City Commemorative Copper Follis of the Roman Empire

21 Apr 2020  Tue

Throughout history, coins have commonly been issued on special occasions, without necessarily citing that occasion explicitly. In some cases, emergency money has been issued under unfavourable conditions. Commemorative coins are coins issued to commemorate some particular event or issue with a distinct design with reference to the occasion on which they were issued.

In ancient Rome Constantine and his sons issued a few different types of commemoratives from 330-346. These were issued to mark the foundation of Constantinople and to also reaffirm Rome as the traditional centre of the Empire. The two most common are the CONSTANTINOPOLIS (Victory on a prow) and VRBS ROMA (wolf and twins) types.

The second type was known as the city commemorative coin which was issued to also reaffirm Rome as the traditional centre of the Empire. These copper coins were known as the copper follis and depict the female figure on the obverse is the personification of Constantinople or Rome. The wolf and twins type depict Romulus and Remus (the founders of Rome) being suckled by the she-wolf. The two stars on the reverse represent the Dioscuri (the twins-Castor and Pollux).

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