Republican coins

Q Pomponius Musa

Quintus Pomponius Musa was a moneyer for the Roman Republic during 56 BC. According to H. A. Seaby, in “Roman Silver Coins”: “The representation of Hercules Musagetes and of the nine Muses on his coins are intended as a reference to the cognomen of the moneyer. We probably have a representation in detail of the statues in the temple in the Circus Flaminius built in their honour by M. Fulvius Nobilitor. Hercules, as leader of the choir, is represented playing on his lyre and the Muses are shown with their various attributes.” The Muses are the daughters of Zeus, King of the gods and Mnemosyne, the Titan of memory. A daughter was born each of the nine nights they spent together. The muses and their attributes are portrayed on the series of coins as such: Calliope, the...

Battle of Pharsalus – August 8, 48 BC

Pharsalus, modern-day Farsala, is a city in central Greece, in southern Thessaly. It was the site of one of the most important Roman battles – the climactic clash between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great, on August 9, 48 BC. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon River with Legio XIII Gemina, a treasonous act in January of 49 BC, he knew he was declaring war against the Senate and the optimates. Although he was heading from Gaul to Rome with only one legion, it was enough to force Pompey and most of the Senate to flee to Greece. Caesar didn’t have the resources to chase them, so he worked to strengthen his forces and through Spain gained the fleet he needed. Pompey had the backing of most of the Senate and had a far more substantial number of troops to command. However, the army Caesar did have...

Roman Republican Coins

The Roman Republican period began after the Roman Kingdom was overthrown by Roman nobles in 509 BC and lasted until the establishment of the Roman Empire by Octavian/Augustus in 27 BC. Although coinage began in the Greek world before the beginning of the Republic, sheep and lumps of bronze were used as vehicles of trade. The lumps of bronze had to be weighed during each transaction to determine their value and these are called aes rude and considered proto-money and very collectible. Near the end of the 4th Century BC, some began to make flat bronze bars with or without a design on them, roughly weighing five Roman pounds, or libra. A libra weighed 328.9 grams. These flat bars are called aes signatum and are another form of proto-money. The city of Rome began producing its own aes signatum...

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