Populonia: Tyrrhenian Harbor of the Etruscans

and the Silver XX Asses

Tomba dei Carri of the Etruscan Necropolis. The chariot that was entombed is now in Florence's Museo Archaelogico.

Silver, 20 Asses, 211-200 BCE. Obverse: Gorgoneion, XX below. [Vecchi, SNR69,54]


Q: Given that Etruscan Civilization predates the Greek settlements in Italy and the founding of the Roman Republic, can it be assumed that Etruscan Coinage influenced the coin designs of the latter two?

A: No. Coinage circulation in Etruria did not begin until three centuries after the establishment of mints among the Greek poleis in Magna Graecia. Greek coinage was accepted by the Etruscans during the classical period, but Etruscan mint production probably began in the 3rd C. BCE. [Crawford, Coinage and Money Under the Roman Republic, 1985, pp.2-3]

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