Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Collections / Sections / Numismatic collection

Bronze Contorniate

Contorniates were a sort of Roman medals not struck to be a form of money, issued between the second half of the 4th and the first half of the 5th century AD. They were probably used as gifts, or as tesserae (a sort of tiket) for the entrance to the games of the circus, or as game tokens. They are made of bronze and they are characterized by a circular deep furrow on the contour or edge, hence their name. Generally the obverse shows portraits of emperors, famous personalities or scholars, while the reverse types are linked to ludi (public games), to distributions of money and to mythological themes.

More info

This specimen shows on the obverse the head of Nero and on the reverse a male figure wearing a toga, in front of a small table on which the coins are visible; at the sides, two togate figures standing with outstretched hands, flanked by columns supporting a roof decorated.


Provenance: University Collection
Datation: 4th century AD
Material: Bronze
Dimensions: dia mm 38; gr 22,80
Inventory #: 15396

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