Serrate Denarius of Rome

03 Feb 2022  Thu

Serrated denarii are unique to the Roman Republic with most issued from the late 2nd to early 1st century BC. As it is known the denarii serrati represent a particular and original typology of republican denarii having the edge indented. Comprising about two dozen issues, these coins were struck on planchets (blanks) with edges serrated with cuts of a blade.

The motivation behind the edge serration is not known, and scholars have devoted a great deal of thought to the matter. Some believe it was an anti-counterfeiting device intending to expose the interior of the coin at its edge, thus reducing the likelihood of plated forgeries.

The denarius shown above depicts a draped bust of Diana to right, with bow and quiver over the shoulder on the obverse with legend GETA downwards behind, III•VIR downwards before. The reverse depicts a boar standing to right, wounded by a spear and attacked by a hound to right along with the legend C•HOSIDI•C•[F] in exergue.

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