Caracalla denarius, Circus Maximus spectacle. NGC AU 4/5, 3/5. Very Rare


Caracalla, as Augustus (AD 198-217). AR denarius 19 mm. 3.42 gm. NGC AU 4/5 – 3/5. Rome, AD 206. Obv: ANTONINVS-PIVS AVG, laureate head of Caracalla right. Rev: LAETITIA / TEMPORVM, galley under sail in center of Circus Maximus; four quadrigas charging left above; wild animals below (from left to right): ostrich standing right, lion and two tigers chasing wild donkey right, bull butting left, and bear standing right, head reverted. RIC IV.I 157. Very Rare. Ex CNG.

Dio Cassius recorded: “The whole construction in the amphitheatre was made in the form of a ship, and was so conceived that 400 beasts might be received into it, and at the same time be sent forth from it. Then, when it suddenly collapsed there issued out of it bears, lionesses, panthers, lions, ostriches, wild asses and bison, so that seven hundred beasts, both wild and domesticated, were seen running about at the same time and were slaughtered.” (LXXVII, 4-5).

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