n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - The symbol of Cleopatra Selene : reading crocodiles on coins in the late Republic and early Principate

Volume 55, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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This article offers an explanation for the sudden appearance of the image of a crocodile on certain, specific Roman coin issues in the last years of the Republic, and its reappearance in the early years of the Principate. It will suggest that the crocodile was specifically selected for Cleopatra Selene by Cleopatra VII, and that this selection was intended to recall a significant event that occurred at the foundation of the Ptolemaic dynasty, comprising part of a wider strategy of reconstituting the empire of Ptolemy I Soter and Ptolemy II Philadelphos. As a result, the image was subsequently utilised on Octavian's gold and silver AEGVPTO CAPTA coinage, the bronze Nemausus coinage, and the coinage of Juba II of Mauretania, all of which either alluded to, or directly referred to, Cleopatra Selene.

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