About this artwork
The front (obverse) of this coin depicts the head of the goddess Roma, wearing a winged helmet and facing to the right. On the back (reverse), the god Jupiter rides in a four-horse chariot called a quadriga.
Portraits of important people appear on local currency all around the world. The same was true in ancient Rome, which began producing its first coinage in the late 4th century BCE. Early coins depicted the heads of gods and goddesses on the front side, often in profile, while the back depicted animals, natural resources, symbols, and references to historical events. The denarius, introduced in 211 BCE, was the principal silver coin of Rome for five hundred years. The profile head of the goddess Roma—the personification of Rome—was the most popular image depicted on silver denarii in the second and first centuries BCE.
Currently Off View
- Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium
- Ancient Roman
- Denarius (Coin) Depicting the Goddess Roma
- 136 BCE
- Reverse: L ANTES ROMA
- Diam. 2 cm; 3.86 g
- Gift of Mrs. William Nelson Pelouze