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

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minted in Rome

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

Coin (reverse), 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 reverse of the coin.

The reverse depicts a boar, identified as the Boar of Mount Erymanthus. According to legend, one of Hercules' 12 labours required him to carry the huge boar back alive on his shoulders to Mycenae.

This moneyer, identified by the legend 'M.VOLTEI. M.F' at the bottom of the coin, issued five types of denarii. The different designs have been interpreted as relating to festivals in Rome. This one refers to the games held in honour of Hercules.

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.

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Online ID: 000-190-000-032-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1915.124
Date: 78 BC
Material: Silver. Inscription: Obv. Head of Hercules r. / Rev. Erymanthian boarr.; in exergue, M.VOLTEI. M.F
Dimensions: 17.50 mm D / Die Axis: 4.5
What: Coin, denarius
Subject: Ancient Coin Collection
Who: Hercules
Where: Italy, Rome
Description: Silver denarius of the Roman Republic, Rome, 78 BC
  • Crawford, M.H. Roman Republican Coinage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976. 
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