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HOME : Roman Coins : Archive : Roman Silver Shekel/Didrachm of Scipio Africanus
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Roman Silver Shekel/Didrachm of Scipio Africanus - C.2020
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 209 BC to 200 BC

Collection: Numismatics
Medium: Silver

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: United States
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Obverse: Bust of Young Beardless Male Assumed to be Scipio

Reverse: Horse Standing to the Right, Palm Tree in Background

Scipio Africanus is a famed general best remembered for defeating Hannibal and Carthage. He was the son of Publius Cornelius Scipio, and from a very early age he considered himself to have divine inspiration. In 211 B.C., the young Scipio was elected to the proconsulship in Spain. He conquered New Carthage (Cartagena) almost at once (209) and used the city as his own base; within several years he had conquered Spain. As consul in 205, Scipio wanted to invade Africa, but his jealous enemies in the senate granted him permission to go only as far as Sicily and then gave him no army. There, he trained a volunteer army. A year later, he received permission to go to Africa, where he joined his allies, the Numidians, and fought with success against the Carthaginians. In 202, Hannibal tried to make peace, but Scipio’s demands were so extreme that war resulted; Scipio defeated Hannibal at Zama in 202, returned home in triumph, and retired from public life. He was later named Africanus after the country he conquered.

How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who might have touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after it leaves our hands. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and location, whether contemporary currencies or artifacts of long forgotten empires. This magnificent coin is a memorial to an ancient general passed down from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation.
- (C.2020)


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