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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Scarpus Offers Friendship to Octavian

Sale: Triton XI, Lot: 648. Estimate $1500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 7 January 2008. 
Sold For $1400. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Octavian. 31 BC. AR Denarius (2.88 g, 12h). Cyrene mint. L. Pinarius Scarpus, moneyer. IMP CAESARI above, SCARPVS IMP below, open right hand left / DIVI F on right, AVG PONT on left, Victory standing right on globe, holding palm frond over left shoulder in left hand, and wreath tied with fillet in extended right hand. Crawford 546/6; RIC I 534; CRI 413; Sydenham 1282; RSC 500; BMCRE 689 = BMCRR Cyrenaica 5; BN 894. VF, toned, rough surfaces, banker’s mark. Very rare.

L. Pinarius Scarpus had been appointed by Antony to command his four legions in Cyrenaica against Octavian's African army which was under the command of Cornelius Gallus. After learning of Antony's defeat at Actium, Scarpus transferred his allegiance to Octavian. This issue was struck shortly after the battle of Actium, the open hand signaling a gesture of friendship toward Octavian.