Roman Imperators, Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus - 'Red Beard'

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Cneus Domitius Ahenobarbus references an early Roman legend of how an ancestor, Lucius Domitius, came by the name. Two young soldiers (the Dioscuri in disguise), flush with the news of the important victory achieved by Postumius over the Latins near lake Regillus in 498 BC, upon meeting Lucius, charged him with making the news known to his fellow citizens. In order to win his confidence by a miracle, they touched his cheeks, whereupon his black beard instantly became red. (Suetonius, in Nerone, c. i. Plutarch, Vita Pauli Aemilei, §25). It is said that this is why Domitius was afterwards called Ahenobarbus, or red beard.
Cneus Domitius Ahenobarbus, a member of the aforementioned family, had allied himself with Cassius and Brutus during the period of the civil war. He was made commander of a formidable fleet, which crossed the Ionian sea and blockaded the ports of Italy.
This type was minted in order to pay for the cost of his expedition. The obverse depicts the head of his ancestor, Lucius Domitius; the reverse depicts a trophy raised on the prow of a galley, alluding to the victory gained by Cneus Domitius Imperator, fought on the Ionian sea, between the port of Brundusium and Epirus. This event took place in 42 BC, on the same day that Cassius and Brutus were defeated at Philippi.

Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus AR Denarius. Mint moving with Ahenobarbus, 41 BC. Bearded male head right; AHENOBAR before / Trophy with two spears and shield facing, on prow right; CN•DOMITIVS•IMP around. Domitia 21; Sydenham 1177; Crawford 519/2; Sear 339. 3.59g, 19mm, 11h.


Rare. Good Very Fine. Spectacular toning.