Republican Rome

and the First Denarius

Rome's other Forum -- the Boarium (or cattle market) displays temples of the Roman Republic, Second Century BCE. The Temple of Fortuna Virilis (above, top left) is one of the best preserved Republican temples. The Temple to Hercules (top right), once thought to be Vesta's, is nearby. In the spring of 1999, both were undergoing restoration for the new millenium celebrations in Rome. Near the Forum Boarium, another monument to the Republic standing since the 2nd C. BCE is the Ponte Rotto on Tiber (center photo) -- "the broken bridge." Closer to the better known Roman Forum is the Courtyard of Sant' Omobono which exposes the foundation of a Republican temple dated 241 BCE (narrow photo, lower left). In the same courtyard, a symbol of the royalty from which the Republicans rebeled can be seen (photo lower right): the 6th C. BCE Archaic Temple of the Etruscan Kings!

Rome, Silver Denarius, after 211 BCE, anonymous. Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma right, X behind.

Reverse: The Dioscuri riding right, stars above; ROMA in exergue in linear frame. [Crawford 53]

Q: Another page on this web site identifies a coin of Neapolis as the first Roman coin. In what sense is the denarius a Roman first?

A: The denarius was of the first coins minted within the new Roman sextanal coinage system. [Crawford, Coinage and Money Under the Roman Republic, 1985, pp.54-56]

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