Marta Barbato


Marta Barbato

Coins from the ‘sottosuolo urbano 2’ in Rome: case studies of Greek and Roman Republican coins


This paper presents my current research project dedicated to the coin circulation in central Italy during the last two centuries of the Republican period. The study is based on a large sample of coins found in the city of Rome and kept in the Capitoline Museums.

The materials include c. 2500 specimens of the Republican period and c. 600 contemporary Greek coins found in the late 19th and early 20th century during the excavations for building works. The sample consists mainly of bronze coins, the actual circulating coins in daily use complemented by silver specimens.

This study of these original coins is a unique opportunity to fill the gap in the numismatic evidence from the Urbs, where the main mint of the Republican period was located. In fact, this material provides the first big sample of Roman Republican and Greek single finds with secure provenance from Rome. The research database will ultimately flow into an on-line searchable catalogue (

The paper will present the history and the origin of the coins (based on archive files and archaeological reports), discuss a breakdown of the material and a case study on the problem of the halved Republican coins in the assemblage. It will try to highlight the potential, but also the difficulties of the study of coins as a part of ancient material culture and key primary source.

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