Centaur on Roman Coins

2017-10-10 Tue

Centaur is a legacy of Geek culture assimilated so beautifully into the Roman lifestyle that its significance cannot be explained. The Roman centaur represents a primitive, alien past, whose virtues are its vices.

The physical iconography of a centaur is depicted in a form of a horse body till the neck, joined to human-waist and upper body. The above-shown coin depicts a Biga drawn by Centaurs holding branches and driven by Hercules, he is depicted holding a club in right hand and a rein in left hand.

The obverse of this coin depicts the bust of Roma wearing winged Griffin helmet with initial ‘COTA’ ahead of the bust and denominational mark ‘X’ behind the bust.

The initial ‘Cotta’ on the reverse of this coin is the initial of the mint master/moneyer Marcus Aurelius Cotta. He is the member of the gens Aurelia - a Plebein family from its branch Cottae in the 2nd Century during the Roman Republic era. This family attained noble status in the 1st Punic War.

This coin is the only Roman Republic coin that depicts centaur attached to Biga (Chariot). The coinage of Kaiserliche Pragungen Gallienus depicts centaur on the reverse side of its denomination Antoninian. The centaur in his coins is depicted with a drawn arrow and is also shown carrying a spear.

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