Quinarius from a time of "Massive Recoinage"
Updated: Sep 5
I was a little worried about the fragility of this coin when I bid on it and was pleasantly surprised see that, in hand, the flan crack that looks cavernous in the photo is very stable, and for me not distracting.
Roman Republic, Anonymous AR Quinarius, 211 BC
Obv: Helmeted head of Roma right; V behind.
Rev: The Dioscuri on horseback to right, ROMA in linear frame in exergue.
Ref: Crawford 44/6; Sydenham 141; RSC 3.
Size: 15.6mm, 2.21g (1/2 denarius, weight standard based on denarius weight of 4.5g)
A few quotes on the time period from Kenneth Harl, "Coinage in the Roman Economy":
"In the Second Punic War, the Republic reforged silver and bronze currency into a system of denominations that endured for the next 450 years"
"Roman triumphs on the battlefield also ensured the triumph of the new Roman currency throughout Italy and the provinces of Sicily"
"Hundreds of thousands of gold and silver litrae of Syracuse, Corinthian-style pegasi, Campanian and Italiot didrachmae, and sheckels of Carthage and her Italian allies were melted down and struck into denarii in massive re-coinages in 211-200 B.C. that changed the face of currency in the western Mediterranean"
The coin above illustrates the A1 helmet style referencing this Sydenham table (Hersh p.78) which is the earliest helmet style.
Interesting to consider where the silver for this quinarius might have come from.