Lot 375. Samaria, Nysa-Scythopolis. M. Licinius Crassus. Proconsul, 54-53 B.C. Æ. CY 10 (54 B.C.).
Samaria, Nysa-Scythopolis. M. Licinius Crassus. Proconsul, 54-53 B.C. Æ (20 mm, 3.69 g, 1 h). CY 10 (54 B.C.). Head of the proconsul Crassus right / ΓAB [NY] in two lines in left field, Dionysus standing facing, head left, holding cantharus and thyrsus; in right field, date ([L I]); in exergue, Λ. Cf. Barkay 5; cf. Rosenberger 3; cf. RPC 4827. Very rare. Sandy-green patina. Fine.
Struck shortly before Crassus' fateful campaign against the Parthians where he was killed, losing nearly the entirety of the Roman forces he had taken with him. RPC identifies the portrait of Crassus' predecessor, Gabinius, but Barkay argues for Crassus based on the dissimilarity of the portrait on this coin to that on the coins of Gabinius. The legend on the reverse, ΓAB [NY], referse to the renaming of the city to Gabinia Nysa under Gabinius, who restored several cities in Syria while he was governor.