Agesilaos Antik Sikkeler Nümzimatik

Roman Republic

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Antik Sikkeler

4 Şub 2022
Struck circa 211 BC during the latter stages of the Second Punic War, the types chosen for the three small gold denominations valued at 60, 40, and 20 asses like the present piece, could not have been more fitting.


The war with Carthage had ravaged the Italian peninsula, and in addition to the wholesale destruction of Rome's armies, the most crucial damage inflicted by Hannibal's invasion of Italy was the total collapse of Rome's young monetary system.

At that time, the Roman currency was based entirely on bronze, for which the demand in wartime was competing with the needs for weaponry. The weights of the bronze currency were radically decreased, and it therefore became necessary to make bronze convertible to silver which, however, was also in short supply.

The strain on the Roman treasury was extreme. The decision was therefore taken in circa 216 BC to issue a gold coin as an attempt to provide further stability for and increase faith in the bronze coin by creating the impression that bronze could be freely exchanged for gold, thus making the bronze coin acceptable.

On the obverse these coin we find Mars, God of War and defender of Rome, who in myth was the father of #Romulus, the city founder. The eagle on the reverse symbolised strength and immortality in the face of adversity, and together these types make a very appropriate opening statement for the gold coinage of Rome, most especially when struck at a time of war.

In the Mars/Eagle and thunderbolt gold and Ptolemaic involvement in the Second Punic War convincingly argues that the influx of gold after the decision of 216 most likely came from the Ptolemaic kingdom in response to a direct appeal for help and that the reverse type of eagle on thunderbolt, so clearly similar to the Ptolemaic coin, was the tacit acknowledgement of the financial aid that was received by Rome.