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THE OATH SCENE GOLD
REPUBLICAN ROME
by Marco Did˛, Stefania Tommasone

In the mid-Republican period gold coins were issued only in very few occasions (often following an important politico-military event), thus becoming more a symbol of international prestige than one of economic wealth. Only during the last quarter of the 3rd century B.C. did the Romans (who until then had used a monetary system based on silver and bronze denominations) begin to mint gold coins. The gold used for these issues probably came from the Spanish mines and from the booty captured after the fall of Syracuse in 212. The series is called the "oath scene gold" because of the image on the reverse

This gold issue is based on the system of the Roman silver didrachm and is composed of two denominations, the stater and the half stater, corresponding to 6 and 3 scruples of about 6.75 and 3.37 grams. The production of the "oath scene gold" is linked to that of the so-called quadrigatus, i.e. the latest didrachm, because both the gold and the silver coins share the same obverse type: a young janiform head.




Click on the images of the coins to enlarge them

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