Plate XII

 Number 4316


lt 4316.jpg

Tribe:
Santones or more probably Pictones (RIG 117)
Petrocorii (la Tour)
Metal: AE 16 mm
Type: unit
Weight: 1.70 gm
Date: about 40 BCE
Obverse:

Romanized beardless head right, CONTOVTOS, NT ligate, O's with central dots in front, all in beaded border

[Tête nue à droite, de style romain (de Marc-Antoine, selon Muret). Devant la face, la légende CONTOVTOS (avec ou sans ligature NT), pied lettres centripète. Grènetis au pourtour.]

Reverse:

Celtic wolf right, mouth open tongue lolling, hackles raised, tail between legs, ears back and down, bucranium (bull's head) below front legs, tree behind wolf. All in beaded border.

[Loup marchant à droite, les pattes antérieures appuyées sur en bucrane; un arbre derrière le loup. Grènetis au pourtour.]

References: BMC 191-195, S197; RIG 117; AN 377; Scheers Traité p. 879, Lyon 691-694
Comment:

RIG lists more than 380 examples from hoards.

Traditionally the obverse of this coin has been considered a copy of an Imperatorial coin, likely Marc Anthony or Octavian. I would also consider Julius Caesar a possibility.

The reverse is completely Celtic in style. It has been described as the "forefeet supported by a bucranium" which could indicate the Celtic tribe being supported by the Romans as this part of Gaul (just above Aquitania) was firmly under Roman control at this time. The tail between the legs is certainly a submissive posture for a canine. On the other hand, I also see the fore part of the wolf attacking or leaping over the bull's head, perhaps indicating occult independence. A better reverse can be seen here Monnaies XV


Please contact me if you notice any mistakes, have any criticisms or have a picture or scan of this coin

Bill Blank