Coin (obverse), Denarius, of Marcus Volteius Marci filius

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minted in Rome

Postcard of Coin (obverse), Denarius, of Marcus Volteius Marci filius.
© National Museums Scotland

Coin (obverse), Denarius, of Marcus Volteius Marci filius

This silver coin was minted in Rome by Marcus Volteius, son of Marcus, in 78 BC. It is a type called a denarius, the most common Roman silver coin. This picture shows the obverse of the coin.

The obverse depicts Liber, the god of vegetation, wearing an ivy-wreath. He later became identified with Bacchus, the god of wine and fertility.

This moneyer issued five types of denarii. The different designs have been interpreted as relating to festivals in Rome. This one refers to the festival held in honour of Ceres (portrayed on the reverse), Liber and Libera.

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: 000-100-065-686-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.C15254
Date: 78
78 BC
Material: Silver; obverse slightly off-centre; moderate wear. Inscription: Obv. Head of Liber to right, wearing ivy-wreath / Rev. Ceres in biga of snakes to right, holding torch in each hand; crab behind Ceres; in exergue; M . VOLTEI . M . F
Dimensions: 18.00 mm D / Die Axis: 6.0
What: Coin Type: Crawford 385/3
Coin, denarius
Subject: Queen Street Coin Collection
Who: Ceres
M. Volteius M. f. (Maker)
Where: Italy, Rome
Roman Republic
Description: Silver denarius of Rome, minted by M. Volteius M. f., 78 BC
  • Crawford, M.H. Roman Republican Coinage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976. 
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