ROMAN EMPIRE, c. 330-346 AD, reduced centenionalis, Nicomedia mint

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ROMAN EMPIRE, circa 330-346 AD, reduced centenionalis, no date (330-35 AD), Nicomedia mint, officina 6, Obverse: helmeted bust L, VRBS ROMA, Reverse: wolf & twins, 3 vertically arranged dots between 2 stars, SMN S, billon, 17mm, 2.34g, SR16521, grainy patina, F/aG

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Description

A series of small commemorative billon coins were issued in the mid-4th century. This one commemorates the founding of the city of Rome.

In the Imperial Period Roman coinage became an engine for governmental propaganda. All of the themes of the coins are celebratory of some aspect of govermental authority or achievement.

The Roman Republic was founded in response to tyrannical kings. It functioned for several centuries in a kind of balance of rich and poor people (slaves didn’t count). The general idea was that laws would constrain personal power. During the days of Julius Caesar, et al, powerful people became too powerful, and a new system of slightly constrained autocracy, the Empire, developed. The main catalog we use on this web site for Roman coins is Roman Coins and their Values, by David Sear.