about ancient nomos

Ancient Nomos Art is a museum of galleries exhibiting ancient coins and ancient mint maps. The coin gallery displays the diverse art and history of hand-crafted ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Persian and Medieval coinage. The ancient mints mapping gallery features Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Asia Minor and Medieval mint city regions and territories. Visitor's are welcome to explore, study and enjoy Ancient Nomos Art.

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Roman Republic – 148 BC

Atilius Seranus

From Ancient Galleries

Obverse: Helmeted, winged head of Roma facing right with value "X" below chin.
Reverse: Dioscouri charging to right with spears in hand; ROMA in exergue below.

Obv: Helmeted head of Roma to right wearing winged helmet, earring, and pearl necklace; SARAN downward behind; X below chin. Rev: Two Dioscouri charging to right, wearing chalmys and holding spears; stars above each of their heads; M.ATILI below, ROMA in exergue within linear frame.

The earliest silver denarius coins of the Roman Republic can be indentified by their portrait of goddess Roma wearing a winged helmet. The depiction of Roma, wearing earrings and a pearl necklace, is intended to be the personification of Rome. The value mark X below chin indicates a denarius. The earliest Republican coins do not mention a moneyor by name, although occasionally the denarii featured control marks, symbols, letters, or monograms of the particular mint authority. Eventually, monograms and symbols were replaced with abbreviated forms of the moneyor’s name. The 148 BC Republican issued denarius is perhaps the earliest example depicting the patrician moneyors three part Latin name. The three part name (tria nomina) begins with the praenomen (given name, ie; M for Marcus), then nomen gentile or gentilicium (name of the gens or clan, ie; Atilius) and finally, cognomen (name of a family within the gens, ie; Seranus). The obverse legend on this coin is the cognomen and reverse legend the praenomen and nomen, all abbreviated. The Republican reverse usually depicts either a deity driving a biga or quadriga, or as in this case, a pair of dieties on horse back. The Dioscouri pair, or Sons of Zeus, are shown on the reverse charging to right, wearing chalmys with spears in hand. Dioskouroi, is a two part Greek word with “Dios” meaning Zeus and “Kouroi” meaning the Sons. The Romans referred to them as the twin sons of Jupiter (Zeus) and Leda, with Roman names Castor and Pollux. Zeus transformed them into stars now found in the constellation Gemini. This is why the Dioscuri are often shown wearing pointed caps with stars above them while riding horses. Legend says Castor and Pollux were thought to have assisted the Romans in defeating the Etruscans in 484 BC and appear together on many second century Republican coins.

The ANAM Special Features gallery takes a closer look at the uniquely small, exquisitely engraved and highly artful Republican Roman Horsemen and Chariot types, circa 1st, 2nd and 3rd centuries BC. To view the Special Features coin exhibit depicting this very important form of ancient equine transportation, please use the following link: Republican Roman Horsemen and Chariot Exhibit

Value: Denarius. Metal: AR Silver. Weight: 3.75 grams. Mint: Rome. Date: circa 148 BC.
Attribution: Atilia 9; Crawford 214/1b; Sydenham 398; Kestner 2015; BMCRR 679; LHS 100, 380.

Legend, Documentation and Attribution