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Roman Republic, Denarius Serratus

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

This denarius serratus was minted in 79 BC. The obverse depicts Juno Sospita, the goddess Juno in her role as patron of women, responsible for fertility, childbirth and female affairs. The reverse shows a winged griffon.

Juno had many different guises, which were recognizable by her respective attributes. The goatskin cap stood for protection and security. This aspect came from the Greek goddess Athena and her legendary goatskin, the aegis.

In Greek mythology, the aegis was a golden goat skin from which the skillful god Hephaestus had fashioned a large shield. The shield could not even be destroyed by Zeus' thunderbolts. In the centre it was furnished with the head of Medusa that paralyzed everybody looking at it. Zeus himself initially wore the shield as a breastplate, but later passed it on to his daughter Athena. From then on, Athena stood under Zeus' special protection and was therefore invincible just like everybody putting himself under her protection.

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