Roman Republic. Anonymous. Rome, c. 241-235 BC

Roman Republic. Anonymous. Rome, c. 241-235 BC


AR Didrachm, 6.33g (19mm, 7h). Helmeted head of beardless Mars r., bowl decorated with griffin / ROMA Bridled horse's head r.; behind, sickle.

Pedigree: Ex Leu 17, 1977, Nicholas collection, lot 6. Ex NAC 83, 20 May 2015, 224

References: Sydenham 24. Crawford 25/1. Historia Numorum Italy 297

Grade: Rare and in unusually fine condition for the issue. Wonderful old cabinet tone. EF/aEF (rr1121)

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In 281 BC Rome entered into war against Tarentum and started to produce its first silver coinage; a didrachm of this type. Previous to this, Republican Rome used heavy bronze currency of various sizes and denominations. This particular type was new for Roma as the style of the coinage copied its Greek forefathers in symbolism, style and look. The departure from the heavy Aes Grave coinage to a lighter silver currency was likely based on the need to pay large numbers of troops in a coinage that would be familiar. This denomination continued to be struck until the emergence of the silver quadrigatus in 235 BC.