82 B.C. Roman Republic Denarius, L Cornelius Sulla & L Malius. Light wear, very strong strike, and well-centered on both sides. Dark patina with flashy rainbow toning when turned into the light. Listing photos show both indirect and direct light on the coin. 16mm, 3.66g, silver
The obverse features the bust of the goddess Roma, the personification of the city of Rome. The reverse features Sulla himself driving a quadriga, a type of four-horse chariot.
Lucius Cornelius Sulla was one of the most important figures of the late Roman Republic. An extremely-skilled general and politician, he led the armies of Rome in several Eastern conflicts and scored such decisive victories that Rome was able to claim dominion over the region for centuries hence. A strict traditionalist and conservative, Sulla sought to strengthen the Senate and the aristocracy of Rome. In these efforts, he came into conflict with Gaius Marius, who sought to gain power through the common people of Rome. The conflict between Marius and Sulla, the two most powerful men in Rome, erupted into Civil War that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Romans. In the end, Sulla triumphed and was appointed supreme dictator over the Republic. After taking steps to strengthen the Senate and limit the power of the people, he willingly resigned the dictatorship and spent the remaining years of his life quietly working on his memoirs.
While Sulla managed to temporarily prop up the crumbling Senate, it was his single-handed usurpation of power that paved the way for the rise of Julius Caesar, the fall of the Roman Republic, and the beginning of the Roman Empire. Check out our blog post for more info about Lucius Cornelius Sulla.