Gold stater in the name of Titus Quinctius Flamininus

Probably Roman, around 197 BC
Possibly from Macedonia

Greek gold coin with the earliest coin-portrait of a Roman

In the last years of the third century BC and the early years of the second century BC, the emerging power of Rome was brought into conflict with the kingdom of Macedonia in northern Greece, under its ruler Philip V (238-179 BC). The second conflict between the two powers was brought to a close in 197 BC with a victory over Philip's forces at the Battle of Cynoscephalae by the Roman general Titus Quinctius Flamininus. At the Nemean Games of the following year, Flamininus proclaimed the freedom of the Greeks from Macedonian rule.

This remarkable coin was probably issued in the wake of the victory of Cynoscephalae. It is modelled on the traditional gold coinage of Macedonia, initiated by Alexander the Great. From this is borrowed the image of Nike on the reverse. However in place of the name of Alexander, the name T. Quincti appears and, extraordinarily, in place of a head of the goddess Athena, a portrait of Flamininus is depicted on the obverse (front). Portraits would not appear on coins of the mint of Rome until the time of Julius Caesar, some 150 years later.

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More information

Bibliography

J.M.C. Toynbee, Roman historical portraits (London, Thames and Hudson, 1978)

O. Mørkholm, Early Hellenistic coinage (Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Dimensions

Weight: 8.440 g
Diameter: 18.000 mm

Museum number

CM 1954-10-9-1 (PCR 76)

CGR110812

Location

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