Why the Romans were amazing

To Put this post into context, and think about the Romans and the quality of their skills we are looking at the quality of their sculpting of coin dies.

Just over 2000 years ago, when Jesus was walking the earth, the quality of the coin portraits was stunning, and this continued into the 3rd Century when a crisis in the Roman empire saw the gradual down grading in the quality of portraits.

Augustus
Augustus Minted 2BC – 13AD

The coin of Augustus (above) dates from 2BC – 13AD.

The Coin Below dates from around 150 years later, and you can still see the quality of the workmanship

Antoninus Pius, 138-161 AD
Antoninus Pius, 138-161 AD

However by the times of Constantine III, 407-411 AD the quality of workmanship had degraded quite a lot

Constantine III
Constantine III

The timeline continues:

Gold tremissis (shilling) of Eadbald of Kent Anglo-Saxon, AD 616-40

k143934_la

The Sceat series of AD 675 – AD 750

sceattas

Kings of Mercia. Offa AD 757-AD 796. Silver Penny, undated. Light coinage

Kings of Mercia. Offa (757-796). Silver Penny, undated. Light coinage

Berhtwulf of Mercia -Date of reign: AD 852-AD 852

Berhtwulf of Mercia - Date of reign: AD 852-AD 852

Anglo-Saxon Kings of England, Aethelred II AR Penny. Canterbury Mint, AD 978-1016

Anglo-Saxon Kings of England, Aethelred II AR Penny. Canterbury Mint, AD 978-1016

Henry II AD 1154 – AD 1189

Henry II (1154-1189)

Edward I AD 1279

Edward I Cl 1c Penny London

Henry VI – AD 1422 – AD 1427

Henry VI annulet issue groat of the London mint dating to 1422-27

CHARLES I AD 1625 – AD 1649

charles I

and finally

we have the Oliver Cromwell, Silver Halfcrown, dating from AD 1656 and we are starting to come back to a standard  to reflect the skill of craftsmanship of the Romans, and probably not a coincidence that the description of this coin would reflect the coins from “one thousand 600 years earlier”.

laureate and draped bust left

laureate and draped bust left

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