As of c. 200 BCE, Rome was the only place where coins were produced in Italy. The troops ensured that the coins were widely distributed throughout the Roman empire. As Rome continued to expand its boundaries, with the expansion came a lot of treasures they had taken from their enemies. Silver slowly replaced bronze as the most suitable material to be used in making coins. This was reached at because Rome had taken over the mines at Macedonia which resulted in the production of the quantities of silver coins. Came c. 141 BCE, the bronze value was diminished that 16 of bronze was equivalent to one denarius.
By 1st century, Roman coins had spread, and they were now being used for trading across the Mediterranean. The relationship between war and coinage was displayed yet again in 84 BCE. This was when Sulla produced new silver and gold coins to pay his armies. In 46 BCE, Julius Caesar also created the most significant amount of gold coins ever to be seen throughout Rome. In the process of producing those golden coins, Caesar, the state mint run out of gold to provide any more coins. Following the death of Julius Caesar, coins started to be produced by all those people who were struggling to replace him. Following Octavian's success in returning Caesar, an even Roman coinage was again restored.
The images contained on the Roman coin changed when Julius Caesar decided to use his picture on the coins he made. The display of faces of power and imperial portrait on the Roman coin marks the period from 48BC which records the beginning of the reign of Julius Caesar the dictator it goes along up to the fall of Western Roman Empire in 476 AD. Through this period, the government was in total control over the production of coins. The government carefully chose the images that were indicated on either side of the coin in charge. The images were always meant to pass a message to the people living in the empire. The images were intended for the illiterate laborers who were unable to read but could interpret the images to get the message.
The head of the coin always displayed the emperor and at times someone related to them such as their father, mother, son, or wife. The tail of the coin usually bore a message mostly an image. The image could be of a god such as the victory go or the peace god. It portrayed the god who the emperor wanted his reign to be associated with. The tail of the coin could also bore the commemoration of a celebrated event such as a victory by the army or even a Colosseum opening. Whatever was indicated on the cons and the reality that people knew could sometimes be different. The images on the coins only stated that which the emperor wanted people to believe in. At the time of the Roman republic, the magistrate who was mandated to produce coins at times would sneak in his name as part of the legend. The resignation of Augustus leads to an end of this practice.
The imperial coining would often include an abbreviation of nomen and cognomen, for example, A which stood for Aurelius, AEL for Aelius/Aelia, CLAVD for Claudius, CLOD for Clodius, ALB for Albinus, ETR for Etruscus, ESV for Esuvius, FL for Flavius. Once cognomina had been identified, agnomina would be adopted to establish the families' individuals came from. The numbers present on the Roman coins indicated how many times an individual had occupied an office if he had made any contribution to the public, and the awards he had been awarded. For instance, LIBERALITAS III indicates the number of public largesses made to be four; TR P II records that the tribunician power is being held for the second year.
The Greek cities started minting their coins long before the rise of Rome to power. In the Greek empire, it was their custom to give the right to cities in the east to produce coins having Greek legends for their use locally. On the head of that coin, there was a display of portrait honouring a prominent member of the imperial family and the tail of the coin had an image containing the importance of the coin locally. Just like in the Roman coins, the city magistrates who were in control of the Greek mints would include their names in the legend on the coin. This practice lasted longer in Greek unlike in Rome where it was terminated after the death of Augustus. Some of the Greek words which occurred in their legend include ANTINOOY for Antinous, AVTOK for Imperator, and AOYIOAA for Aviola.
Some of the Roman rulers who took contributed significantly to Roman coinage include, Julius Caesar. He is known for conquering Gaul and Britain. By 48 BC, Caesar was a ruler in Rome. By 44 BC he was a dictator even though he is mostly recalled as a general. He decided to make Rome in his image. Caesar held the position of Pontifex Maximus. The Romans religious sense lead them into believing that they were higher than everyone. They thought that the success of their army was due to the relationship they had with their gods. The coin developed by Caesar describes him as a lifelong dictator. It shows him with the covered head as a pontifex, and on the reverse Venus, the ancestress to Caesar is demonstrated giving victory and the staff of authority. The big question is whether the team is being given to Rome or Caesar the dictator and if it has reached a point where Caesar and Rome cannot be separated. After one year running his ideas, Caesar was killed.
Julia and Marcellus. Marcellus is mainly remembered for being one of the Romans future heroes awaiting in the underworld for their reborn. In 25 BC, there was a celebration of the marriage of a Marcellus and Julia. The very same year, Acilius a provincial governor minted a coin in honour of Augustus together with Julia and Marcellus. These were later to become the faces of Rome. Augustus.
Brutus too followed suit when he engraved his image on one side of the coin while on the other hand, he engraved two daggers which symbolized the role he played in the assassination of Caesar. When the tenure for Augustus came, he too followed the trend. Apart from engraving his image on the coin, Augustus transformed the denominations of minor coins. This new system letter formulated the Roman foundation coinage which would be used for the next three centuries.
The silver coins which were less than the denarius was replaced by brass which was composed of copper and zinc, orichalcum sestertius, and dupondius. The silver denarius was not affected at all; it was valued at 84 pounds while each of the gold aureii's value was at 25 denarii and 41 pounds respectively. Most coins were primarily produced in Rome except the Lugdunum mint. This mint was created in 16 BCE and oversaw the production of golden and silver coins.
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