Roman Republic, Denarius


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

The obverse of this denarius shows a deity whose identity is actually unknown. We have taken to calling her Roma, for she appeared on the very first denarii already. However, the idea to personify a city by a goddess was not originally Roman but Greek.

The reverse depicts Victoria, the goddess of victory, driving a four-horse chariot. Victoria is holding a laurel wreath, ready to crown the winner of the race. Chariot races were an ancient ritual of the Roman state cult. The beginning of sowing in March was marked by a chariot race to honor god Mars, and races were held again in October, when the harvest was gathered in.


Signet Sunflower Foundation