Dupondius Philip II on Sestertius flan - 1000th anniv. of Rome foundation
PHILIP II. Æ Dupondius, 16.85 gr. Rome, 3rd officina, 10th emission, 249 AD
Obv. IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG Radiated, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev. SAECVLARES AVGG SC cippus millenarius inscribed COS II.
Cohen 80 (4 Francs)
Type issued for the thousandth anniversary of Rome's foundation. Though archaeological evidence proves the hills of Rome were settled at least two centuries earlier than the legendary foundation date of 753 B.C. set by the sage Varro, the Romans considered that date gospel. The close of the millennium occurred, ironically, in the unsettling year 248 when four separate rebellions broke within the ranks of the army. However, none of them could lure Philip from the capital, where he initiated celebrations on April 21, and where remained to witness the much-anticipated games later in the year. Public celebrations were accompanied by an ornamental series of coins inscribed SAECVLARES AVGG, MILIARIVM SAECVLVM and SAECVLVM NOVVM. Other coins inscribed AETERNITAS AVGG and ROMAE AETERNAE bear general relevance to the celebration. The reverse types are varied and exotic: a lion, gazelle, antelope, goat, stag, hippopotamus and elephant all relate to the games, whereas the she-wolf and twins, a low column (or cippus) and the temple of Roma Aeterna relate to the event in general, and to the hope that it would represent the beginning of a new age. Unfortunately it did – but the age was not to be happier, safer or more prosperous. Instead it would be more tragic, violent and unsettled.[NAC]
Rare type. Impressive coin struck on a Sestertius flan.
Paris Drouot 18 Nov. 1999. Ex. Trampitsch (Vinchon sale 14 Nov. 1986, lot 816)