Coin (obverse), Denarius, Faustus CorneliusSulla

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minted in Rome

Postcard of Coin (obverse), Denarius, Faustus CorneliusSulla.
© National Museums Scotland

Coin (obverse), Denarius, Faustus CorneliusSulla

This silver denarius was minted in Rome by Faustus Cornelius Sulla in 56 BC. It was a special issue authorised by the Senate, as indicated by the legend 'S.C' (for 'senatus consulto'). This picture shows the obverse of the coin.

The obverse depicts Venus, the goddess of beauty and fertility, wearing a diadem. Similar coins have a sceptre behind her neck and the legend 'S.C' written downwards behind her, but these details have been worn away on this coin.

In exceptional cases the Senate ordered officials to strike special issues. Some coins of this moneyer do not have the legend S.C, but those with this design do. He was probably given special instructions to produce an extra batch of denarii.

The Roman currency system included the denarius (plural: denarii), a small silver coin, as the most common coin in circulation. Classical historians regularly say that in the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire the daily wage for a laborer was one denarius. The denarius was first struck in 211 BC during the Roman Republic, valued at 10 asses, giving the denarius its name which translates to "containing ten". In 118 BC it was re-tariffed at 16 asses, to reflect the decrease in size of the As. The As was a bronze or copper coin. The denarius continued to be the main coin of the empire until it was replaced by the antoninianus in the middle of the 3rd century AD.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-065-731-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.C15299
Date: 56
56 BC
Material: Silver; both sides slightly off-centre; worn. Inscription: Obv. Laureate diademed draped bust of Venus to right; sceptre behind neck; behind head, S . C, downwards / Rev. Three trophies; jug on left; lituus on right; FAVSTVS monogram in exergue
Dimensions: 18.50 x 19.00 mm D / Die Axis: 7.0
What: Coin Type: Crawford 426/3
Coin, denarius
Subject: Queen Street Coin Collection
Who: Faustus Cornelius Sulla (Maker)
Where: Italy, Rome
Roman Republic
Description: Silver denarius of Rome, minted by Faustus Cornelius Sulla, 56 BC
  • Crawford, M.H. Roman Republican Coinage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976. 
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