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61, Lot: 176. Estimate $150.
Sold for $120. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

L. Papius Celsus. 45 BC. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.99 gm). Laureate head of Triumphus right; trophy behind / She-wolf standing right, lighting fire; eagle standing left, fanning flames. Crawford 472/2; Sydenham 965; Papia 3. Toned VF, obverse struck with worn die, reverse slightly off-centered.

From the Tony Hardy Collection.

The reverse type alludes to the omen connected with the mythical founding of Lanuvium, the ancestral home of the gens Papia. While Aeneas and his companions were building the city walls, he noticed a fire burning in the woods nearby. There, he obseved a she-wolf building a fire while an eagle was fanning its flames. According to the story, a fox tried without success to extinguish the fire with its tail, which it repeatedly dipped in a nearby stream. Lanuvium was also the site of the cult of Juno Sospes.