Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Woods, D.
American Journal of Numismatics
Carisius, Acisculus, and the Riddle of the Sphinx
Optional Fields
sphinx denarius Julius Caesar Rome Parthia Thebes Athens
The patterns and parallels between the designs of the denarii issued by T. Carisius in 46 bc allow one to identify the head on the obverse of his type depicting a sphinx (RRC 464/1) as the head of that same creature rather than of the Sibyl Herophile. It may have served to reinforce the use of the sphinx to play upon his cognomen, perhaps Balbus (“‘One who speaks obscurely”). However, when L. Valerius Acisculus repeated the use of the same head on one of his coins (RRC 474/3), the context suggests that it was intended to refer to Thebes in Boeotia, whose model Rome was to avoid in favour of that of Athens as the champion of the West against the East.
The American Numismatic Society, New York, USA
Grant Details