Roman Republic, Denarius


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

The obverse of this denarius depicts the Greek god Apollo with a laurel wreath and long curls. Behind him is a lyre, symbol for his association with music.

The reverse shows Diana, the goddess of women, childbirth and the hunt. A bow and a quiver hang over her shoulder, and she carries lighted torches in her hands.

The image on the reverse alludes to the festival of Diana Nemorensis, during which young Roman women trailed from the Aventine Hill in Rome to Nemi in a nocturnal torchlight procession. There, a mother goddess was worshipped since pre-Roman times, who later merged into Diana. At the end of the 2nd century BC, a monumental sanctuary was built in Nemi, where fertility cults were held and the women of Rome asked Diana for healthy offspring.


Signet Sunflower Foundation