Amazing seafarers on Roman coin

26 Dec 2019  Thu

The curious nature of mankind had enabled him to discover and invent various aspects which benefited its development. It’s not a surprising notion that since primitive time man had the knowledge of seafaring. There were many civilizations who indulged in this exploration but Romans were late bloomers in this skill.

Romans were not great seafarers but after the First Punic War (264-241 BCE) their heavy bronze (Aes grave) coinage commemorated their creation of navy. Eve centuries later the Roman bronze coins were called ‘ships’ even though their design had changed drastically. The silver coins which were issued to pay the army of Mark Antony during the civil war can be an example for the most common silver coins depicting ship.

The above shown coin belongs to the Aes grave as a type of Roman Republic Coinage. The obverse of this coin depicts the janiform head of Janus. The reverse of the coin depicts a prow of ship facing right and 'I' denomination mark depicted above it. The ‘I’ mark represents the face value ‘AS’ which is the height denomination of Roman republic during pre-denarius coinage.

Image Courtesy: AmericanNumismatic.Org

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