Roman Republican Coins in the British Museum

E Ghey, I Leins (eds) - descriptions and chronology after MH Crawford

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A guide to types continued

2. The anonymous denarius coinage from 211 BC

1. New denominations from 211 BC

From 211 BC new gold and silver denominations were issued.
The gold denominations (the 60-, 40- and 20-as pieces), depicted the helmeted head of Mars on the obverse and an eagle on a thunderbolt on the reverse.

Silver denominations

From about 211BC – 170 BC the obverse of the denarius featured the helmeted head of Roma, and the reverse the Dioscuri on horseback. Between about 200 BC and 170 BC a new reverse design was introduced, featuring the moon goddess Luna in a biga (two-horse chariot). Victory in a biga is sometimes shown.


  • Victoriatus

    Silver coin. 53.1.27 - coin Laureate head of Jupiter / Victory crowning a trophy
  • Quinarius

    Silver coin. 85.1.1 - coin Helmeted head of Roma / Dioscuri, marked V (c. 211 BC to 208 BC)
  • Sestertius

    Silver coin. 44.7.1 - coin Helmeted head of Roma / Dioscuri, marked IIS (c. 211-210 BC)

2. Anonymous bronze

A new struck bronze series was issued from c. 215 BC. Characterised by the use of a ship’s prow on the reverse, the standard obverse types for the denominations are those used on bronze issues throughout the Republican period. The position of the denominational marks and inscriptions vary, as does the direction of the prow. Like the silver, these bronze coins start off as anonymous issues. Symbols and inscriptions are later used to indicate the moneyer.

3. Symbols on anonymously issued coins

During the period of anonymously issued coinage, symbols and monograms began to appear on the coins, normally on the reverse, but the moneyers to which they refer are not usually known. The system of using symbols to represent a moneyer continued until about 150 BC, by which time the use of names and initials was more common. For coins where the moneyer’s name is known or supposed, see the following section.

Coins with pictorial symbols

Coins with letters

Coins with monograms or initials