RPC I, 5415


Image of specimen #4


Coin type
Volume I
Number 5415
Province Uncertain
Region Uncertain
City Uncertain
Reign Augustus
Person (obv.) Augustus (—)
Person (rev.) Julia the Elder ; Marcellus
Magistrate M. Acilius Glabrio (proconsul)
Issue COS IX
Dating 25 BC
Obverse design bare head of Augustus, r., crowned by Victory, standing l.
Reverse inscription M ACILIVS GLABRIO PRO COS
Reverse design heads face to face of Marcellus (on l.) and Julia (on r.)
Metal Æ
Reference FITA 81; RIM 27–9
Specimens 11 (7 in the core collections)
Note The series struck in the name of the proconsul M. Acilius Glabrio is dated to 25 BC, as Augustus is consul for the ninth time. But the coins lack any indication of mint. Babelon, when publishing the specimen of the Waddington collection (RN 1898, p. 629), was the first to propose the attribution of this series to Africa. It is clear that he had in mind the inscription from Ephesus published by Boeckh (GIG 11, 2679), where an Acilius Glabrio is entitledἀνθύπατος Ἀφρίκ[η]ς, though the Fasti of Africa do not mention a Glabrio as proconsul. This attribution was accepted by Grant, FITA, pp. 81-2, who was inclined to assign the series to a Byzacenian mint. But Groag and Stein (PIR 12, A 71) had already stated that the Ephesian inscription was to be dated to the first century AD and could not refer to the consul suffectus of 33 BC.Therefore the attribution of this series to Africa must really be questioned, and M. Acilus Glabrio's inclusion among proconsuls of Africa is not certain. (Thomasson includes him but not Pflaum.)This series is known from a reasonable number of specimens, but unfortunately they all lack a provenance. The coins are struck on flans with round edges, which excludes Byzacene; if African, a mint like Utica might be proposed.This series has a diameter of 27-31 mm and a weight of 14.88 g, and presumably represents a dupondius.The identification of the portraits on the reverse is problematic. Babelon proposed Caesar and Octavia. But the male head seems too youthful for Caesar. An attribution to Agrippa is possible in 25 BC, but it would bedifficult to find a suitable partner for him. The same is true if the female portrait is identified as Octavia. Therefore the solution proposed by Grant is tentatively accepted here: in 25 BC Marcellus married Julia and Glabrioportrayed him and his wife.

Specimens of this coin type

Number Museum Bibliography
1     L: 1854,0617.98
2     P: 1064 FITA, pl. I, 23
3     P: 1065
4     ✸ P Wa 7449
5     P: D'Ailly 17428
6     V: GR 27335
7     V
8     PV
9     Glendining, Platt Hall Coll. I, 19 July 1950, lot 856 = RIM 27, fig. 6
10     Münzen&Medaillen AG 13, 1954, lot 965
11     Rome Gnecchi, RIN 2 (1889), 153–6, n. 2, pl. III, 16, rev.