Fonteii bore the cognomens Agrippa, Balbus, and Capito, which is the only cognomen which occurs on coins of this gens. The cognomen Crassus is an error of the manuscripts, since there were no Fonteii Crassi.
The Fonteii Balbi were not related to the other Fonteii as an inscription found in Etruria tells that they belonged to the tribe Sabatina – prevalent in this area – whilst the other Fonteii were from Tusculum, associated with the tribe Papiria.

Obverse side
Laureate, jugate heads of the Dioscuri; above, two stars, below, mark of value * (XVI in monogram)

Reverse side
Galley under oar, facing right, with eyes painted on prow; in stern,helmsman; below, control letter H

A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.

Weight 3,41 g
Dimensions 17,4 mm


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