I. Prior to Empire, Rome was a Republic

(earlier it was a Kingdom but they didn't issue any coins then)
click on the pix for a view of both sides of the coin

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Aes Grave: Janus Head /Galley Prow
semi-libral Cast bronze As
dia ~63 mm, wt ~ 258 g
225 - 217 B.C.E.
Artemide Aste auction 37,
July 11-12,  2012, lot# 102

This is a large leaded bronze coin which was CAST by the Roman Republic just before the 2nd Punic War. They are known as Aes Grave or Heavy Bronze and a photo simply does not do the coin justice. A Roman pound was originally 273 g and this piece represents a reduction in weight from that. This is the Vecchi (Italian Cast Coinage, 1979, Bradbury K. Thurlow & Italo G. Vecchi, Hardcover) type 51, Janus Head / Prow of Galley with horizontal bar (mark of denomination) obverse.

This is the most common type of Cast Aes Grave with a known population of 1198 pcs (as of 1979) with a further ~600 similar pcs but without the bars of denomination. Recorded weight range for these is 240.3-290 g*

For more info on the weights of these see Historia Numorum  On-Line. For knowledge of these pieces I strongly recommend the "Italian Cast Coinage" book by Thurlow and Vecchi, 1979. It illustrates the different types, weights, when they were made, and lists a table of known specimens thereby giving some guide to relative rarity.

test later it became

Silver Quadrigatus
Janus Head ca 225 B.C.
(Numismatic Fine Arts, auction XX, lot# 5, 1989

wt = 6.685 g These were struck to the Greek standard of a didrachm before the advent of the denarius.

Sulla denarius lifetime issue

denarius, Lucius Corelius Sulla,
postumus portrait issue of 54 BC

  extremely fine condition

wt 4.160 g

Sulla was a victorious General in many of Rome's external conflicts, capturing Athens in 86 BC. He became consul in 88 BC. He became an unlimited term Dictator in 81 BC after winning a civil war against opposing Roman forces. He attempted to reform the Roman Republic during his Dictatorship and then retired in 79 BC. Although he attempted to improve the Republic his example showed that a strong general could obtain control and become an unlimited term Dictator.

from Encyclopaedia Britannica

denarius, Pompey the Great,
struck by Sextus Pompey, ca. 44 - 43 BC

  extremely fine condition

wt n.nnn g



Pompey was a victorius General in many of Rome's naval conflicts, capturing ...

from Encyclopaedia Britannica

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