The Societies of Ancient Greece and Rome

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The societies of Ancient Greece and Rome present a microcsm of all human experience, and the coins of these cultures are a direct link to the people that creat them. The history of ancient Greece & Rome represents the longest continual record of human existence available, and it is arguably the fullest and most diversified record of what the human mind has ever been busy about.

Any study of antiquity is often made easier and more enjoyable through a collection of coins from the ancient world. These coins were the newspapers of their day; they announced the rise of political leaders, the winning of great victories and the artistic triumphs of proud cultures.

Histotians tell us that Greek coins indicate the progress of its art; perpetuate the fame of noble generations and keep alive the memory of great men.

Athens first rose to prominence as a military power following the defeat of Persa in the Battle of Marathon (490BC). For the Athenians, the battle at Marathon was their greatest achievement; indeed the political alliance made following the retreat of the Persians saw Athens become the cultural center of the Greek world.

Greek coinage was created not only to provide money, but also to make permanent the aethetic ambition of Greek civilisation. What made Athenian silver so popular and long lasting was its status as the very definition of good money. Athenian miners provided tons of fine silver, while their mints were famous for issuing only coins of the correct weight. To Greeks, a coin was a work of love combining art and necessity-by these unique talents; a permanent archive was cast for posterity.

"The Owls of Athens", they are perhaps the most well known of all ancient Greek coins. The obverse features the archaic bust of the goddess Athena, While the reverse features a standing owl, on icon unique to the erea, As Athenian influence and trade grew, the owls circulated right over the eastern Mediterranean.

The coinage of Republican & Imperial Rome is an amazing picture book of Roman mythology. By issuing coins with divine images, Romans honoured the gods and hoped to place themselves under divine protection. The Roman coin engraver is regarded as one of the most skilful storyteller ever in the art of miniature bas-relief.

"The study of history is the best medicine for the....mind; for in history you have a record of the infinite variety of human experience plainly set out for all to see; and in that record you can find for yourself and for your country both examples and warnings; fine things to take as models, base things, rotten through and through, to avoid."

Livy (Titus Livius), "The Early History of Rome", (59 BC - AD 17).

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