The roman coinage: repubblican and augustan series
The Roman expansion in the Mediterranean Sea led to the spread of the winners’ coins, which
based essentially on a bronze basic unite – the As – with its fractions (the quadrans = ¼) and
multiples (the sestertius = 2,5 as), among which the main one was the silver denarius (10 as).
The latter one – introduced during the second Punic War, between the 215 and 211 BC- will rest
until the III century AC the fundamental currency. Its value will be elevated to 16 as (half part of
the II century BC), maintaining the equivalence to 4 sestercii from 4 as each one. The examples
with the Janus’ drawing on the obverse side and the overturned bows of a ship (nn. I, 9), though the
denarii immediately show the Roman magistrates’ names responsible for the coinage of the coins
(nn. 3-6).
During the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AC), the triumviri monetarii’s names continue to appear
on the coins with the portrait of the owner of the power; these names definitely disappear from the
coins with the growing importance of the Imperial hegemony (n. 12). The sovereign’s figure
becomes object of celebration also after his death, as showed by the coinages dedicated from
Tiberius to his predecessor.

1. M.Antonius denarium (n.6): a ship on the obverse, some military symbols and the indication
of the VIII legion on the reverse
2. Republican anonymous As (n.I): on the obverse the representation of Bifrons Janus, on the
reverse the bow of a ship
3. Divus Augustus Pater As (n. 14): on the obverse the Emperor with his radiant crown, on the
reverse the Providentia deity temple altar and the indication of the authority of the Senate
(Senatus Consultus)