Roman Republic, Uncia


Roman Republic, Uncia (obverse) Roman Republic, Uncia (reverse)

The obverse of this small Roman coin depicts Bellona, the terrible goddess of war. Since 296 BC she had her own temple, somewhat outside Rome on the Campus Martius. In front of Bellona's temple stood the 'columna bellica,' the column of war. Here the Roman priests in charge of warfare performed certain ceremonies for the official declaration and opening of war.

The reverse shows a prora, the bow of a large Roman ship. The image was a symbol for the naval power that Rome had become during the First Punic War (264-241 BC) against Carthage. When the coin was issued, the Second Punic War had just begun (218-201 BC).


Signet Sunflower Foundation