Ancient Greek - AE Diobol - Ptolemy II Philadelphus - Circa 274 BC


Denomination: AR Denarius                                                     

Weight: 3.57 g

Mint: Rome                                                                               

Date: Circa 82 BC

Grade: NGC 6327569-009 - Ch XF (Strike: 4/5 - Surface: 3/5)

Mount: Sterling Silver with 14K gold prongs

Description: L. Marcius Censorinus (ca. 82 BC). AR denarius (18mm, 3.57 gm, 7h). NGC Choice VF 4/5 - 3/5.  Latin -L•CENSORIN. Obverse: diademed, draped, veiled bust of Venus right. Reverse: Latin - C•LIMETA (TA ligate)-P•CREPVSI. Venus in biga right, set of reins in each hand; XXXIII above.

History:  Lucius Marcius Censorinus was a moneyer ca. 82 BC, and an officer, perhaps prefect of the fleet, in 70.  A denarius was minted by Lucius Marcius Censorinus picturing the goddess Venus.  This coin has attracted several interpretations because of the ambiguity of its symbolism. 

The symbolism may refer to the moneyer’s family line, the gens Marcia, who claimed legendary descent from Marsyas. It may also be connected to the Social Wars - Marsyas was regarded as a symbol of political freedom, particularly free speech. The image of Apollo on the coin may refer to the plague of 87 BC.