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Roman Imperial Quadrantes
Quadrantes, like quinarii, were issued only occasionally, perhaps exclusively for imperial distributions. Suetonius reported that, from the roof of the Basilica Julia "Caligula threw coins among the people." Perhaps the small coins below were personally thrown to the crowd by an Emperor at a similar event. The most common theme for the quadrans was the modius, a Roman grain container. This coin was probably redeemable for a modius of grain. The so-called 'anonymous quadrantes' date from the late 1st century to the mid-2nd century A.D., from the reign of Domitian to the reign of Antoninus Pius. The usual anonymous types are the head of a deity on the obverse with a reverse related to that deity. The most common anonymous type, for example, has the helmeted head of Minerva on the obverse and an owl on the reverse.