Elephant and Pietas Denarius Pendant

Item #9597
$1,300.00

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  • Obverse: Elephant
  • Reverse: Pietas & Stork
  • Date: 81 BC, Grade: Very Fine
  • Northern Italy Military Mint
  • Silver Denarius Coin in 14k Gold Pendant, Weight 10.2g
  • Framed Coin Size: 23mm Diameter, 6mm Bail Opening
  • Size Chart

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Description:

This coin was minted in 81 BC at a mobile military mint in Northern Italy. The issuer of this coin was Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius, who was a Roman general campaigning on behalf of Sulla to secure parts of Northern Italy. Metellus Pius came from one of the most important and wealthiest families of Rome and in 80 BC he was appointed Roman consul.
The obverse side of this coin shows an elephant, walking left with a bell around its' neck. The elephant recalls the victory of his ancestor, L.Caecilius Metellus at Panormus (Sicily) in 251 BC over the Carthaginians in the First Punic War. After the victory, he displayed the elephants captured from the Carthaginians in his triumph in Rome.
The reverse of this coin portrays the Goddess Pietas and alludes to Metellus's "Pius". He received the honorable title of "Pius" from the people of Rome by continuously pleading the case to get his father Numidicus returned from exile. In 98 BC, Metellus was finally successful as a law was passed which allowed his father to return home. A stork is shown to the right of Pietas on this coin. To the Romans, the stork represented family loyalty by returning to the same nest every year, and that it took care of its parents in old age.