Roman Republic, Anonymous. c.225-214 BC

Roman Republic, Anonymous. c.225-214 BC


AR Quadrigatus, 6.74g (23mm, 6h). Laureate head of Janus / ROMA (incuse on raised tablet) Jupiter, hurling thunderbolt with his right hand and holding scepter in his left, in quadriga right driven by Victory.

Pedigree: From an old Swiss collection, formed in the early 20th century (with collector's ticket) and from the W. H. Woodward Collection, Ars Classica XV, 2 July 1930, 41.

References: Crawford 28/3. RBW 63. Sydenham 64

Grade: Insignificant marks on obverse otherwise a gorgeous cabinet toning with sharp strike and good centering. Some slight wear on the high points. About Mint State (rr1159)

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The quadrigatus was the very first silver coin type struck by the Romans. Previous to this the Romans used exclusively bronze coins as their currency. The large cast coins were not as easy for trade. The predecessor to the denarius, the quadrigatus was substantially larger than the denarius and stylistically more similar to the beautiful Greek coins that were being struck. It is suggested that the quadrigatus was used very seldom locally; it was used more outside of Rome for trade. 

The Janus head on the obverse is a pure Roman symbol and does not exist in Greek culture. The god Janus was meant to symbolize the beginning and end of a conflict, or war and peace. The quadriga found on the reverse of the coin was carried over when the denarius was finally introduced around 211 BC.