|Lot 169. Fautus Cornelius Sulla. 56 B.C. AR denarius (18 mm, 3.95 g, 6 h). Rome. FAVSTVS, diademed and draped bust of Diana right; above, crescent; behind, lituus / FELIX, Sulla seated left on raised platform between King Bocchus of Mauretania on left, presenting him with wreath, and King Jugurta of Numidia on right, hands bound behind him, both kneeling. Crawford 426/1; Sydenham 879; Cornelia 59. Toned. Banker's mark on obverse. Good fine.
The moneyer of this coin was the son of the dictator Sulla. The reverse commemorates one of the most important events of his father's early career: the capture of Jugurtha. Jugurtha was a Numidian prince who had served in the Roman auxiliary cavalry, but who had come to blows with the Romans. Metellus Numidicus was given command to defeat Jugurtha, but Jugurtha was proving a wily adversary and through several campaigning seasons Numidicus was unable to defeat him. In 107 BC one of his legates, Marius, who disagreed with Numidicus' strategy for prosecuting the war, gained the consulship and also command in Numidia. However, Jugurtha was proving just as slippery for Marius as he had been for Numidicus. One of Marius' junior officers was Sulla, and he managed to capture Jugurtha through a ruse. He invited both Jugurtha and Bocchus, the King of Mauretania and Jugurtha's father-in-law, to a meeting. In advance of the meeting he had convinced Bocchus to betray Jugurtha, and when Jugurtha arrived unarmed his attendants were ambushed and Jugurtha was captured. Bocchus immediately handed him over to Sulla. Sulla had a signet ring engraved showing the event, and the reverse of this coin may be a direct copy of that signet ring.
Estimate: US$ 150