Museum Quality Roman Republican Silver Denarius 157-79 BCE

Item Number:

512-918
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This ancient Roman silver denarius coin dates from about 157 BCE to 79 BCE, and is one of the highest quality surviving examples of coinage dating from the late Roman Republican period. The coin features a helmeted "Roma" on one side, and "Victory" driving a biga (a two horse chariot) on the other side. Roma was a female deity who personified the city of Rome and the Roman state. "Victory", or the Roman "Victoria", derives from the Greek goddess Nike, and is usually portrayed as a winged goddess.
 
From 509 BCE when the last king was expelled, to around the time Julius Caesar became the first dictator of the Roman Empire in 44 BCE, Rome was ruled by senators with a constitution and a complex republican government. This nearly 500 year period is generally referred to as the Roman  Republic, and traverses a period of unprecedented growth in culture, political structure and economics, including the start of widespread usage of coinage in everyday commerce.
 
The silver denarius denomination was introduced in 211 BCE, and quickly became the standard silver coin denomination. In 157 BCE, the design featuring Victory driving a two horse chariot was introduced. The design is widely believed to refer to the final defeat of Perseus of Macedon at the Battle of Pydna in 168 BC. The coins are struck in high quality silver, usually with a purity above 95% fineness.

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• Museum Quality Roman Republican Silver Denarius 157-79 BCE

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