68 AD Roman Silver Denarius of Clodius Macer Struck in Africa

12 Nov 2018  Mon

Leu Numismatik sold a rare silver denarius of L. Clodius Macer on 27th October in Zurich for 30,000 Swiss francs. Issued by an uncertain mint in North Africa, only 6 known examples of this coin type exist today.

Clodius Macer fought against Nero in the spring of 68 with his base power as the African legion stationed in Ammaedara, Legio III Augusta. Clodius Macer also had control over grain trade from the fertile lands of Africa to Rome. This proved as the biggest danger to Nero’s rule.

Macer issued seven main types of coins and none of them featured his portrait. However, the latest issue featured the genitive in his name. His coinage never depicted imperial titles and featured “S C” meaning Senatus Consulto, or “with permission of the Senate”. The coin designs were crude and poor in quality.

The obverse of the offered coin features the head of Roma while the reverse features a trophy with Republican and imperatorial designs. ROMA – SC on the obverse highlights Senatorial traditions of the “res publica” or republic. The reverse features Macer’s name without any titles just like coinage of Republican moneyers.

Nero committed suicide in June and Galba became the next king. Macer was against the newly appointed King and wanted to have control over trade as usual, which led to the African rebellion. Galba captured Macer’s newly established African mint. All his coins were recalled and melted, due to which they are extremely rare today.

Image Courtesy: Leu Numismatik

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