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Rome - The Republic

Moneyer: Mn. Aquillius Mn. f. Mn. n.
Held Office: Moneyer 71 BC
Denomination: AR Denarius Serratus
Mint: Rome
Obverse: Helmeted and draped bust of Virtus right "VIRTVS" before and "III VIR" behind.
Reverse: Warrior, (Mn. Aquillius, consul in 101 BC) standing facing, looking right, holding shield, raising figure of Sicilia who is slumped to the left, "MN•AQVIL." on right and "MN•F•MN•N" on left (both MN in monogram). In exergue "SICIL."
Reference: RCVM 336, RSC Aquillia 2, RRC 401/1
Weight: 3.6 gms
Diameter: 20.3 mm
Comment: This is the first time the III VIR (="tresvir") triumviral title appears on the coinage.


Mn. Aquillius (the moneyer's grandfather) was consul in 101 B.C. and sent as proconsul to end the second slave war in Sicily. The slaves were under the control of Athenion, a Cilician, one of their commanders, who had already defeated L. Licinius Lucullus. Aquillius succeeded the next year in defeating Athenion and this coin type commemorates his valour (Virtus). The coin was minted during the famous slave war led by Spartacus, when Rome was trembling, which may or may not be a coincidence.

Mn. Aquillius was not so lucky after the defeat of the slaves. In 88 B.C. he went to Asia as one of the consular legates in the Mithridactic war; he was defeated and handed over by the inhabitants of Mytilene to Mithridates, who put him to death by pouring molten gold down his throat.

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