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Clodius Macer (68 AD)

Lucius Clodius Macer was a legatus of the Roman Empire in Africa in the time of Nero. He revolted in May 68, cutting off the food supply of Rome, possibly at the instigation of Calvia Crispinilla. Although encouraged by Galba, Macer raised a legion Legio I Macriana liberatrix in addition to the Legio III Augusta that he already commanded, presumably raising suspicion that Macer also harbored imperial ambitions, and in October of 68 Galba had him killed by the procurator Trebonius Garutianus. Papirus, the centurion of Mucianus, was implicated in his assassination.

He produced denarii which are extremely rare today. Only about 85 are known to exist, of which only 20 bear his portrait. It is remarkable that he uses the formulaic abbreviation S C (senatus consulto) on his denarii, for this abbreviation otherwise had not appeared on Roman silver coins since about 40 BC. We may take this and his decision to portray himself without a laurel wreath or a diadem as evidence that he wished to portray his revolt as being against Nero, not the senate.

 

Catalogue:

RIC # Picture Description Rarity
Group I - Bust of Africa on obverse
AR denarius - RIC I, 1 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, Denarius 68, Carthage. L CLODI MACRI LIBERA Bust of Africa to r. in elephant-skin /. Aquila between two standards. LIB-AVG in upper central fields, LEG – III in lower central fields. RIC 1 R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 2 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, Denarius 68, Carthage. L CLODI MACRI LIBERA Bust of Africa to r. in elephant-skin /. Aquila between two standards. LIB above; AVG in ex. LEG – III in the central field. RIC 2 R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 3 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, Denarius 68, Carthage. L CLODI MACRI LIBERATRIX, Bust of Africa to r. in elephant-skin /. Aquila between two standards. L-IB above; AVG LEG – III in the lower central field. RIC 3 R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 4 Clodius Macer. Usurper, Denarius 68, Carthage. L CLODI MACRI LIBERATRIX Bust of Africa to r. in elephant-skin. Two javelins in back. / Aquila between two standards. LIB on l. downwards; AVG on r. upwards; LEG – III below. RIC 4. BMC -. C. 5. (Image courtesy Numismatica Ars Classica) R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 5 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, Denarius 68, Carthage. L CLODI MACR LIBERATRIX, Bust of Africa to r. in elephant-skin, SC below /Aquila between two standards. MACRIA-N-A across top, LIB LEG – I in the lower central field. RIC 5 R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 6 Clodius Macer. Usurper, Denarius, Carthage April-October 68, AR 2.79 g. L CLODI MACRI – LIBERATRIX – S C Draped bust of Africa r., wearing elephant skin headdress /  MAC – R – IA – NA – LIB Legionary eagle between two vexilla; in field below, LEG I. C 8. BMC –. CBN – . RIC 6. (Image courtesy Numismatica Ars Classica) R4
Group 2 - Lion's head obverse
AR denarius - RIC I, 7 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper. AR denarius. N L C MACRI  SC, Lion's head right / LIB - AVG / LEG - III.  aquila between two signa. RIC 8 R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 8 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper. AR denarius. L CLODI MACRI SC, Lion's head right / LI-B AVG / LEG - III.  aquila between two signa. RIC 8 R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 9 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper. AR denarius. L CL ODI MACRI MACRI  SC, Lion's head right /LIB - LI-B, LEG - III across central fields.  aquila between two signa. RIC 8 R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 10 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper. AR denarius. L CLODIMACRI  SC, Lion's head right / LIB - AVG / LEG - III,  aquila between two signa. RIC 10 R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 11 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper. AR denarius. L CLODI MACRI  SC, Lion's head right / LIB/ AVG / LEG - III,  aquila between two signa. RIC 11 R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 12 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper. AR denarius. L CL-O-DI MACRI  SC, Lion's head right / MACR IANA, LIB LEG - I,  aquila between two signa. RIC 12 R4
AR denarius - RIC I, - Clodius Macer. Usurper. AR denarius. L · CLO - DI - MACRI  S · C /. Lion's head right / LIB - AVG / LEG - III.  aquila between two signa. RIC - (vgl. 9). C. 5. K. V. Hewitt, The coinage of L. Clodius Macer (AD 68), NC 1983, Group B / 1, - (0 7/R -). (Image courtesy Numismatik Lanz Mόnchen) R5
Group 3 - Victory bust on obverse
AR denarius - RIC I, 13 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, AD 68. AR Denarius. Carthage mint. L-CLODI. MACRI, S-C, Bust of Victory right, wings closed / LI-B, AVG (curved), LEG -III below, aquila between two signa. RIC I 13; R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 14 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, AD 68. AR Denarius. Carthage mint. L-CLODI. MACRI, S-C, Bust of Victory right, wings closed / LI-B, AVG (straight),  LEG -III below, aquila between two signa. RIC I 14; R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 15 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, AD 68. AR Denarius. Carthage mint. L. CLODI. MACRI, S-C, Bust of Victory right, wings closed / LI-B above, AVG to right, LEG III below, aquila between two signa. RIC I 15; R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 16 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, AD 68. AR Denarius . Carthage mint. L. CLODI. MACRI (different letter arrangement), S-C, Bust of Victory right, wings closed / LI-B above, AVG to right, LEG III below, aquila between two signa. RIC I 16; R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 17 Clodius Macer. Usurper, AD 68. AR Denarius (3.11 g, 6h). Carthage mint. L. CLODI. MACRI, S-C, Bust of Victory right, wings closed / LI-B above, AVG to right, LEG III below, aquila between two signa. RIC I 17; Hewitt 26-27 (same dies); RSC 4a. (Image courtesy CNG) R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 18 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, AD 68. AR Denarius. Carthage mint. L. CLODI. MACRI (different letter arrangement), S-C, Bust of Victory right, wings closed / LI-B above, AVG to right, LEG III below, aquila between two signa. RIC I 18; R5
Group 4 - Libertas standing on obverse
AR denarius - RIC I, 19 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, AD 68. AR Denarius. Carthage mint. L CLODI MACRI, S C across field, Libertas standing facing, head left, holding pileus in right hand, patera in left / MAC-RIANA LIB, aquila between two signa; LEG I flanking aquila. RIC I 20 R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 20 Clodius Macer. Usurper, AD 68. AR Denarius (3.69 g, 6h). Carthage mint. L CLODI MAC-RI, S C across field, Libertas standing facing, head left, holding pileus in right hand, patera in left / MAC-RIANA LIB, aquila between two signa; LEG I flanking aquila. RIC I 20; Hewitt group D/2, 29-33 var. (O17/R- [unlisted rev. die]); RSC 2; BMCRE p. 286, *; BN 5. (Image courtesy CNG) R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 21 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, AD 68. AR Denarius. Carthage mint. L CLODI MAC-RI, S C across field, Libertas standing facing, head left, holding pileus in right hand, patera in left / MAC-RIANA LIB, aquila between two signa; LEG I flanking aquila. (differnet legend arrangement. RIC I 20 R4
Group 5 - Bust of Carthago on obverse
AR denarius - RIC I, 22 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, Denarius, Carthago (?), April – October (?) 68 AD. Bust of Carthago right, turretted and draped, cornucopea behind / SI-CI-LIA, Large facing head of Medusa superimposed no triselis running clockwise, between the legs ears of corn pointing clockwise. RIC 22. R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 23 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, Denarius, Carthago (?), April – October (?) 68 AD. Bust of Carthago right, turretted and draped, cornucopea behind / SI-C-I-LI-A clockwise, Large facing head of Medusa superimposed no triselis running clockwise, between the legs ears of corn pointing clockwise. RIC 23. R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 24 No photo As RIC 23 but with S-ICILIA counterclockwise in low right on reverse R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 25 No photo As RIC 23 but with S-I-C-IL-IA counterclockwise on reverse R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 26 No photo As RIC 23 but with SI-CI-LI-A counterclockwise in low right on reverse R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 27 No photo As RIC 23 but with SI-C-I-LI-A in low right on reverse R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 28 No photo As RIC 23 but with SI-CI-L-I-A in low right on reverse R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 29 No photo As RIC 23 but with SI-CI-L-I-A in low right on reverse ("S" retrograde) R5
Group 6 - Head of Roma on obverse
AR denarius - RIC I, - Clodius Macer. Usurper. Denarius, ca. April - Oktober 68, Carthago (?). ROMA / S C.Helmeted head of Rome right / L · CLODI - MACRI (outwards) standing trophy. RIC -. C. 9. Hewitt Group F/4, - (0 - /R -). (Image courtesy Numismatik Lanz Mόnchen) R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 30 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, Denarius, Carthago (?), April – October (?) 68 AD. ROMA Helmeted head of Roma r.; at sides, S – C / L CLODI – MACRI (both words pointing directly up and down) Trophy with two large shields. RIC 30. R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 31 Clodius Macer. Usurper, Denarius, Carthago (?), April – October (?) 68 AD, 3.45 g. ROMA Helmeted head of Roma r.; at sides, S – C / L CLODI – MACRI, Trophy with two large shields. C 9 var. BMC p. 287 note var. RIC 31. CBN –. Hewitt, NC 1983, pl. XII, 47 var. (Image courtesy Numismatica Ars Classica) R5
Group 7 - Head of Macer on obverse
AR denarius - RIC I, 32 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, April-October AD 68. AR Denarius (2.98 g, 6h). Carthage mint. L CLODI MACRI, S C below, bare head right / PRO/PRAE/AFRICAE, quinquereme right, with 8 oars and 4 oarsmen. RIC I 32. R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 33 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, April-October AD 68. AR Denarius (2.98 g, 6h). Carthage mint. L CLODI MACRI, S C below, bare head right / PRO/PRAE/AFRICAE, quinquereme right, with 9 oars and 5 oarsmen. RIC I 33. R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 34 No photo Clodius Macer. Usurper, April-October AD 68. AR Denarius (2.98 g, 6h). Carthage mint. L CLODIVS MACER, S C below, bare head right / PRO/PRAE/AFRICAE, quinquereme right, with 11 oars and 8 oarsmen. RIC I 33. R4
AR denarius - RIC I, 35 No photo as RIC 34 but with 12 oars and 4 oarsmen. RIC I 33. R5
AR denarius - RIC I, - Clodius Macer. Usurper, April-October AD 68. AR Denarius (2.98 g, 6h). Carthage mint. L CLODI-VS MACER, S C below, bare head right / PRO/PRAE/AFRICAE, quinquereme right, with 12 oars and 10 oarsmen. RIC I 35-6 var. (number of oarsmen); Hewitt group G/5, variety 2 (unlisted dies); RSC 13; BMCRE 1; BN 8 var. (obv. legend break). (Image courtesy CNG) R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 36 Clodius Macer. Usurper, Denarius, Carthago (?) April-October (?) 68, AR 3.62 g. L CLODI – VS MACER Bare head of Clodius Macer r.; below, SC /  PRO/PRAE/AFRICAE Galley r., with seven oarsmen and twelve oars. RIC 37. BMC 1. C 13. CBN 8. Gara, RIN 1970 7 and pl. 1, 11/12. Kent-Hirmer pl. 59, 206. Hewitt 55 (this coin). L. Mildenberg in Vestigia Leonis p. 165 and pl. 51, 1 (this coin). (Image courtesy Numismatica Ars Classica) R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 37 Clodius Macer. Usurper, Denarius, Carthago (?) April-October (?) 68, AR 3.62 g. L CLODI – VS MACER Bare head of Clodius Macer r.; below, SC /  PRO/PRAE/AFRICAE Galley r., with five oarsmen and thirteen oars. RIC 37. BMC 1. C 13. CBN 8. Gara, RIN 1970 7 and pl. 1, 11/12. Kent-Hirmer pl. 59, 206. Hewitt 55 (this coin). L. Mildenberg in Vestigia Leonis p. 165 and pl. 51, 1 (this coin). (Image courtesy Numismatica Ars Classica) R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 38 No photo CLODIUS MACER. April-October 68 AD. AR Denarius (3.19 gm). Carthage mint. CLODIVS MACER, Bare head of Macer right, SC below / PRO/PRAE/AFRICA, Galley with seven oarsmen sailing right. RIC I 39; BMCRE pg. 285 note; RSC 13b R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 39 CLODIUS MACER. April-October 68 AD. AR Denarius (3.19 gm). Carthage mint. CLODIVS MACER, Bare head of Macer right, SC below / PROPRA/AFRICA, Galley with seven oarsmen sailing right. RIC I 39; BMCRE pg. 285 note; RSC 13b. (Image courtesy CNG) R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 40 No photo as RIC 39 but with PROPRAE/AFRICA on reverse R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 41 No photo as RIC 39 but with PRO/PRAE/AFRICA and 10 oars and 6 oarsmen on reverse R5
AR denarius - RIC I, 42 No photo as RIC 39 but with PROPRA-E/AFRICA and 11 oars and 7 oarsmen on reverse R5