– Roman Republic AR Denarius 61 B. C.
Rare architectural Republican denarius. The Villa Publica was a public building in ancient Rome, which served as the censors’ base of operation. It was erected on the Campus Martius in 435 BC. According to Livy, the first census was compiled there the year it was built. In 194 BC, the building, or buildings, was restored and enlarged. Villa Publica meant “House of the People” and although its location is unknown (it has been conjectured that it actually constituted a series of buildings near the Circus Flaminius), it is known from ancient sources that its area was wide, and that, at one point, most likely following further renovations in 34 BC, a large wall was built around it. In addition to holding the censors’ records and acting as the censors’ base of operations, the Villa Publica also served as a place where foreign ambassadors were greeted, where generals waited to hear if they would be granted a triumph, and it also acted as a base for army levies. T. Didus was consul in 98 B.C. and procounsul of Spain. At the end of the war he was given the title Imperator and a triumph at Rome. This coin commemorates the Imperator (general in command of an army) Titus Didius, under whom the tribune P. Fonteius fought.
Moneyer: Titus Didus
BMC # 3856, Babelon # Didia 1
Obverse: P FONEIVS CAPITO III VIR CONCORDIA, Diademed and veiled head of Concord right
Reverse: T DIDI MP VIL PVB, the Villa Publica, IMP below
Diameter: 18 mm
Silver plated lead free pewter, made in the USA
Packaged in a coin collecting flip with the description of coin printed on flip insert.