Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 101   |   24 October 2017 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 25

Estimate: 10'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 8'000 CHF Price realized: 12'000 CHF
L. Cestius and C. Norbanus. Aureus January-April 43, AV 8.06 g. Draped bust of Africa r., wearing elephant skin headdress. Rev. L·CESTIVS / S C – PR Curule chair with legs decorated with eagles; on top, Corinthian helmet. In exergue, C·NORBA. Babelon Cestia 1 and Norbana 3. Bahrfeldt 24. Sydenham 1153. Sear Imperators 195. RBW 1717. Crawford 491/1a. Calicó 3a.
In superb condition for the issue. Almost invisible marks, otherwise extremely fine
Privately purchased in July 1997.
The circumstances under which this aureus, and its companion issue, were struck are not fully known, but it almost certainly is an emergency issue of the senate. It was struck in the name of the praetors Lucius Cestius and Caius Norbanus, presumably in the early part of 43 B.C., when the senate became allied with Octavian against Marc Antony, who had been declared a public enemy by the senate in February of this year following his ‘war’ against Decimus Brutus. The former right-hand-man of Julius Caesar, Antony, now realized just how formidable an enemy he had in young Octavian. As perilous as the situation could have become (the production of these aurei indicates the senate was formulating plans for war), Antony and Octavian resolved their differences through negotiation. On November 11, 43 the Second Triumvirate was formed, which determined that Antony, Octavian and Lepidus would work together rather than engage in a costly civil war.

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