Archaeological Museum of Bologna

Museo Civico Archeologico
Via dell'Archiginnasio 2 - 40124 Bologna

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Via de' Musei 8 – 40124 Bologna
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Collections / Sections / Numismatic collection

Sextus Pompeius denarius

The museum boasts a large number of Roman coins from the republican and imperial periods: of the 25,000 pieces, more than half are from the Palagi Collection. The collection, which is extremely important in terms of the number, quality and rarity of the pieces, documents the various phases of Roman coinage from the origins to the late empire. The section on republican denarii is especially rich, bearing witness to the extraordinary iconographic variety distinctive of this coinage. The series from the imperial age is equally significant from a historical and numismatic standpoint. This group includes about one hundred Roman medallions issued for commemorative purposes, and about one hundred Contorniates, medallions issued by the mints of Rome and Constantinople between the second half of the 4th century and the first half of the 5th century AD

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According to tradition, in 269-268 BC appears the first silver coin issued by the mint of Rome, the denarius, which was coined until the third century. AD. It became the most common coin produced for circulation, widespread both in Rome and in the territories under Roman rule. At the beginning of its issuance, the obverse of the denarius featured the helmeted head of Roma, and the reverse the Dioscuri on horseback. Then began to appear new types, both in obverse and reverse: gods, mythological characters, monuments, historical and religious scenes. This specimen, issued in Rome in 137 BC, shows on the obverse the head of Rome and on the reverse the shepherd Faustulus discovering Romulus and Remus being suckled by a she-wolf . The tree, which, despite the thorny twigs welcomes three birds, symbolizing the ficus ruminalis under which the waters deposed the cradle with the twins.


Provenance: Palagi Collection
Datation: 137 BC
Material: silver
Dimensions: dia mm 18,5; gr 3,80
Inventory #: 29446

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