|Lot 173. Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio and Eppius. 47-46 B.C. AR denarius (16 mm, 3.75 g, 12 h). Military mint traveling with Scipio in Africa. Q · METEL[L S]CIPIO · IM[P], head of Africa right, wearing elephant' skin headdress; in right field, grain stalk; below, plow / EPPIV[S] LEG · F · C, Hercules standing facing, resting hand on hip and leaning on club draped with lion's skin and set on rock. Crawford 461/1; HCRI 44; Sydenham 1051; Caecilia 50. Banker's mark on obverse. Toned. Fine.
The obverse type depicting Africa wearing an elephant headdress is remarkable in that it ultimately derives from Ptolemaic Egyptian representations of Alexander the Great as conqueror of Asia used on coins struck at Alexandria. Under the Roman Empire it was transmitted back to Alexandria where a female figure wearing the elephant headdress became the standard personification of the city.
Estimate: US$ 200