Roman Republic, Denarius


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

This denarius bears on the obverse a traditional motif, the head of Roma, the goddess and personification of Rome, wearing a winged attic helmet; behind her is the mark XVI for the value of 16 asses.

The reverse depicts a goddess driving a biga, a two-horse racing chariot. The driver is holding a scepter and a branch. Underneath the horses is the mint control mark in the form of an elephant's head. The elephant refers to Lucius Caecilius Metellus Diadematus as moneyer of this coin. During the First Punic War (264-241 BC), one of his ancestors had achieved a victory over the Carthaginians; on that occasion, the war elephants of the Carthaginians had been captured and displayed in the ancestor's triumph in Rome.


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