Roman Republic, Denarius


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

Around 150 BC this denarius would provide an average Roman with food for about 20 days. 30 pounds of dried figs cost 1 as at that time, the primary unit of the Roman monetary system. This is what the digit X behind the helmet of the goddess Roma on the obverse refers to. A denarius was a 'tenner,' a silver coin worth 10 bronze asses.

The reverse depicts Victoria, the goddess of victory, driving a two-horse chariot called a biga. Below is the inscription SAFRA, the signature of the moneyer Safranius, and the word ROMA for the state power responsible for the issue of this coin.


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