Dominant Denarius

Updated: Mar 9, 2020

The Silver Denarius was a Roman coin minted during the Republican - Imperatorial and Imperial periods. The evidence of hoards points the time after the Second Punic War around 218 BC, as the period in which the Denarius denomination was introduced. The early issues have on the obverse a helmeted head of Roma and the mark value X, and on the reverse the Diosuri. Following the inflow of precious metal from the conquered lands, the v Denarius was revalued and its weight dropped from 4.5 gms to just below 4 gms. Its value was now worth sixteen Asses and the value mark X was changed from the letter X to letter X with a line in the center of X, which was a monogramed sign for XVI. During the Civil Wars the Dictators took a clue from the Greek Hellenistic kings and placed their portraits on the obverse of the coin. During the Imperatorial period the generals from Pomey to Antony struggling for control of Italy and the Roman Empire, began minting money in huge quantities to pay their troops, as a legionary's day pay was a Denarius. Throughout the Roman occupation of Malta the silver Denarius was the dominant denomination Hoards of Roman coins are recorded to have been found in Malta.

Emmanuel Azzopardi

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