Roman Republican Coinage Analysis

1473 Words 6 Pages
This essay will analyse and discuss the political impact of the iconography of Roman Republican Coinage. Using ancient and modern sources, it will consider the development of coinage as monumental, and analyse whether its political impact was for the purpose of propaganda, or simply as a means of documentation.
In the Roman Republic, coinage served as goods themselves, in a system of bartering, not like money used in modern times. Early Roman coins were stamped on the obverse only, serving as a display of the person or city responsible for the minting of each coin. The reverse was introduced as a means of distinguishing each denomination, to indicate the mint or mint-master, or to commemorate an event or personal achievement. Coinage in Rome developed greatly over the Republican period, with alterations made to mints, what was stamped, the materials use, and denominations. It became standard for moneyers to identify themselves on the coins they minted, first by symbol, and then by abbreviation of name, during the Second Punic War. During this time, many new mints were established as new territories were being acquired. Coinage during this period followed rules of conservatism that enforced
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These were first replaced with heavenly patrons of governing clans; later, coinage saw scenes illustrating pride and glory in their place. Around 110 BCE the ‘Roma’ head began to disappear, to be replaced with deities and legendary heroes. Catalogued between 110-44 BCE were varied types of minted coins, featuring Jupiter, Juno, and Mars frequently. The coins of this period show extreme syncretism, with symbols such as tridents and sceptres being added to portraits of deities not usually depicted with those items. Luce suggests that this is ‘intended not as means of identification, but to denote extended powers attributed to the God

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