There is more to a Roman coin than first meets the eye! As well as being used to buy things, coins were an important publicity tool for the
emperor. They showed people what the emperor looked like and often celebrated important victories or other achievements.
Below you can see what emperor Hadrian (AD117-138) chose to put on his coin. What would you put on your coin if you were emperor?
Emperors used the reverse of the coin to say something about themselves. On this coin, Hadrian has chosen the figure of Pax who represents peace. Other emperors chose their favourite gods or goddesses. Some chose military or religious symbols, or something relating to one of their victories. The wolf and twins image was also popular because it represents the foundation of Rome, capital of the Roman Empire. What symbol would you choose to say something about you?
There are over 273,000 Roman coins recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database. You can view them all here. Once you’ve had a look, why not download our activity sheet below and have a go at designing your own Medieval penny? You can share your results with us on Instagram by tagging @findsorguk, or on our PAS Craft Activities Board on Pinterest.