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Numismatic Puzzle: Darius

Today you will see the Persian King Darius the Great (ca. 522-486 B.C.) in a half-kneeling stance as brave archer on one of his gold coins. For a long time, these darics, which were named after him, were a popular means of payment throughout the Mediterranean world.

Numismatic Puzzle: Shapur II

The Roman Empire was terrified of this man: Shapur II, King of the Sasanian Empire, is shown on this stater wearing the typical dress of his people. His crown, on the other hand, is quite unique: no other king wore a lion scalp with a globe in the form of an artichoke.

Numismatic Puzzle: Cunobelinus

For many collectors, Greek coins form the highlight of numismatics. Already the Celts of Britain were enchanted by these coins. A gold stater of Cunobelinus from the 1st century BC was inspired by coins of Alexander the Great.

Numismatic Puzzle: Spade Coin

No, today’s issue does not feature gardening tools, but a numismatic object lesser known in Europe. Spade coins were a type of money in ancient China. This coin is from the 3rd century BC and you can probably tell straight away how it got its name.

Numismatic Puzzle: Chandragupta II

Northern India experienced a period of prosperity around 400 under the Gupta dynasty. King Chandragupta II not only promoted arts and culture, he was also called the “world conqueror”. With bow and arrow, Chandragupta shows his martial side on this golden dinar.

Numismatic Puzzle: Hadrian’s Beard

Well-shaved or with beard? It’s always a statement – and it even was in ancient Rome. Hadrian was the first emperor with beard. Why? Scholars are still trying to figure out the answer. The beard certainly added a whole new “touch” to his coins as this aureus shows.

Numismatic Puzzle: Julia Domna

Without Julia Domna, Septimius Severus would not have been able to found a dynasty. His wife did not only bore him two sons. She also made her mark in politics. Aristocratic ladies were especially inspired by her hairstyle. Our aureus shows how complicated it was.

Numismatic Puzzle: Vespasianus

Vespasianus had to balance the budget – and created a tax for using public urinals. Smelling at the coins, the pragmatist stated: “It does not stink!“ Neither does this denarius. But you can look directly into the face of the cunning politician that Vespasianus was!

Numismatic Puzzle: Caesar

Today we have a first for you! This denarius of 44 BC was the first coin to feature a living Roman: Gaius Julius Caesar. He mentioned two good reasons for it: the star refers to the descent from Venus, the laurel wreath to Caesar’s achievements as a general.

Numismatic Puzzle: Victory Over the Gallic Forces!

Caesar’s great success was his victory over Gaul. This was also celebrated by a silver denarius of 48 BC by one of his followers. A Gallic warrior is shown as prisoner with a rope around his neck. But see, I mean: solve the puzzle for yourself!
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