Coin (obverse), Quinarius, of Marcus Cato

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minted in Rome

Postcard of Coin (obverse), Quinarius, of Marcus Cato.
© National Museums Scotland

Coin (obverse), Quinarius, of Marcus Cato

This Roman silver coin, of a type called a quinarius, was minted in Rome by Marcus Cato in 89 BC. 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. Behind him is the legend 'M.CATO' written downwards. Below is a fibula, used as a mint control-mark.

The quinarius was issued sporadically into the early 2nd century BC. Thereafter its production lapsed, until it was revived in the early 1st century BC. It was then worth half of a denarius, the standard silver coin in use for most of Rome's history.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-078-615-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1932.459
Date: 89 BC
Material: Silver. Inscription: Obv. Head of Liber r., wearing ivy-wreath; behind, M.CATO downwards;below, control-mark, fibula / Rev. Victory seated r., holding patera in r. hand and palm-branch inl. hand, over l. shoulder; in exergue, VICTRIX
Dimensions: 14.00 mm D / Die Axis: 4.5
What: Coin, quinarius
Subject: Ancient Coin Collection
Who: Cato
Where: Italy, Rome
Description: Silver quinarius of the Roman Republic, Rome, 89 BC
  • Crawford, M.H. Roman Republican Coinage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976. 
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