From:Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities
Name/TitleCoin, Bronze Sextans
About this objectThis sextans is a Roman Republican coin, roughly the equivalent of one sixth of an As of the time. The difference in value is reflected in their weights – the As weighed on average 132g, while this coin weighs in at 21.47g. Made of bronze, the coin has been made by striking it between two metal dies (metal stamps).
On the obverse of this coin is the head of the god Mercury (Roman equivalent to the god Hermes), who appears on several Republican coins, usually showing just his head, wearing a traveller's broad-brimmed sun-hat with wings emerging from it (as is seen on obverse of the coin). These wings symbolise his speed, and were a way of making it clear which deity was being depicted. Mercury, the messenger god, was well loved by the Romans for his control over travel and commerce. He also guided the souls of the deceased to the underworld.
On the reverse of this coin is a ship's prow with the inscription 'Roma' in the field above it. Victorious generals would often stand in the prow of a defeated enemy's ship to give speeches, making it a symbol of triumph.”
Date Made217-215 BC
Place MadeItaly, Rome
Medium and MaterialsMetal, Bronze
Style and IconographyReligious art
Style and IconographyRoman
Inscription and MarksReverse; ROMA, in the field above main decorative panel.
Subject and Association KeywordsInscriptions, Latin
Subject and Association KeywordsArt and mythology
Subject and Association KeywordsArt and religion
Subject and Association KeywordsGods in art
Named CollectionThe James Logie Memorial Collection, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Credit LineDonated by M. K. Steven in 1996.
Object TypeExchange Media
Copyright LicenceAll rights reserved