History Coins
History Coins

Roman Republican Coins

The Roman Republic

Little is known of the period before the formation of the Roman Republic and what is known is largely based on myths and legends, but around 509BC the citizens of Rome decided to govern themselves. This overthrow took probably decades and was unlikely to have been bloodless, but until the fall in 27BC with the establishment of the Roman Empire, Rome went on to conquer all of Italy and much of the Mediterranean as well. Coinage as a means of exchange appeared in the early 3rd century and was cast not struck, silver and gold struck coinage appeared about 280BC and the denarius around the end of the 2nd century. 

Moneyer S Afranius, Silver Denarius



Helmeted head of Roma right, X behind head.

Victory galloping in biga right, S AFRA below, ROMA in exergue.

S85; 3.7g, 18mm, V Fine



£90  SOLD

C. Terentius Lucanus, c. 147 BC, AR denarius


Obverse:  Head of Roma right, Victory right holding wreath and X behind 

Ref: S93
3.76g, 20mm, aV Fine                                   £75

Reverse: The Dioscuri* right, C TER LVG below horses, ROMA in exergue.


* Historical note: The  Dioscuri, in Greek and Roman mythology were the twin brother deities, Castor and Pollux. Their mother was Leda, but they had different fathers, Castor was the son of her husband, the king of Sparta,Tyndareus (and therefore mortal), but Pollux was the son of Zeus (therefore a demigod and immortal).

M Marcius Mn f Silver Denarius, 134BC (depicting the Modius)

Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma right, modius* behind, X below chin


Ref: S 122
3.6g, 17mm, Fine                                         £70

Reverse: Victory with whip in galloping biga right, M MAR C, ROMA below, divided by two grain ears.


*Historical note: The modius was an imperial measure for dry weight, such as flour and grain, it was equal to the third of an amphora and four of these measures were the normal allowance for a slave per month. On our coin this indicates the bountifulness and fertility of Rome, also supported by the ears of corn. It is also estimated that 1 modius of wheat flour cost 10 sestertii, a tenth of a soldiers monthly wage or a third of an unskilled labourer.

Chariots - Highlighting The Triga

The chariot is believed to have been first used by the Mesopotamians; basically two wheeled carts, but the Egyptians were the first to see their benefit as an efficient battle tool around 1600BC. The Romans then adopted them and they quickly became a vehicle for 'pleasure,' as well as travel and war, with the development of the chariot race. The usual types of chariot used were the two horse variety: the biga, or the four horse type: the quadriga. The less common types were the triga (or tririga), with three horses used for ceremonies and the seiuga, the six-horse chariot. The latter was difficult to drive and needed a lot of skill.

Two-horse chariots are a common icon on Roman coins; the bigatus, a type of denarius was so called because it depicted a biga. In the iconography of religion and cosmology, the biga represents the moon and the quadriga the sun, and often shows other animals pulling the chariots. The carriage itself was made to be as light as possible, being constructed of wicker and leather or fabric and has been estimated to have weighed about 30kg.

The triga is occasionally depicted on Greek coins, but rarely on Roman republican coins; in fact there are only two types that I know of, and they are both for sale here:


C. Naevius Balbus 78-79BC, Serratus AR Denarius.

Venus right, SC behind

Victory in triga C NAE BALB (AL) in ex, control numeral above.

Rainbow tone.

Ref: Syd769b; BMC 2926-76


Was £65 NOW £60

Appius Claudius Pulcher, T Manlius Mancinus & Q Urbinus AR Denarius, 111-110BC

Helmeted head of Roma right/ Victory in triga right, one horse looking back AP CL T MANL Q VR in ex

Ref: Cr299/1a, Syd570




Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma right, LABEO before, ROMA behind, X beneath chin. 

Reverse: Jupiter in quadriga right, prow below; Q. FABI in exergue. 
Ref: S148. 
3.94g, 18mm, good very fine.


Was £125 NOW £120    SOLD


Q Curtius & M Junius Silanus, Silver Denarius, 116-115BC
Obverse: Head of Roma, X behind head, Q CVRT before  

Reverse: Jupiter in galloping quadriga right; lituus above, M SIA below, ROMA in ex. 

Ref: S162
3.94g, 20mm. VF/F



Was £85 NOW £75  SOLD

Roman Republican AR Denarius,

C. Renius, 138BC


Rev: Juno in biga of goats, C RENI below, ROMA in ex


17mm, 3.97g




£90  (FREE P&P to UK, please enquire for international postage)

Pinarius Natta 
AR Denarius, 155BC,
Rome Mint
Obverse: Helmeted head of Roma , right; X behind
Reverse: Victory in biga, NATTA below, ROMA in ex
18mm, 3.09g
VF+ but small scratch to nose

Dei Penates denariusSilver Denarius, 47 BC, C. Antius C. f. Restio, The Dei Penates.


Obverse: Diademed jugate heads of the Dei Penates right; DEI PENATES behind

Reverse: Naked Hercules advancing right, brandishing club and holding trophy; C ANTIVS (CF)

Rarely offered coin in affordable state!

Slightly off centre. 17-19mm, 3.5g

Reference: S435; CRR 971  

This is the reverse of the Dei Penates coin. A must for any serious collector.




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