Roman Republic, Denarius


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

The obverse of this denarius shows the head of the Greek god Apollo. The reverse depicts Numa Pompilius, the semi-legendary second king of Rome (c. 715-672 BC), who was believed to have instituted the Roman religious system. He is standing before a lighted altar, about to sacrifice a goat led by a youth.

By Roman belief, Numa improved the Roman calendar by dividing the year into twelve instead of ten months as hitherto. He also established the constitution of the priests, called Pontifices, and founded numerous temples and cults. In later Roma tradition, Numa was deemed as wise legislator and ideal king, and celebrated for his natural wisdom and piety.


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