Money Talks | Finding the Founder of a Temple to Diana in Nerva’s Rome

MONEY TALKS
The Significance of Diana on the Coinage of Nerva: Finding the Founder of a Temple to Diana in Nerva’s Rome

With Nathan Elkins

Saturday, August 22
1:00 pm ET

This Money Talks will be held live via video conference. As with any Money Talks, you will be able to ask questions and hear responses in real time. The session is open to ANS members only. RSVP to Emma Pratte at membership@numismatics.org to get the link. 

The identity of the founder of the Temple of Diana Planciana in Rome has been a subject of ongoing speculation for centuries. On account of a senatorial family’s eponym in the temple’s name, it is generally assumed to have been built in the late Republic or early in the reign of Augustus by either Cn. Plancius orL. Munatius Plancus. M. Plancius Varus of Perge, whose family was devoted to the worship of Artemis/Diana and who was a prominent senator under Nero and Vespasian, is another possibility, for the epigraphic attestations of the temple cannot be securely dated before the early second century CE. I propose another candidate as the founder, Cornutus Tertullus, who was probably a Plancius through adoption and whose career Nerva actively promoted alongside Pliny’s. Cornutus Tertullus was also married to Plancia Magna, priestess of Artemis at Perge. Nerva styled himself as an inheritor of the Augustan legacy and as espousing republican values, which would have allowed senatorial initiative in the construction of a temple. Attribution of the temple, or perhaps a reconstruction of it, to Cornutus Tertullus also explains the unusual interest in Diana on the coinage of Nerva.

This lecture will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube for later viewing.

Money Talks: Numismatic Conversations is supported by an ANS endowment fund generously given in honor of Mr. Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli and Mrs. Elvira Clain-Stefanelli.

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