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      Aggiornamento   15/10/2017

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ahala

The First Punic War and the Corvus on RR Bronzes

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ahala

Forgive me in advance that this post is in English. The subject of the post is a new web-page which contains a translation of some key messages from an important book written in Italian, by Antonio Morello, into English.

In recent days I have been researching the design of the prow on Roman Republican coins. Many people have contacted me with good ideas, and I have asked many questions. I have been particularly interested in the objects that are shown on top of the fighting platform on Roman Republican bronzes. Until this week, I have not read any good explanation of what those objects. But over the last few days, I have found one good solution, that to me seems evidently correct. It is the solution presented by Antonio Morello in his book PRORAE, La Prima Prua di Nave sulle Monete della Repubblica Romana, Origine di un simbolo imperituro del potere di Roma, un inno a Caio Duilio; Antonio Morello, Liberia Classica Editrice Diana, 2008.

Antonio has kindly agreed to summarise key points of his book, in English, in an essay on the subject, with a special focus on the history of the first Punic war and the relationship between that history and the design of the Roman Republican prow bronzes, and most specifically the corvus as shown on those coins. In Antonio's own words, here is the new web-page:

http://andrewmccabe.ancients.info/Corvus.html

I support Antonio's views on the corvus and the likely historical derivation of the design, including the technical aspects of ship design. I also support what Antonio says on the later evolution of the design on Republican coinage.

The exact dating of the aes grave series, RRC 35 and RRC 36, could be a matter for future discussion. It is enough to know that, based on the depiction of the prows on RR bronzes, that RRC 35 and RRC 36 must post-date 260 BC, whether by some years or many years.

For those further interested in the subject, I can recommend Antonio's book - it is produced to exceptionally high production standards and is lavishly illustrated with high quality photographs on almost all of its 200 or so large-format pages, and is very comprehensively researched. By the standards of numismatic books, it is an amazing bargain. It can be purchased here:

http://www.classicadiana.it/libreria/content/morello-prorae-la-prima-prua-di-nave-sulle-monete-della-repubblica-romana

Andrew

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ahala

The diagram below may make the story easier to understand (diagram is by me, not Antonio, so if it is incorrect then I am to blame!)

Andrew

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ahala

Finally, I show a diagram of a prow, beside a coin with all the parts highlighted, based on the research by Antonio Morello. This feels right to me, as regards (1) the mechanical engineering of the original design (2) the correspondence with coin design, and (3) the graphic design elements (how the engraver would work). I hope this helps.

Andrew

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Caio Ottavio

Hello.

Thanks for this very good discussion, the topic is especially interesting. I would add to the "collection" Le grandi battaglie di Roma antica ... emphasizing the theme of the raven on their ships.

:)

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