Roman Republic, Denarius


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

Around the mid-2nd century BC, Macedon and North Africa became Roman provinces. From now on Rome did not tolerate other powers within the Mediterranean any more: the Mediterranean Sea had become the 'mare nostrum,' 'our sea.'

Around this time, the images on Roman coins began to change. The obverse of the denarii continued to feature the head of the goddess Roma. But the repertoire of reverse images began to broaden. New motifs emerged, often connected with the family history of the respective moneyer (as far as we are able to interpret those pictures, that is). About 50 years later the head of Roma on the obverse was replaced as well. Evidently around 100 BC, Roman coins had become so widespread that it was not longer necessary to indicate they origin pictorially.


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