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Roman Republic, Denarius

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Roman Republic, Denarius (obverse) Roman Republic, Denarius (reverse)

This Roman denarius features on its obverse the head of Roma, the goddess and personification of Rome, with a winged attic helmet. Her name is written out behind her head, and beneath her chin is the specification of value X for 10 asses.

The reverse shows a column with a worn figure on top. Two men in togas stand on either side, one holding a dish and a loaf, the other a lituus, a crozier. The letters next to the column are the abbreviation of the moneyer's name, CA VG for Gaius Minucius Augurinus.

The depiction on the reverse alludes to a story in which an ancestor of Gaius Minucius Augurinus was involved. This was Lucius Minucius Esquilinus Augurinus, who in 439 BC was praefectus annonae and thus in charge of the grain supply to Rome. The city suffered from a heavy famine at that time, of which a rich merchant tried to take advantage by distributing grain to the people in the hope of setting himself up as king. Lucius Minucius brought this to the attention of the consuls, and was rewarded with the erection of the statue depicted on this coin.

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