This coin is a rather early coin of the Roman Republic after the introduction of the denarius in c. 211 BC. The interesting historical aspect however is that the coin is struck by Publius Cornelius Sulla who is the grandfather of the infamous dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla. In his own right, P. Cornelius Sulla served as praetor in 186 BC for the province of Sicily. His father, also Publius Cornelius Sulla was the first to bear the name Sulla.
Some believe this moneyer to have been the grandfather of the dictator Sulla but Crawford argues that it is more likely that this moneyer is instead an uncle of Sulla’s, likely an older brother of the father of the dictator.
The biga was a two-horse chariot used in Rome for a variety of purposes, including ceremonies, transportation and sporting races. At the time it was issued in ancient Rome, a denarius such as this one would also have been referred to as a bigatus, because of the biga depicted on its reverse.
Head of Roma in winged helmet right; denomination mark behind (X)
Victory in galloping biga right, holding whip and reins
P SVLA / ROMA in ex.
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