Roman Repulic, Denarius


Roman Repulic, Denarius (obverse) Roman Repulic, Denarius (reverse)

This denarius depicts the goddess Roma on both sides. On the obverse she wears a winged and plumed Corinthian helmet pushed down to her neck. On the reverse she sits on a bunch of shields, leaning on her spear and watching the Roman she-wolf suckling the legendary twin boys Romulus und Remus. Two ravens circle over the scene.

The design alludes to the auspices, the interpretation of the patterns of birds in the sky. In Rome, prior to every political decision, the will of the gods had to be interpreted by studying the flight and the noises of birds. The officials in charge of the auspices were called augurs.

What the image means we do not know. Contrary to the practice of that time the moneyer of this denarius did not indicate his name on the coin; we are thus unable to put the image into context.


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