Aureus of Crispina
- Place of origin:
180-183 AD (made)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Credit Line:
Bequeathed by Mr George Salting
- Museum number:
- Gallery location:
This coin depicts the head of Empress Crispina Augusta, the wife of the Emperor Commodus.
The aureus was an ancient Roman gold coin, issued from around the 1st century BC up to the 4th century AD. One aureus was worth 25 silver denarii. The denarius was a small silver coin and the principal silver coin issued in the ancient Roman currency system from the late 3rd century BC until the early 3rd century AD.
The use of the portrait is the most persistent and usually the most striking feature of coins of the Roman Empire. Particularly during the first three centuries of the Empire's existence (27 BC-AD 284) images of historically recorded (and some unrecorded) people appear on the majority of coins.
Roman coins acted as a vehicle for the quick and wide-reaching spread of propagandic images of Imperial power, at the centre of which was the embodiment of Rome and all that its Empire stood for, the Emperor himself. Roman coins survive in very large numbers and are frequently found right across Europe, reaching the furthest corners of the Empire.
Gold coin. Obverse: Inscription. Head of Crispini to right. Reverse: Inscription. Venus seated to left, holding a figure of Victory and a sceptre. Under the throne a dove.
Place of Origin
180-183 AD (made)
Materials and Techniques
Marks and inscriptions
'VENVS . FELIX'
Diameter: 2.03 cm, Weight: 7.35 g
Object history note
From the Salting bequest.
Coin (aureus), gold, head of Crispina Augusta / Venus with Victory, Roman, ca. 180-183 AD
Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)
'Salting Bequest (A. 70 to A. 1029-1910) / Murray Bequest (A. 1030 to A. 1096-1910)'. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (Department of Architecture and Sculpture). London: Printed under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, East Harding Street, EC, p. 114
Coins & Medals; Sculpture; Myths & Legends