Urbs Roma – The City of Rome

Romulus and Remus, the baby twins, were the progeny of Mars, the God of War, and Rhea, a Vestal Virgin, daughter of King Numitor. An evil deposer of the King had slung the grandchildren into the Tiber but they washed up and were discovered by a she-Wolf who had recently lost her cubs. Now they suckle at the teats of their saviour she-Wolf, imbibing the wolf-like fierceness that will characterize the City they will later found on the same spot: Rome.

Urbs Roma

ER375 – Constantinian Commemorative Issue, Dedicated to the city of Rome (A.D. 332), Bronze Follis, 2.19g., 18mm, Lugdunum mint (Lyons, France), 1st officina, helmeted bust Roma wearing imperial mantle left, VRBS ROMA, rev., she-wolf standing left, with Romulus and Remus suckling beneath, two stars above, ŮPLG in exergue (RIC 257), practically as struck, dark patina, superb!

The Urbs Roma coin commemorates the Founding of Rome. It was issued by Constantine and his successors specifically to reinforce ancient continuity after Constantine had founded Constantinople as the new centre of the Roman world. The coin was startlingly different from the imperial Roman coins of the previous three centuries. There was no bust of the Emperor himself but a bust of Roma – the Goddess of the Urbs Roma – The City of Rome.  On the other side Romulus and Remus suckling and the mintmark PLG for Lugdunum (Lyons, France). There is a U as well – looking like a crescent moon and star.

The two stars above, like snowflakes in this rendition, are the Dioscuri – the Twins – Castor and Pollux.

The Goddess Roma is shown helmeted and wearing the Imperial Mantle. On the coin from the Lugdunum Mint below she is finely engraved.

Urbs Roma

Constantinian Commemorative Issue, Dedicated to the city of Rome (A.D. 330-331), Bronze Follis, 2.61g., 18mm, Lugdunum mint (Lyons, France), 1st officina, helmeted bust Roma wearing imperial mantle left, VRBS ROMA, rev., she-wolf standing left, with Romulus and Remus suckling beneath, two stars above, PLG in exergue (RIC 247), practically as struck, dark patina, superb! $125

Note versions of this same Urbs Roma from the Lugdunum mint were also struck in East Anglia at an unknown mint.
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All images and coin attribution text thank you Antony Wilson – York Coins
https://www.yorkcoins.com/lyons_urbs_roma_mint.htm

About Julian Ticehurst

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