L. Papius Varieties

denarius serratus from 79 BC

Obv.: Head of Juno Sospita r., wearing goat skin tied under chin.Behind head, symbol.

Rev.: Grypon running r.; in ex., L. PAPI.; in field, symbol.

  • RRC 384/1
  • RSC Papia 1
  • RCTV 311

    This coin is an example of symbols 2 (amphora / hydria) in Crawford's RRC

    Photo from CNG coin shop no. 157812

    Sydenham proposed that the symbols represent trade guilds (collegia opificum) in "Symbols on Denarii of L. Papius and L. Roscius",Numismatic Chronicle, 1931, pp 1-13


    Crawford in RRC, suggested that there is no such assosciation with the collegia. Rather he believes they are a "random selection of pairs of everyday objects"

    Statue of Juno Sospita in the Round Hall in the Vatican Museums.

    Juno Sospita (Juno the Savior) was a Roman goddess. Follow the link to wikipedia for more information

    Number of Varieties: at least 232

    RRC illustrates 211 varieties. I have confirmed 21 additional pairs. This effort has relied significantly on Richard Schaefer's work in identifying most of them and confirming the rest. This brings the count to 232. Only 2 of the varieties have multiple die pairs. Variety 1 has 2 known die pairs. Variety 11 has 3 known die pairs.


    Several dangerous fakes of this type have been reported. Examples shown on this page are included under the symbol pairs: (39) and are described as being fakes Additional examples can be found on Forum Ancient Coins Fakes. Search for Papius using the search feature.

    Ancient Imitations

    While the purpose of this page is to describe official varieties of L. Papius denarii, another interesting topic is that of ancient imitations based on the L. Papius type. Click here for information about this topic.


    RRC stands for "Roman Republican Coinage" by Michael Crawford, 1974. RRC numbers are from plates lxvi and lxvii. RRC lists 211 varieties.

    BMCRR stands for "British Museum Catalogue of Coins of the Roman Republic" by Herbert Grueber, 1910. BMCRR numbers are from page 371 of volume 1 BMCRR lists 119 varieties.

    Babelon stands for "Monnaies de la Republique Romain" by E. Babelon, 1885. The L. Papius coins are described in volume 2, p. 279. Babelon illustrates 150 varieties. Click here to see them.

    CNR stands for "Corpus Nummorum Romanorum Monetazione Repubblicana Volume VII Papia-Quinctilia" by A. Banti, 1982 in Italian and English. It includes 189 L. Papius coins plus one incuse and one imitation. They are organized in categories based on related symbol pairs and the symbols are identified (in Italian *). The photos are taken from auction catalogs, museum collections, and private collections. The weight is listed for most of them. * Volume I is also useful because it includes drawings of the symbols with the Italian and English meaning. In volume VII only the Italian names of the symbols are printed with each photo

    "The Messagne Hoard" by Charles Hersh and Alan Walker. Museum Notes 29. The American Numismatic Society, New York, 1984.

    Wildwinds lists several examples of this type of denarius

    Phil Davis' site on Imitations of Roman Republican Denarii

    L. Papius in the Fitzwilliam Museum Collection

    RRC 384/1 in the British Museum Collection
    Most noteworthy are two specimens bequeathed by Charles A Hersh. Specifically:

  • 2002,0102.3594 which has been assigned number 232 in the list below
  • 2002,0102.3596 which has been assigned number 228 in the list below
  • L. Papi on acsearch.info

    L. Papius ANS

    My collection: The Bonanno Ancient Coin Collection


    Images are either from my colllection or used with permission. Images and/or information contributed by:
  • Classical Numismatic Group(CNG)
  • Wayne Phillips
  • Barry Murphy
  • Ancient Byways
  • Bill Blank. Kernunnos
  • Zach Beasley. Beast Coins
  • Numismatik Lanz
  • Dick Schaefer
  • Nemesis Optimo
  • Tom Cederlind
  • MediterraneanCoins
  • The Time Machine Co.
  • Astarte S.A.
  • Gunter M�ckel
  • Rauch Auctions
  • Spink Numismatic Circular
  • Phil Davis
  • McMaster Museum of Art Online Roman Coin Collection
  • Bill Welch: What I like about Ancient Coins
  • Ancient Coins and Antiquities from legion_viii ebay
  • Martin Griffiths
  • Manfred Fischer
  • Archaelogical Center Jaffa vcoins
  • Pierluigi Debernardi
  • Tkalec AG
  • Emiliano Ramos
  • Dane Kurth ("Helvetica"): Helvetica's Identification Help Page: RIC lists
  • M�nzenhandlung Hans Linnartz
  • grotjohann-coins
  • Jenny Van Rompuy
  • Jay Grande
  • RRC 384/1 in the British Museum Collection
  • Roma Numismatics Ltd.

  • List of Varieties

    Entries are numbered in the same order as on the plates in RRC. Varieties which are not in RRC are numbered sequentially following those which are shown in RRC. The first such coin is numbered as 212

    A * in the symbols field means an alternate has been suggested. Click on the picture to bring up the page for that variety which will include the alternate suggestion(s) of what symbols represent.

    Click on each heading to sort by that field. Clicking on the "Picture" heading displays all of the available pictures without any of the other text fields.

    Click on each picture to see additional examples of that pair of symbols. Alternatively click the number in the first column.

    To keep informed of updates, subscribe to my blog. RSS feed is available.

    number (count)Pictureobv. symbolrev. symboltrade guildRRCBMCRRBabelonCNRImage Source
    124.00(0) pileuspileus124unlisted16
    125.00(0) fascesaxe125unlisted22
    126.00(0) palm-branchwreath126unlisted23
    130.00(0) poppy-headpoppy-head130unlisted29
    132.00(0) ?snail132unlisted33
    133.00(0) duck's headduck's head133unlisted38
    135.00(0) vine-leafivy-leaf135unlisted49
    136.00(0) shellshell136unlisted51
    139.00(2) ?whip139unlisted54Jenny Van Rompuy
    140.00(0) shovel?140unlisted55
    141.00(0) ??141unlisted57
    142.00(0) ??142unlisted62
    143.00(1) headdress of Isisheaddress of Isis143unlisted65Jenny Van Rompuy
    144.00(2) torchdeer's head144unlisted66BACC 133
    146.00(0) eaglethunderbolt146unlisted68
    147.00(0) altarlighted altar147unlisted69
    152.00(0) stag's headstag's head152unlisted85
    153.00(0) ?jug153unlisted88
    154.00(0) ??154unlisted95
    155.00(0) ??155unlisted97
    157.00(0) ?double torch157unlisted104
    166.00(0) ??166unlisted120
    167.00(0) corn-earlocust167unlisted125
    168.00(0) hound's headrabbit's head168unlisted127
    169.00(0) ??169unlisted130
    171.00(0) Y-shaped stickladder171unlisted134
    172.00(2) jar?172unlisted135Münzenhandlung Hans Linnartz
    173.00(0) swordhelmet173unlisted139
    174.00(1) ladletankard174unlisted145Münzenhandlung Hans Linnartz
    177.00(1) tankardleather bottle177unlistedunlistedJenny Van Rompuy
    180.00(0) peahenpeacock180unlistedunlisted
    183.00(0) crooksickle183unlistedunlisted
    186.00(0) ??186unlistedunlisted
    187.00(0) bowarrow187unlistedunlisted
    188.00(0) snakefrog188unlistedunlisted
    191.00(0) ram's headjug191unlistedunlisted
    192.00(0) large cloven hoofsmall cloven hoof192unlistedunlisted
    193.00(0) horse's headdonkey's head193unlistedunlisted
    194.00(0) hen's headcock's head194unlistedunlisted
    196.00(0) mask of Panmask of Silenus196unlistedunlisted
    197.00(0) ?bucket197unlistedunlisted
    200.00(0) loutrophorosoil-jar200unlistedunlisted
    202.00(0) candelabrumoil-lamp202unlistedunlisted
    209.00(0) bucketbidens209unlistedunlisted
    210.00(0) bootmask210unlistedunlisted
    228.00(1) bucket with handlesbucket with handleunlistedunlistedunlistedBritish Museum
    232.00(1) unlistedunlistedunlistedBritish Museum
    64.00(3) forepart of lionforepart of bullunknown646477unknownCNG
    122.00(5) coiled serpentdogunknown122unlisted9unknownJames Bonanno
    35.00(3) trumpet mouthpiece (?)trumpet mouthpiece (?)musicians (?)3535unlistedunknownWayne Phillips
    39.00(3) half of fat fishthin fishfishmongers393974unknownEmiliano Ramos
    118.00(2) wreathtorqueofficials118118126unknownJenny Van Rompuy
    134.00(2) aplustreprow stemsailors134unlisted47unknownJenny Van Rompuy
    148.00(2) three hookscooking potcooks and bakers148unlisted71unknownNumismatik Lanz, München, Auction 123, lot no. 306. Photo Lübke and Wiedemann, Stuttgart
    198.00(2) altarbucketunknown198unlistedunlistedunknownJenny Van Rompuy
    30.00(1) chiselhammer (mallet?)carpenters3030unlistedunknownCNG
    41.00(0) drillcompassescarpenters4141unlistedunknown
    16.00(3) candelabrumfire-dogmetal-workers1616129unknownAncient Byways vcoins
    68.00(1) lanterntongs (snuffers?)metal-workers686846unknownTkalec AG Auction Sep. 2008 Lot 116.
    2.00(3) amphorahydriawine-vendors22unlistedunknownCNG
    3.00(1) amphoraamphora stand (tripod)wine-vendors3324unknownBarry Murphy
    11.00(3) tall cupjugwine-vendors1111unlistedunknownCNG
    33.00(1) shallow cuprhytonwine-vendors333313unknownNumismatik Lanz, München, Auction 123, lot no. 302. Photo Lübke and Wiedemann, Stuttgart
    10.00(3) dolium (beaker)hydria (two-handled vase)wine-vendors1010unlistedunknownCNG
    110.00(0) water bottlewater bottlewine-vendors110110unlistedunknown
    111.00(1) oil flaskstrigilwine-vendors111111105unknownPierluigi Debernardi
    51.00(2) gobletwine-skinwine-vendors515198unknownTom Cederlind VCoins store
    77.00(0) cooking pancooking panwine-vendors7777unlistedunknown
    7.00(0) basket of fruit (grapes?)bowl of fruitgreengrocers7742unknown
    107.00(0) beetroot, turnip?carrotgreengrocers107107115unknown
    26.00(2) crabfishfishmongers262636unknownCNG
    28.00(0) prawnoctopusfishmongers2828unlistedunknown
    14.00(3) bucranium (bull's head)bipennis (axe)butchers141478unknownNumismatik Lanz, München, Auction 123, lot no. 304. Photo Lübke and Wiedemann, Stuttgart
    115.00(1) wheel with four spokeswheel with eight spokeswheelwrights11511579unknownBarry Murphy
    8.00(0) basketshopping bagbasket-makers8893unknown
    24.00(0) furnacecupelcooks and bakers ?2424103unknown
    63.00(1) aspergillum (flesh-hook)simpulum (ladle)cooks and bakers636359unknownCNG
    22.00(0) combhair pinweavers222260unknown
    37.00(2) distafftwo reelsweavers373789unknownPues 367, 367. Digitized by Gunter Mäckel
    32.00(1) cruse for oiloil lampoil merchants3232146unknownEmiliano Ramos
    109.00(2) oil jaroil lampoil merchants109109unlistedunknownCNG
    58.00(0) harplyremusicians5858unlistedunknown
    46.00(1) two flutessyrinx (pan-pipes)musicians4646109unknownCNG
    49.00(2) sackwater bottleathletes4949123unknownTkalec AG Auction Sep. 2008 Lot 123.
    55.00(2) hand in caestustorchathletes555530unknownPues 388-389 / 894
    65.00(1) ampullapalm-branchathletes6565unlistedunknown
    47.00(1) human foothand holding lancet (scalpel)chiropodists4747138unknowngrotjohann-coins ebay.de
    112.00(3) writing tablet (scroll?)stilusclerks11211258unknownCNG
    81.00(1) pumppail with cup attachedfarmers and shepherds818191unknownCNG
    69.00(0) shepherd's crookmask of Panfarmers and shepherds69692unknown
    5.00(0) aplustreprowsailors55unlistedunknown
    83.00(0) rudderanchorsailors8383unlistedunknown
    60.00(0) helmetshield (ancilia?)soldiers6060unlistedunknown
    19.00(1) hunter's nettwo spearssoldiers1919100unknownJenny Van Rompuy
    92.00(0) crossbow boltfront view of crossbowsoldiers929275unknown
    95.00(1) spurhorse's muzzlesoldiers95956unknownPues 303, 300. Digitized by Gunter Mäckel
    100.00(1) sword in sheathcarnyx (Sarmatian trumpet)soldiers100100143unknownRoma Numismatics Ltd.
    119.00(0) yokechariotsoldiers11911963unknown
    61.00(0) apexculullusofficials616110unknown
    117.00(1) wreathlituusofficials117117119unknownTkalec AG Auction Sep. 2008 Lot 115.
    71.00(2) lotus flowerpoppy headunknown7171128unknownWayne Phillips
    15.00(3) butterflywaspunknown1515unlistedunknownCNG
    25.00(2) cornucopiaegrape bunch on vinefarmers and shepherds252584unknownCNG
    104.00(2) tridentdolphinfishmongers10410441unknownCNG
    137.00(2) hamboar's headbutchers137unlisted52unknownCNG
    6.00(0) barnacledrenching hornunknown6637unknown
    17.00(0) candelabrumfulcrumunknown1717unlistedunknown
    18.00(1) phrygian capswordunknown18187unknownBill Blank
    20.00(0) sheaf of corn?unknown202070unknown
    29.00(1) crocodilepigunknown2929141unknownPues 289, 22. Digitized by Gunter Mäckel
    34.00(0) Subsellium (curule chair)Sella (seat or bench)unknown3434124unknown
    36.00(0) ballwhip and hoopunknown3636107unknown
    38.00(0) hound runningcapricornunknown383845unknown
    43.00(0) eggeagleunknown43434unknown
    44.00(1) featherfeather of peacockunknown444411unknownThe Time Machine Co. VCoins store
    50.00(0) female goat's head (nanny-goat)male goat's head (billy-goat)unknown5050unlistedunknown
    53.00(2) choppersicklemetal-workers5353102unknownPues 372, 953. Digitized by Gunter Mäckel
    54.00(0) simpulum (ladle for libations)knifeunknown5454unlistedunknown
    56.00(0) hand holding plectrum (to pluck harp)harpunknown5656unlistedunknown
    57.00(0) hare runningdog runningunknown575790unknown
    59.00(0) harpadragon's headunknown595943unknown
    66.00(0) gutturnium (jug)cradleunknown666682unknown
    67.00(2) knife with curved bladeblock of woodunknown6767unlistedunknownRoma Numismatics Ltd.
    72.00(0) lyrebow and quiverunknown7272unlistedunknown
    74.00(0) mirrormirror inscribed SS IIIunknown7474unlistedunknown
    76.00(1) owlcrow with open wings, or eagle?unknown767612unknownMartin Griffiths
    79.00(0) boring toolchiselbuilders7979121unknown
    86.00(0) sceptrecurved sword in sheathunknown8686132unknown
    88.00(0) whelk shell, conch?scallop shellunknown888814unknown
    91.00(0) sistrumpatera (bowl) with fruitunknown919156unknown
    93.00(2) spear-headhuman food, deformedunknown939328unknownTkalec AG Auction Sep. 2008 Lot 113.
    96.00(1) staff with strapninepinunknown969644unknownGareth Harney
    97.00(0) staff with double hookknuckle bone, astragalusunknown9797unlistedunknown
    98.00(0) standardserpentunknown989887unknown
    101.00(1) voting tablet (tabella), inscribed PA-PIcista with handle, scriniumunknown10110173unknownJenny Van Rompuy
    102.00(0) thyrsusivy branchunknown10210239unknown
    103.00(0) seedeggunknown10310350unknown
    106.00(0) tripodhanging hydriaunknown106106148unknown
    116.00(0) head of lioness (wolf?)head of lionunknown116116144unknown
    179.00(2) bellyokeunknown179unlistedunlistedunknownCNG
    178.00(1) CCXLVICCXLVIunknown178unlistedunlistedunknownCNG
    164.00(2) knife with rounded pointpateraunknown164unlisted117unknownCNG
    160.00(2) arrowclub160unlisted112unknownBarry Murphy
    175.00(2) mouse (?)rooster175unlisted147unknownNumismatik Lanz, München, Auction 125, lot no. 576. Photo Lübke and Wiedemann, Stuttgart
    190.00(1) branch with acornpig190unlistedunlistedunknownNumismatik Lanz, München, Auction 125, lot no. 574. Photo Lübke and Wiedemann, Stuttgart
    158.00(1) legionary eaglealtar158unlisted108unknownNumismatik Lanz, München, Auction 123, lot no. 303. Photo Lübke and Wiedemann, Stuttgart
    230.00(1) scepterunknownunlistedunlistedunlistedunknownNumismatik Lanz, München, Auction 125, lot no. 575. Photo Lübke and Wiedemann, Stuttgart
    216.00(2) helmetMacedonian shieldunlistedunlistedunlistedunknownEmiliano Ramos
    120.00(2) square pennantspear120unlisted1unknownNemesis VCoins store
    150.00(1) harpapetasos150unlisted149unknownMediterraneanCoins GmbH VCoins store
    229.00(1) unknownshoe (?)unlistedunlistedunlistedunknownAstarte S.A.
    128.00(1) chopperscissors128unlisted26unknownJenny Van Rompuy
    212.00(3) dagger (?)club (?)soldiers (?)unlistedunlistedunlistedunknownEmiliano Ramos
    213.00(1) helmet with long visorpetasusunlistedunlistedunlistedunknown
    182.00(2) starcrescent moon182unlistedunlistedunknownTkalec AG Auction Sep. 2008 Lot 114
    129.00(1) helmethelmet129unlisted27unknownRauch 67, 242. Digitized by Gunter Mäckel
    222.00(1) kantharoskantharosunlistedunlistedunlistedunknownRauch 67, 241. Digitized by Gunter Mäckel.
    195.00(1) torchsceptre ?195unlistedunlistedunknownGunter Mäckel
    151.00(1) caduecuswingmerchents?, messengers?151unlisted80unknownPues 340, 661. Digitized by Gunter Mäckel
    181.00(1) plane?plane?, polishing tool?181unlistedunlistedunknownPues 353, 280. Digitized by Gunter Mäckel
    127.00(2) lyrelyre-key127unlisted25unknownPues 301, 700. Digitized by Gunter Mäckel
    138.00(1) ??138unlisted53unknownPues 304, 264. Digitized by Gunter Mäckel
    226.00(3) shoesandalunlistedunlistedunlistedunknownMartin Griffiths
    149.00(1) seed-headpoppy-head149unknown72unknownAncient Coins and Antiquities from legion_viii ebay
    159.00(1) stilushand159unlisted111unknownPierluigi Debernardi
    121.00(1) peltaaxe121unlisted3unknownTkalec AG Auction Sep. 2008 Lot 122.
    217.00(1) unlistedunlistedunlistedunknownJenny Van Rompuy
    220.00(1) dolphin wrapped around anchorhippocampunlistedunlistedunlistedunlistedMartin Griffiths
    11.01(1) tall cupjugwine-vendors1111unknownunlistedMartin Griffiths
    11.02(1) tall cupjugwine-vendors1111unknownunlisted
    156.00(1) plowyokefarmers and shepherds156unlisted991Emiliano Ramos
    45.00(0) mattock (type of pickaxe)tall basket with strap hanging downfarmers and shepherds4545861/001
    184.00(0) bucketdolabrum (pickaxe)farmers and shepherds184unlistedunlisted1/002
    90.00(0) sicklebasket with two handlesfarmers and shepherds9090211/003
    185.00(0) spade shovelpitchforkfarmers and shepherds185unlistedunlisted1/004
    170.00(0) currycombshearsfarmers and shepherds170unlisted1311/005
    23.00(0) double-comb (?)two rings connected by two barsunknown2323431/006
    12.00(3) cooking pothalf carcasswine-vendors1212831/007CNG
    99.00(2) funnel strainerhydria (two-handled vase)wine-vendors9999unlisted1/008Emiliano Ramos
    75.00(0) modiusmodiusfarmers and shepherds757581/009
    1.00(4) amphorafallen amphorawine-vendors11191/010Tkalec AG Auction Sep. 2008 Lot 120.
    1.01(0) amphorafallen amphorawine-vendors11191/010
    105.00(2) blockbutcher's knifebutchers1051051421/011Pues 355, 841. Digitized by Gunter Mäckel
    85.00(3) tanner's knifescrapertanners8585641/012CNG
    80.00(2) hook (for animal skins?)tanner's scraper?unknown80801011/013Münzenhandlung Hans Linnartz
    89.00(1) baker's shovelbaker's ovencooks and bakers8989unlisted1/014Jay Grande
    94.00(0) spindledistaffweavers9494341/015
    48.00(0) pickaxedolabrum (type of pickaxe)carpenters4848921/016
    31.00(0) crowbardolabrum (pickaxe)artisans3131321/017
    4.00(0) anviltongsmetal-workers44941/018
    205.00(1) tongshammermetal-workers205unlistedunlisted1/019Tkalec AG Auction Sep. 2008 Lot 119.
    162.00(2) sawsawcarpenters162unlisted1141/020Münzenhandlung Hans Linnartz
    161.00(0) planeplane (saw?)carpenters161unlisted1131/021
    42.00(0) drillplanecarpenters4242unlisted1/022
    62.00(0) hook for raising timberpulley-blockcarpenters6262201/024
    208.00(0) spatulaburin (graver)208unlistedunlisted1/025
    207.00(0) lockkey207unlistedunlisted1/026
    70.00(1) lockkeymetal-workers7070611/027
    206.00(0) keylock206unlistedunlisted1/028
    204.00(1) compassdrill204unlistedunlisted1/029Martin Griffiths
    163.00(1) outside caliperbeam compass (used as caliper?)163unlisted1161/030
    78.00(2) pentagramset squarebuilders78781401/031James Bonanno - BACC 57
    131.00(1) plumb linemason's level131unlisted311/032Pues 284, 691. Digitized by Gunter Mäckel
    40.00(1) plasterer's floattrowelbuilders40401371/033Gunter Mäckel
    21.00(0) base of columncorinthian capitalbuilders2121811/034
    211.00(0) Doric column capitalIonic column capital211unlisted761/035
    113.00(1) valve for water pipewater pipeunknown1131131101/036Emiliano Ramos
    114.00(1) well-headfountainunknown1141141061/037 1/048Barry Murphy
    123.00(2) bootsshoehorncobblers123unlisted151/039Jenny Van Rompuy
    9.00(0) boot with strapshoe on lastcobblers9951/040
    84.00(1) sandalsandalcobblers8484171/041CNG
    52.00(3) gobletwine-skin?wine-vendors5252961/042BACC #44
    108.00(2) flasksuitcaseunknown108108181/043CNG
    199.00(0) capvase199unlistedunlisted1/044
    203.00(0) piercershears203unlistedunlisted1/045
    87.00(1) sceptreradiate crownofficials8787401/046CNG
    82.00(0) signet-ringscroll in caseclerks8282unlisted1/047
    13.00(1) cooking pot with hooktriple flesh-hookcooks and bakers1313351/049CNG
    27.00(0) doliumround amphorawine-vendors2727unlisted1/050 ?
    201.00(1) simpulum (ladle)jug201unlistedunlisted1/063Archaelogical Center Jaffa vcoins
    145.00(1) jugbottle?145unlisted671/079Emiliano Ramos
    165.00(1) spearfoot in talaria (winged sandal)Religion165unlisted1181/113Münzenhandlung Hans Linnartz
    73.00(1) maceclub with strapsoldiers73731221/114Dane Kurth ("Helvetica")
    189.00(1) spearelephant head189unlistedunlisted1/146Martin Griffiths
    176.00(2) whip ?*lance ?*176unlisted1501/164Bill Welch

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