SILVER DENARIUS OF C. MAMILIUS C.F. LIMETANUS, 82 BC.

SILVER DENARIUS OF C. MAMILIUS C.F. LIMETANUS, 82 BC.

245.00

Obverse: Draped bust of Mercury facing right, wearing winged petasus, caduceus over shoulder, control letter F behind.

Reverse: Odysseus walking right, holding staff, his right hand extended towards his dog, Argos, C MAMIL on left, LIMETAN (TA in monogram) on right.

RRC: 362/1. Sear: 282. CRR: 741. RSC: Mamilia 6. [Rome, 82 BC].

Diameter: 20 mm. Weight: 4.0 g.

A fantastic silver denarius in superb condition with an interesting mythological theme. The reverse depicts a famous and poignant scene from Homer’s Odyssey. After ten years of fighting in the Trojan War, followed by ten more years struggling to get home, Odysseus finally returns to the island of Ithica. In his absence, reckless suitors have taken over his home with the hope of usurping his position and marrying his wife Penelope. In order to secretly re-enter his house and ultimately mount a surprise attack on the unwelcome suitors, Odysseus - aided by the divine Mercury - is disguised as an old beggar, with only his son Telemachus privy to his true identity. As Odysseus approaches his home, he finds his faithful dog Argos lying neglected on a pile of cow dung, infested with lice, old and very tired - a sharp contrast to the dog he had left behind. Argos was known for his incomparable speed and strength, and his superior tracking skills. Unlike everyone else on the island, including Eumaeus, a lifelong friend, Argos instantly recognises Odysseus, having just enough strength to drop his ears and wag his tail, but is incapable of standing to greet his master. Unable to acknowledge his beloved dog as this would betray his true identity, Odysseus passes by, silently shedding a tear. Argos, loyal to the end, tragically dies. Heartbroken, Odysseus enters his house and confronts his destiny.

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