Roman Silver Denarius of Clodius Macer

07 Dec 2020  Mon

The coinage of Clodius Macer, who revolted against Nero in the spring of 68, is among the most fascinating of the Roman Imperial series.

Macer’s coinage consists of seven main types with some very distinct characteristics. Most notably the absence of his portrait on all but the latest issue, the unusual use of the genitive in his name, the refusal to claim any imperial titles and the appearance of S C (indicating Senatus Consulto, or “with permission of the Senate”) on all of his coins, all of which undoubtedly reflect the offhanded nature of his rebellion.

This coin’s type is classified as Group F or Group 6, in which it is one of six known examples. The issue shows the head of Roma on the obverse and a trophy on the reverse, both of which are distinctly Republican and reflect imperatorial numismatic motives, further underlined by the legends and their arrangements: while ROMA – S C on the obverse boasts the Senatorial traditions of the “res publica” (the state or republic), the appearance of Macer’s name on the reverse without any titles is in the style of the coinage of Republican moneyers.

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