Opium and Solar Eclipses
The above coin was minted in Rome between 65 to 59 BC. It is not hard to see the two stars may be indicative of the solar eclipses seen over the city between 63 and 61 BC. To the Roman population at the time the meaning was obvious and these solar eclipses were seen over the majority of the Empire. The Roman government routinely consulted the Sibylline Books in times of crisis and uncertainty. The books were prophetic in nature and were usually recorded from females when they were in drug induced trances. The female on the obverse is a Roman Sibyl and an opium tripod is on the reverse. There is an amphora in the shape of an opium poppy with handles and a long neck which likely stored poppy-seeds Eating a handful of unwashed poppy-seeds would induce a potent drug induced vision. Roman politics was influenced a great deal by astrology and opium.
Please see my prior post "Opium Tripods, The Drug Paraphernalia of the Greco-Roman Empires" for a more in depth explanation.
Photo Celeste Jones Mining, vcoins
L. Manlius Torquatus AR Denarius. Rome