Roman Republic, Denarius


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

The obverse of this denarius from the year 77 BC portrays Roma, the personification of Rome. Behind her helmet is the number XXXVIII as mint control mark.

The reverse depicts a she-wolf; above is the legend ROMA, presumably referring to the wolf. It has no connection to the she-wolf in the legend of Romulus and Remus, but rather stands for the city of Rome itself: During the War of the Allies, which lasted from 91 to 88 BC, the defeated Italian allies had often compared Rome to a predatory wolf.

Below the ground line on the reverse is the inscription P. SATRIENVS, referring to the moneyer Publius Satrienus, about whom nothing is known. Since Roman moneyers often chose coin motives that had something to do with their family history, it might be that a member of his family had distinguished himself in the War of the Allies.


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