Roman Republic, M. Aemilius Lepidus - The Corona Civica

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The coins of the Lepidi are remarkable for their commemoration of warlike achievements performed by persons belonging to that branch of the Aemilia gens. This particular issue records the deeds of the moneyer’s ancestor of the same name who was honoured for his bravery with the Corona Civica, the second highest military award to which a Roman soldier could aspire.
This coin’s accompanying issue bears the legend AN XV PR H O C S, which means ANorum XV PRaetextatus Hostem Occidit Civem Servavit - thus informing us that M Lepidus at the age of fifteen, still Praetextatus (that is, wearing the robe peculiar to a patrician boy) killed an enemy in battle and saved the life of a Roman citizen.
According to Valerius Maximus, a statue of Lepidus, dressed in the costume appropriated to the male children of noblemen till 17 years of age, was placed in the Capitol, by order of the Senate, as an honourable record of this precocious act of valour and patriotism.
This moneyer went on to become one of the Triumviri along with Mark Antony and Caesar Octavian.

M. Aemilius Lepidus AR Denarius. Rome, 61 BC. Laureate and diademed female bust right; palm branch behind / Equestrian statue of M. Lepidus, right, holding trophy; AN•XV•PR•H•O•C•S• around; M•LEPIDVS in exergue. Aemilia 22a; BMC 3644; Crawford 419/1c; Sydenham 830a. 4.01g, 20mm, 7h.


Extremely Fine. Well struck on a large flan; the scarcer variety of the two issues, boasting a complete legend.