Denarius, Issued by Ancient Roman Republic, 137 BC
Moneyer: Sextus Pompeius
Minted by Rome
Helmeted head of Roma facing rght; behind, a jug; in front, X
In foreground, wolf suckling twins; behind, a tree with one bird on trunk and two birds in branches; at left figure of Faustulus reaching for tree; behind figure, his name, FOSTLVS; around at right, SEX. PO
In 139 BC the Lex Gabinia put an end to voting by a show of hands. The secret ballot ended control by noble candidates of their 'supporters' and saw a dramatic change in selection of coin types as those in charge of the coin designs sought to promote themselves. The reverse depicts the discovery of the twins Romulus and Remus by the shepherd Faustulus while they were being suckled by the she-wolf at the foot of the Ficus Ruminalis ( a sacred fig tree that stood near the cave called the Lupercal near the Palatine Hill in Rome). The presence of Faustulus, who is actually named on the coin, is thought to show that the depiction is of the original discovery of the twins, not of a statue later set up by the Romans outside the cave. The bird on the tree trunk is thought to be a woodpecker.
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 15 Mar 1976
Type of item
19 mm (Outside Diameter), 3.144 g (Weight)
holed and plugged
[Book] Crawford, Michael H. 1974. Roman Republican Coinage., 267 Pages
[Catalogue] Pullin, Ruth. 2011. Nature Revealed: Eugene von Guerard.