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Rome’s Greatest Virtue - Courage

446659. SOLD $375

ANCIENT THEMES, Roman Republican. Marcus Curtius. †362 BC. Cast AR Medal (24mm, 4.07 g, 12h). By Concz Welcz. Dated 1535. Katz 216. Good VF, toned, chased.

Ex RBW Collection; Lanz 33 (30 April 1985), lot 239; Schweizerischer Bankverein 35 (13 September 1994), lot 1205..

According to myth, an earthquake of 362 BC left a large pit in the Roman Forum. Hoping to appease the gods in light of this disaster, the Romans consulted an oracle and were informed that they needed to sacrifice Rome’s greatest treasure. The soldier Marcus Curtius, realizing that courage was the Roman people’s greatest virtue, rode his horse into the opening, which thereafter closed.