Mint: Rome
Artist: Unknown

Didrachm of Rome

300–280 B.C.


7.41 g, 7:00, 18.5 mm
Ruth Elizabeth White Fund

This is Rome’s earliest silver coin, struck in about 300 B.C. Its form is barely distinguishable from that of coins from contemporary Greek cities in the southern Italian peninsula; in fact the grain stalk on the reverse has, in the past, led to association with the mint of Metapontum, which had used a similar type from the inception of its coinage. The weight standard is the same as that current among the Greek cities, and the form of the flan, with its protrusions at the edge opposite one another, represents the striking of a globule of silver cast in a mold, of which the protrusion represents the joint at the seams. This, too, is characteristic of contemporary Greek issues. But the coin is distinguished by the legend, ROMANO, at the truncation of the neck, so there can be no doubt about the authority behind its issue.

Made in Rome, Italy
3rd century B.C.
By appointment

Michael H. Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974), no. C.13\1.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.