Coin (reverse), Didrachm

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of Rome

Postcard of Coin (reverse), Didrachm.
© National Museums Scotland

Coin (reverse), Didrachm

This silver didrachm of Rome was struck between 269 and 266 BC. This picture shows the reverse of the coin. It is not clear where coins of this type were minted, though some scholars have associated them with Rome.

A didrachm had a value of two drachmai. The coin's weight averaged 4 grams or slightly above, with a diameter of about 16 millimeters. The drachm supposedly took its name from a handful (drax) of six iron spits (obeloi), which were formerly used as currency. This ratio of six obols to the drachm continued long after the invention of coinage. The word is probably derived from "drax" - Greek for as much as you could hold in a hand. The Romans also used drachmai but created a new system of coinage around about 211 BC.

The reverse depicts the She-Wolf suckling the twins Romulus and Remus.

According to legend, the twins Romulus and Remus were thrown into the river Tiber, where they were rescued and nursed by a wolf. They were found by a shepherd who raised them. Later, they founded Rome, but Remus was killed in a quarrel over seniority.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-000-099-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1976.747
Date: 269 - 266 BC
Between 269 and 266 BC
Material: Silver. Inscription: Obv. Head of Hercules r. (hair bound with ribbon), with club and lionskin over shoulder / Rev. She-wolf r., suckling twins; in exergue, ROMANO
Dimensions: 20.00 mm D / Die Axis: 7.5
What: Coin, didrachm
Subject: Ancient Coin Collection
Who: Cook Collection
Where: Italy, Rome
Description: Silver didrachm of the Roman Republic, Rome, 269 - 266 BC
  • Crawford, M.H. Roman Republican Coinage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976. 
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