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Denarius (Coin) Depicting the Goddess Roma

A work made of silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silver.


about 100 BCE



About this artwork

The front (obverse) of this coin depicts the head of the goddess Roma wearing a winged helmet surmounted by eagles and facing to the right. On the back (reverse), two warriors with shields and swords are shown fighting on foot with horses behind them.

Portraits of important people appear on local currency all around the world. The same was true in ancient Rome, which began producing its first coinage in the late 4th century BCE. Early coins depicted the heads of gods and goddesses on the front side, often in profile, while the back depicted animals, natural resources, symbols, and references to historical events. The denarius, introduced in 211 BCE, was the principal silver coin of Rome for five hundred years. The profile head of the goddess Roma—the personification of Rome—was the most popular image depicted on silver denarii in the second and first centuries BCE.


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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Roman


Denarius (Coin) Depicting the Goddess Roma


Roman Empire


100 BCE




DIam. 2.2 cm; 3.92 g

Credit Line

Gift of William F. Dunham

Reference Number


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