Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

From the Coin Up: Roman Imperialism and the Numismatic Evidence

Sep 12, 2022, 9:20 AM
Auditorium Maximum - Hall B

Auditorium Maximum - Hall B


Marsha McCoy (Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX)


Analysis of the coinage of Narbo Martius in southern Gaul sheds more detailed light on Roman expansion into the western Mediterranean compared with literary accounts of the period. The Romans founded Narbo Martius as the first Roman colony outside of Italy in 118 BCE, and its coinage, in startling iconography, depicts a triumphant Gallic warrior riding a biga and carrying a carnyx and a Gallic shield. The Romans clearly hoped with this coinage to engage the newly-subdued Gauls with a combination of intimidation and the economic incentives of increased trade and prosperity, a novel tactic in Rome’s treatment of the Gauls. That this strategy was ultimately unsuccessful is seen in ongoing conflicts and Caesar’s final defeat of the Gauls; later coinage depicting Gauls returns to a conventional iconography of conquest. The coinage of Narbo Martius, however, illuminates a pivotal period in Roman imperial strategy that is otherwise lost to history.

Primary author

Marsha McCoy (Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX)

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