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Bactria Capta


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There's two things I really enjoy about ancients. One is allegory, I'm a sucker

for allegory in all time periods and the decline thereof in the present is a

constant source of wonder. The second is pondering how the past impacts the

present and also how we as a species may have changed. The United States of

America is often compared to the Roman Republic and Empire. While there are

meta-similarities such as being the greatest military power and using the power

there are also a lot of differences. There's no more town dumps for unwanted

infants, no more slavery, and generally less reveling in the bellicose.


The Roman Judae Capta series is quite famous and interesting, and the Romans had

used this motif for other subjugated places. I believe with the neo-Classicism

in the 18th and 19th century this theme returned on medallions at least although

I can't conjure up any definitive examples at this moment. Just as surely,

there has been no Germania Capta, Japania Capta, or more recently Mesopotamia

Capta or the title of this post. Military triumphs in the modern age may be

celebrated on air craft carriers and television but no longer on coins.


Is this a sign of the declining influence of coins as propaganda or a sign that

militarism is not as glorified as it was in the past?

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Well, in the West, plastic has displaced coins. So you better look at nations that don't heavily rely on credit/debit cards. Would you say they have more interesting motifs?


Or how about the development of 24-hour news networks that focus on the smallest details of everything. If a single line of a fantastic bill offends just one person with a face that appeals to the cameras, then the whole bill is diluted. I'm sure having even Liberty on a coin offends someone out there...

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Military triumphs in the modern age may be

celebrated on air craft carriers and television but no longer on coins.


How about this Russian WWII commemorative?



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Modern commemorative coins don't circulate and are used to raise funds from a small base so I wouldn't count them in the same league. I think thedeadpoint is correct that modern propaganda happens much more quickly than coins can reflect.

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