All the monetal production of the Empire is characterized in the obverse by the constant iconography of the picture. Nevertheless, they do not have to consider of smaller interest and importance the representations of reverso, through which great part of history is narrated Roman, Those images describe the life of those years and the religious cults, reproduce monuments and contain symbolic figures and diverse propagandistic messages. The imperial policy had necessity of an ample box of resonance to celebrate its companies, to emphasize its successes and to put of relief dispositions of social reach. Then; in the reversos of the currencies we found a chronicle, very precise and dated with exactitude, of those events, and we can come to its consultation as if one was a file.

a rich mythology in figures

In the scope of a program of inner policy that has like cardinal elements the evocación of the fundamental principles of religion, the respect to the ancestors and the devotion towards the figures of the Roman legend, is obvious to find in the reversos of imperial currencies the efigies of divinities: Jupiter, that between the Romans had the charge of the force of the citizens and its capacity to dominate the other towns, and it attended to them in his mission to transmit and to spread the Latin civilization; Vesta, protector of the family, of La Paz, of the concord and, therefore, also of the Roman State, all of them basic concepts of the imperial propaganda, mainly during first decades; Minerva (whose Latin name drift of the term mens in the sense of intelligence), protective feminine divinity of La Paz, of the arts and the offices; Mars, at the outset tie divinity to agriculture and soon to the war; Morning call, goddess of the Moon and of the hunting, very loved in Rome; Saturn, properly itálica divinity, to which the merits of the creation of the utensils were attributed stops the culture of the plants and the grapevine and the capacity to have given to the towns, desperdigados and without social nor political organization, one only seat and the structure of a true town; Mercury, protector of the commerce; and so many other divinities. They do not lack the figures either heroic or of the legendary tradition, like Aquilles, Eneas, the Furies, the Geniuses, the Giants, Criminal, Silvia, Hercules pawned on his renowned works, the She-wolf that it nurses the binoculars Rómulo and Remo
The list could be extended much. The personifications of concepts and ideals like the Abundance, the Happiness, the Victory are frequent, the Pietas (term that it designates feeling of devotion and adhesion to the Gods, the ancestors, the family and the mother country, the sense of having and honesty that no a Roman citizen can need), Justice, the Mercy, the Concord, the Fortune and the Freedom. Often, in reverso of the currencies we found to personages of the imperial family or pictures of he himself emperor while it carries out some glorious companies: let us remember, for a reason or purpose of example, to Trajano to galope in a currency that celebrates the company of the conquest of Dacia (made in two stages, of years 1 01 to 102 and from 105 to 106), and sestercio of Adriano, an emperor who traveled very many during his reign (years 1 1 7-138), and in which the powerful personage appears represented in his encounter with a native during his passage by the Galia.

Celebrations of military companies

The military conquests – excluded the period from the dynasty Julia, when the preoccupation basic consisted of guaranteeing La Paz, invoked by all after so many years of dramatic civil wars were the supreme arguments of the propaganda of many emperors, who precise they celebrated those companies in the currencies. Let us mention the fights against the Jewish population, carried out in several occasions low Vespasiano and under Tito, the victory of Domiciano on the Germans, celebrated in golden in the figure of a woman a prisoner, sitting in shield in desperation attitude. With regard to conquests, the custom existed to personify the conquered region, as it can be seen in the emissions of Adriano, Antonino Pío and Ciodio Albino, in whom they appear women who represent Britania, Hispania, Galia and Partia.

a city portrayed in the currencies

A very fascinating chapter is the one of the currencies that take architectonic monument images. The Romans were great constructors, and his practical and organizing spirit found in the construction his more natural expression. Tito represented in his currencies the renowned Coliseo (amphitheater Flavio), Trajano wanted that in his emissions they appeared the Maximum circus and the Trajana column. The Mercury temple appears in currencies of Marco Aurelio. Pero is faithful the reproduction of diverse monuments in the currencies? It agrees to need that, probably, recorder had not seen with its own eyes many of the represented buildings. Often, the craftsmen emphasized the elements more characteristic of the construction, and in other occasions the narrative taste prevailed. In some temples, the figure of the divinity appears under the columnata, when in the reality the place that was reserved to him found inside the building. But by means of this convention one was able to characterize the temple although the objective reality was not respected. Also the animal presence deserves recorda the crocodile (in some coined currencies of Augusto for Egypt), the bull and some beings mitológicos like the Pegaso, the Esfinge or the Capricorn, who we found in some currencies of Vespasiano.

the monetary reforms at the imperial time

During the Empire several reforms followed one another that reflected periods of political or economic crisis, difficulties that were recurrent in the principality, Augusto adopted diverse measures to create in the monetary production an organic system and a product of good quality that he could also distinguish and characterize the power of Rome, now great in economic and the commercial thing. Towards year 65, Nerón modified the proportion of the precious metal content of the golden one and the denario (first was reduced to 7. 28 g, and second g paid attention to 3, 41). This decision took Nerón to try to please gain the middle-class, dedicated to the commerce and to crafts and adversaries of the aristocracy, composed by large estate owners and senators. The reform had the purpose of giving a new impulse to denario, the currency of the average layers of the population, and to reduce the value of the golden one, hoarded by the aristocrats. But the aspect more renovador and characteristic of this reform was the introduction of a new currency of oricalco, with all its manifold: sestercio, dupondio, ace, semiás and quadrant. This experiment was not successful, and less of a year later the emission was suspended. Under Domiciano (years 81-96), the weight of the golden one and the silver recovered the proportions of the period of Augusto, but this decision, demagogic and anachronistic, it was abolished by Trajano (years 98-117), that returned to reduce the weight of the currencies. In year 215, under Caracalla (years 198-217), a new monetary reform was registered. First of all, the weight of the golden one stooped and happened to 6, 50 g. Soon the piece of two golden, denominated double golden, or binón was introduced. In addition, Caracalla gave life to a double baptized denario with the name of its own family (the Antoninos): antoniniano. This currency had to relaunch the production in silver, because the denario only it contained a percentage under this precious metal. The antoniniano weighed 5. 12 g and was characterized by the image of the emperor, who it takes a ray crown. When the efigiada authority is a feminine figure, in the antoniniano the picture comes characterized by a moon in flood. The production of denarios was not abolished under Caracalia, and both currencies of silver stayed with diverse proportions until, under the reign of the Filipos (years 244-249), the production of the glorious denario of silver giveave. The luck of the antoniniano he was not better: although it continued coining many decades, finished being constituted by a bronze bore covered of a light layer of silver, already without a concrete reference of weight and paying attention some to the formal aspect. Also Aureliano (years 270-275) carried out an important monetary reform. Judging inconvenient and, mainly, source of easy illegal alterations the existence of excessive peripheral mints (already they were more than 500), the emperor limited the factories distributed by territory of the Empire, doing them to depend directly on Rome, and uniformed the represented weights, types and the language that appeared in those important constituted power calling cards, that were the currencies. In order to give back to these last certain prestige, then in the previous years they had neglected much even in the formal aspect, Aureliano promoted the taken care of return to the old one in engraving. It was tried besides to fix a new weight for the minting of gold, and it was tried to stabilize the antoniniano. Around the years the 295-29 (to end reform of DIOCIE that created new monec bronze, foilis. In the 1 ducción of this time ex- also a bronze that, in the detail of the ray crown, recovers the type of the antoniniano. In these years, the silver currency it denominates argenteus, whereas the term denarius designates the current bronze currency, very used for the small daily payments. Diocieciano, that completely reorganized the Empire after years of very serious crisi political and hard wars civil tried a complex one reform that included the organization of the army, an administrative reconstruction and a complex tributary reform. With his edicto of precios (year 301), Diocieciano tried to restrain the vertiginous ascent of the prices that the serious economic crisis and the heavy pressure public prosecutor had caused, but the initiative only gave like sad result the disappearance of the market of fundamental products and increase of the speculation. From a strictly documentary point of view, this edicto is very interesting because it relates the prices that, in theory, they did not have to be surpassed, and it gives an idea of the values of the main merchandize in circulation in those times. To Constantino, author of the last and great reconstruction of the Empire, not only remembers to him by fundamental edicto of year 313, with that he consecrated the Christianity between the religions of the State, and by the foundation of the new capital of the empire of East, Constantinopla, In effect, one also remembers to him by the great monetary reform of year 310. G of weight, denominated emitted a new gold currency of 4. 54 solidus, to the time that left the defense of the humble one to denar it. The solid in a moment dominated the market, with the effect to sink the value of the denario, to ruin to the low and average layers of the society, and to enrich still more to the potentados ones. Under Constantino others were created new nouns: siliqua, of silver, 2. 27 g of weight and the , 4. 54 g and for that reason also called doubles siliqua, nummus centennionaiis, with value of 1/100 of siliqua and with weight of 3 g, bronze came to replace already very devaluated foilis, that had more fortune in Constantinopla.


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