Roman Republic. Anonymous. Rome, 225-212 BC

Roman Republic. Anonymous. Rome, 225-212 BC


AR Didrachm, 6.65g (20mm, 6h). Laureate, Janiform head of Dioscuri. Border of dots / Jupiter in quadriga r., driven by Victory - Jupiter holds sceptre in l. hand and hurls thunderbolt with r. hand; incuse on tablet or in relief in linear frame, ROMA. Line border.

References: BMC 101; Crawf. 28/3; Syd. 65

Grade: A few minor die breaks and a nick on the edge of the flan at 12h on obverse, otherwise nicely centered with some pretty iridescent toning around the images. Some light wear on the faces on reverse. EF (rr1144)

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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.