Roman Republic, Denarius


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

The design on this denarius of the moneyer Gaius Coelius Caldus alludes to the family history of the plebeian (i.e. non-noble) gens Coelia. Our moneyer's grandfather and namesake had been a homo novus, the first of the Coelia family to be elected as consul. With this, the family advanced into the Roman nobility. This coin celebrates the successful ancestor with his portrait and the (not entirely legible) legend COS.

The reverse depicts Sol, the sun god, wearing a radiate crown. This is a commemoration of the same ancestor's military victories. The oval Macedonian shield behind Sol's head suggests success in Macedon and the round Gallic shield below his chin stands for triumph in Gaul.


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