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SECVRITAS REIPVB



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     SECVRITAS REIPVBlicae. -- A bull standing :
above its head are two stars ; on some there
is a crown near the bull, on which an eagle
stands. In the exergue are the names of various
cities. -- Second brass of Julianus II.
    Of this type on medals of Julian, Socrates
and Sozomenus (says Eckhel) have made mention.
Namely, that the townsmen of Antioch falling
short of provisions, and the emperor being
present, as they were of their own peculiar
inclination given to banter and jest, said that a
bull should be engraved on coins, and the whole
world (orbis terrarum) be perverted by its
example. For, as Socrates explains the point
(of this joke), Julian, when continually immolating bulls on the altars of the gods, commanded
an altar and a bull to be engraved on
coins. -- As to what relates to the altar, Socrates
is certainly in error, for among the many coins
that are extant with this type, not one has
hitherto been found with the aforesaid altar.
Nor has Sozomenus alluded to it. -- Neither does
Banduri agree with Socrates respecting the
reason why such like coins were struck. For,
judging from Julian's pertinacious adherence to
the superstition of the Egyptians, he is of opinion
that by the bull standing with the two stars are to
be understood Mnevis [one of the oxen worshipped
as the living symbol of the Nile, and] consecrated
to the sun [Osiris], and Apis [another
"sacred" bull also adored by the people of
Egypt] consecrated to the moon [Isis]. In
good earnest, Ammianus relates that, at the
time he (Julian) tarried at Antioch, the new
Apis, having been diligently sought for in
Egypt, was at last found. -- Coins of the kind in
question (adds Eckhel), besides being collected
in astonishing numbers, also serve this purpose --
that, on the lower part, they shew the cities
from whose respective mints they were issued,
and that more distinctly than other monies
exhibit them. Accordingly, there may be read
on them -- ANT., AQVIL., CONS., CYZIC., HERACL.,
LVGD., NIC., SIRM., SIS., TES., with the addition
of various arithmetical signs, either in Latin or
in Greek characters, thus serving very clearly to
explain the mint-marks of that age. On other
medals of the same emperor, especially those
of the Vota, there is a careful notation of
the cities [wherein they were struck], amongst
which is also found VRB. ROM. (the city of Rome).
    The same legend of SECVRITAS REPVBLICAE,
but with a type more worthy of a Roman coin
than the above favourite of Julian (the beast
worshipper), appears on a gold and third brass
of Flavia Helena. On these the Security of the
Commonwealth is personified by a woman in
the stola, standing with a branch in her right
hand. -- In the exergue SMT.
   Mr. Akerman, in noticing this type in gold,
observes that it brought £23 at the sale of the
Trattle collection. It is valued at 1000 francs
by Mionnet, who says a coin of modern fabric
is known, bearing on the exergue SMR.



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