Ancient Roman Silver Denarii

The denarius was introduced in 212/211 BC, in the midst of the Second Punic War. Made of almost pure silver, its mintage continued throughout the Republic and across the world (although mainly at Rome). Its circulation was even more widespread, with the denarius ultimately overtaking local currencies to have the monopoly in areas as far-reaching as Greece and Asia. The stability of the currency endured for over 400 years, with the fineness of the silver reducing only slightly and occasionally. Devaluation saw practical use of the denarius replaced by radiates like the ‘antoninianus’ in the early third century, but denarii continued to be struck with symbolic and ceremonial purpose.