Quadrigatus of Roman Republic

26 Aug 2017  Sat

A Quadrigatus is a denomination which belongs to the silver coinage during the rule of the Senate in Rome. It was introduced during the 3rd Century BC. These coins were minted shortly before the introduction of the denarius (monetary unit).

These silver Quadrigatus were struck during the Second Punic War circa 225-214BC. This war was the infamous bloody conflict between the two great powers of that time: Rome and Carthage. Coins of this type were probably used to pay Legionaries who fought and died to protect the Roman Republic from Hannibal and Carthaginian army.

The obverse of these coins depicts janiform bust of Janus. The choice of Janus on this coin is believed to be coinciding with the closing of Janus temple's door; it indicates the absence of war. But Michael Crawford has suggested that the obverse bust depicts Dioscuri because Janus is usually shown as a mature and bearded figure.

The most interesting and fascinating facts about quadrigatus it that it gets its name from its reverse design which depicts a quadriga- four horse chariot driven by Victoria and Jupiter is depicted holding a spear and thunderbolt.

Historian's like Livy and Plutarch referred this early coinage as denarii but today the historian and numismatics call this coinage as Anonymous.

The denomination similar to this design was victoriatus which is also called half quadrigatus. The gold Stater and half Stater were also minted simultaneously with quadrigatus.

To know more about Roman coinage click here.

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