Aureus - Rome (76)
D’une qualité et d’un style remarquables.
Exemplaire provenant du trésor de Boscoreale (1894-1895) et de la collection G. Steinberg, vente NAC & Spink Taisei du 16 novembre 1994, N°298 et de la collection C. Sveaas vente NAC 24 « European Nobleman » du 5 décembre 2002, N°249 et de la vente NAC 54 du 24 mars 2010, N°369
7.39g - Cal. 622
Pratiquement FDC - CHOICE AU *
According to the authors of the British Museum catalogue, “the heifer is unquestionably the famous statue of Myron which had been placed by Augustus in the ‘Porticus Apollonis’ and was transferred by Vespasian to the temple of Peace” (to celebrate the end of the Jewish War), but this has since been questioned, because the animal depicted seems different from that shown on the coins which were struck under Augustus in the East (Samos? Pergamum?). It seems quasi-certain, though, that this reverse type commemorates the dedication in AD 75 of the Temple of Peace (a.k.a. Forum Vespasiani), which was decorated with numerous celebratory works displaced from other parts of Rome, amongst which Myron’s four heifers of c. 420 BC that had been brought to Rome from Athens by Octavian in 28 BC and placed on the Palatine before his Temple of Apollo. Considering that Augustus consecrated that temple as commemoration of his maritime victory at Actium, it does not seem coincidental that bulls were tra- ditionally associated with the sea-god Neptune / Poseidon. It must also be noted, though, that both Vespasian and Titus seem to have liked the depictions of animals – not just of this significant bronze sculpture. For a compendium of literary sources evok- ing Myron’s mythical statue, see H. Rambach and A. Walker, “The ‘heifer’ aurei of Augustus”, Schweizerische Numismatische Rundschau 91 (2012), pp. 41-57 and pl. 5-6; and for a recent scholarly study of Vespasian’s temple, cf. P. L. Tucci, The Temple of Peace in Rome, Cambridge, 2018.