The Denarius: The Arrival of Rome

Room 16, showcase 1 Roman Republican denarius. About 206–195 BC. Silver Pulse para ampliar Roman Republican denarius. About 206–195 BC. Silver

Rome came to Iberia in 218 BC to fight Carthage and never left. After defeating the Carthaginians, the Romans continued their inexorable conquest of the peninsula, and two hundred years later this process culminated in this process culminated in Iberia’s transformation into a province of the empire.

The demands of the Second Punic War (218–202 BC) forced Republican Rome to develop a complete monetary system of gold, silver and bronze pieces: the most important coins in Roman history, the denarius and the aureus, were created at that time.

The silver denarius, whose name is derived from its value of 10 bronze asses (initially indicated by the numeral X behind the head of Rome), appeared around 211 BC. Its influence cannot be exaggerated, as it directly or indirectly inspired many other ancient and medieval coins and is the source of the modern Spanish word for money, dinero.

Imported by Italic traders and armies, silver denarii and bronze asses were the currency of Romanisation. These coins were an essential factor in the monetisation of Iberia, necessary for taxes, trade networks, military camps and major economic enterprises like the mining companies. Many cities of Hispania minted their own coins, imitating the Roman model or seeking compatibility with a system that had come to stay.