Denarius issued by the Ancient Roman Republic in 63 BC
Moneyer: L. CASSIVS LONGIN (L.Cassius Longinus)
Minted in Rome

Obverse Description

Veiled bust of Vesta facing left; behind, a dish

Reverse Description

A person voting, standing facing left and placing a tablet marked V into a cista with his right hand; at right, LONGIN. III.V

Edge Description



The coin type refers to the occasion in113 BC when a vote was taken to set up a commission to investigate three Vestal Virgins presided over by an ancestor of the moneyer, L. Cassius Longinus Ravilla. He condemed and put to death two of the women. The mark on the tablet being used for the vote on the coin's reverse denoted favour for the proposal. Vesta, depicted on the obverse of this coin, was the Roman hearth-goddess. She was attended in Rome by the Vestal Virgins who were charged with ensuring that the sacred fire in her temple did not go out (and if it did to re-light it by friction of wood). Punishment for a Vestal for unchastity (as in this case) was to be entombed alive (allowing time for the goddess to set her free if innocent).

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