Lightning on Roman Coins

22 Jan 2020  Wed

Eon has witnessed the developing phase of religion followed by mankind. In the beginning, nature was worshipped in its true form but later on, there was personified in human form. These beliefs eventually influenced creative minds and the forces were represented in pictorial form. One such example is a thunderbolt on coins.

The Thunderbolt is a symbolic representation of lighting. In Roman and Ancient Hellenic religious traditions it is represented, Jupiter and Zeus. It is also called Vajra in Vedic text as the weapon of Indra, the King of gods.

In 234 BC Zeus and thunderbolt were depicted on the coins of Epirus. It also appears on the coins of Olympia but this coin depicts thunderbolt with an eagle. Even the Roman Republic Coinage depicts thunderbolt in their pre-denarius monetary system in the denomination like Terunica, Aes grave Triens, Didram, etc.

This above shown silver coin also belongs to Roman Republic Coinage. The Quadrigatus depicts the laureate head of twined Dioscuri within the dotted border on the obverse side. The reverse side depicts a Victoria driving quadriga and Jupiter the main deity is holding a specter in the left hand and thunderbolt in right. The legend ‘Roma’ is depicted in exergue.

Image Courtesy: American Numismatic.Org

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