Roman Imperators, Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio - The African Campaigns

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Scipio disclosed to Cicero the Catiline conspiracy, was consul with Pompey in 52 BC and governor of Syria in 49 BC. He commanded the centre line of Pompey’s army at Pharsalus, after which he fled to Africa and formed an alliance with Juba, king of Numidia. This coin, along with the following one, was struck during his African campaigns and the type refers to Africa and the fertility of that province. He was defeated by Caesar at Thapsus, and when cornered in flight by the fleet of Publius Sittius he committed suicide, famously departing from his soldiers with a nonchalant Imperator se bene habet – ‘Your general is just fine.’ Scipio, from a long and illustrious line of generals and statesmen, was the last man of any consequence to bear that famous name.

Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio AR Denarius. Military mint in Africa, legate Eppius, 47-46 BC. Laureate bust of Africa right in elephant skin headdress; grain ear before; plow below; Q•METELL to right; SCIPIO•IMP to left / Hercules standing facing, naked, hand on hip, leaning on club set on a rock; EPPIVS to right; LEG•F•C to left. Crawford 461/1; Sydenham 1051. 3.91g, 18mm, 9h.


Good Extremely Fine. Exceptional for the type, and nicely toned.