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My First Three Silver Roman Coins.


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I initially posted these in the world coin forum, as the ancients are not listed in the headers on the individual forums, and I always go straight to exonumia and did not even realize that there was an ancient forum.



Hadrian, AR (silver) 18mm. Denarius, 119-122, Rome IMP CAESAR TRAIAN H_ADRIANVS AVG Laureate, drapery on left shoulder & over back, bust right, P M TR P-COS III Salus seated left, feeding snake coiled round altar from patera in right hand SAL AVG in exergue. RIC 137.


Salus ("salvation") is the personified Roman goddess of health and prosperity, both of the individual and the state. As Salus Publica Populi Romani ("goddess of the public welfare of the Roman people") she had a temple on the Quirinal, inaugurated in 302 BCE (Livius X, 1, 9).

Her attributes were a snake & patera (broad shallow dish) and her festival was celebrated on March 30.



Trajan, 98-117 A.D. AR (silver) Denarius 18mm, Mint of Rome, 102 A.D. Obv: IMP CAES NERVA TRAIAN AVG GERM. Laureate bust right, slight drapery on left shoulder. Rev: P M TR P COS IIII P P. Victoria, standing right on prow ending in serpent, holding wreath and palm. RIC II 59, RSC 241.


Victoria (latin for victory) was the Roman equivalent of the Greek Goddess Nike (she of running shoe fame!). She is winged, as she flies down from heaven to crown the victor with a Wreath of laurel leaves and to present him with a Palm of Victory.


Her temple was built in 294 BC. by L. Postumius Megillus following the Battle of Sentium (Third Samnite War) where the Romans inflicted a decisive on the Samnite and their allies in 295 BC. Which lead to the unification of central Italy under Roman rule.


The battle itself is worthy of study, as the Roman army of 40,000 was initially confronted by a combined Samnite, Etruscan, Senones Gaul & Umbrian army of 80,000. The Romans sent a small force to raid Etruria & Umbria, which had the intended effect of the Etruscans & Umbrians returning to protect their home lands, thus reducing the remaing force to 50,000. The battle opened with a ferocious attack by the Gauls on the Romans under Decius Mus. Decius responded with a cavalry charge which, although initially effective, was defeated by the Gallic chariots. With his army collapsing it is said that, like his father at the Battle of Veseris, Decius rode into the Gallic horde and died committing the Act of Devotio. This was enough to rally his men, and with Rullianus having driven off the Samnites on his half of the battlefield, Rullianus was able to commit his Triari, Campanian Knights and part of the III Legion, under the Tribune Lucius Cornelius Scipio, into the Flank of the Gauls. This was too much for the Gauls and they joined the Samnites in headlong retreat. Only 12,000 Samnites and Gauls escaped the slaughter in which 8,000 Romans and 25,000 Gauls and Samnites were killed & 13,000 prisoners taken.


Some of those prisoners might well have laboured quarrying stone for, or building, the Temple of Victory in Rome.


Silver denarius. C. VIBIVS. C.F. PANSA Denarius. 90 BC.


PANSA, laureate head of Apollo right/ Minerva in quadriga right, C. VIBIVS. C.F. Sears# 242. 18mm

C. for Caius

C.F. for Caii Filius


The Republic's coinage was minted in Rome in a building located beside the Temple of Juno Moneta on the Capitoline Hill. A triumvirate of magistrates were in charge of the mint. These magistrates were elected each year, so it is easy to give a precise date to this undated denarius.


The position of Mint Magistrate was important as it was one of the steps to higher office & perhaps more importantly the magistrate could, as in this case, put his name on the coins thus becoming well known.


Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, medicine, the arts, dyeing, science and trade, but also of war. Compares to the Greek Athena. The Temple of Minerva is on the Aventine hill. She was also worshipped as one of the Capitoline Triad (the three supreme gods Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) on the Capitoline Hill in Rome.


On this coin she is shown in her war mode, albeit slightly beheaded, in a chariot pulled by four horses (a quadriga).

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I initially posted these in the world coin forum, as the ancients are not listed in the headers on the individual forums, and I always go straight to exonumia and did not even realize that there was an ancient forum.



Great post, Const!

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