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Notes: Draped bust r., hair knotted behind / Salus seated left, feeding snake twined round altar, and holding sceptre; in field, S - C.
Reverse: Salus was a Roman goddess. She was the goddess of safety and well-being (welfare, health and prosperity) of both the individual and the state. She is sometimes equated with the Greek goddess Hygieia, though her functions differ considerably.
Salus is one of the most ancient Roman Goddesses: she is also recorded once as Salus Semonia, a fact that might hint to her belonging to the category of the Semones, such as god Semo Sancus Dius Fidius. This view though is disputed among scholars. The issue is discussed in the section below. The two gods had temples in Rome on the Collis Salutaris and Mucialis respectively, two adjacent hilltops of the Quirinal, located in the regio known as Alta Semita. Her temple, as Salus Publica Populi Romani, was voted in 304 BC, during the Samnite wars, by dictator Gaius Junius Bubulcus Brutus, dedicated on 5 August 302 and adorned with frescos at the order of Gaius Fabius Pictor.
Denomination: The sestertius, or sesterce, (pl. sestertii or sesterces) was an ancient Roman coin. During the Roman Republic it was a small, silver coin issued only on rare occasions. During the Roman Empire it was a large brass coin.
Period: Imperial Rome. As the Roman Republic began to implode because of corruption and infighting among powerful members of the Roman Senate, a new type of Roman Republican coinage emerges, that of the military strongmen who dominated and fought among each other before the final fall of the Republic. The drama surrounding the fall of the Roman Republic is a story full of political intrigue, military action, betrayal, murder and sex scandals. Different parts of this story have been told and retold by ancient historians, modern day scholars, dozens of Hollywood movies and even an HBO miniseries. All of the actors in this great drama, Crassus, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, Mark Antony and Cleopatra and the last man standing at the end of it all, Octavian (later known as the first emperor of Rome, Emperor Augustus) all minted coins during this time bearing their names and propaganda images supporting their factions and political ideals.
Culture: Ancient Rome. A famous catch phrase "Rome was not built in a day" definitely applies to the Roman civilization. Rome stated as a series of small villages among the famous seven hills of Rome along the river Tiber. Eventually through conquest, diplomacy, wise policies of indirect rule and assimilation, the Romans were able to not only unify the Italian peninsula, but though a series of brutal wars against regional powers established a great Empire that spanned Europe, Asia and Africa, making the Mediterrean Sea and "Roman Lake."
All Roman coinage can generally be divided into eight time periods as described below. An interesting thing about Roman coins minted during these eight time periods is that you can literally see the "Rise and Fall" of the Roman Empire on its coinage as the sharp imagery and pure silver and gold coins of the Roman Republic and Early Imperial Period gradually devolves into crude, illegible and heavily debased coins of the "Barracks Emperors" and "Barbarian" Period.
Item created by: gdm on 2016-08-14 11:15:54. Last edited by gdm on 2016-08-14 11:15:55
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