- The Collaborative Numismatics Project
  Welcome Guest. Please login or register. The column on the left includes the "Best of NumisWiki" menu. If you are new to collecting, start with Ancient Coin Collecting 101. All blue text is linked. Keep clicking to endlessly explore. Welcome Guest. Please login or register. The column on the left includes the "Best of NumisWiki" menu. All blue text is linked. Keep clicking to endlessly explore. If you have written a numismatic article, please add it to NumisWiki.

Resources Home
New Articles
Most Popular
Recent Changes
Current Projects
Admin Discussions
How to

Index Of All Titles


Aes Grave
Aes Rude
The Age of Gallienus
Alexander Tetradrachms
Ancient Coin Collecting 101
Ancient Coin Prices 101
Ancient Coin Dates
Ancient Coin Lesson Plans
Ancient Coins & Modern Fakes
Ancient Counterfeits
Ancient Glass
Ancient Oil Lamps
Ancient Weapons
Ancient Wages and Prices
Ancient Weights and Scales
Anonymous Folles
Anonymous Follis
Anonymous Class A Folles
Antioch Officinae
Armenian Numismatics Page
Byzantine Denominations
A Cabinet of Greek Coins
Caesarean and Actian Eras
Campgates of Constantine
A Case of Counterfeits
Byzantine Christian Themes
Clashed Dies
Coins of Pontius Pilate
Conditions of Manufacture
Corinth Coins and Cults
Countermarked in Late Antiquity
Danubian Celts
Damnatio Coinage
Damnatio Memoriae
Denarii of Otho
Diameter 101
Die Alignment 101
Dictionary of Roman Coins
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Edict on Prices
ERIC - Rarity Tables
Etruscan Alphabet
The Evolving Ancient Coin Market
Facing Portrait of Augustus
Fel Temp Reparatio
Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Friend or Foe
The Gallic Empire
Gallienus Zoo
Greek Alphabet
Greek Coins
Greek Dates
Greek Coin Denominations
Greek Mythology Link
Greek Numismatic Dictionary
Hellenistic Names & their Meanings
Hasmonean Dynasty
Helvetica's ID Help Page
The Hexastyle Temple of Caligula
Historia Numorum
Horse Harnesses
Identifying Ancient Metal Arrowheads
Illustrated Ancient Coin Glossary
Important Collection Auctions
Islamic Rulers and Dynasties
Julian II: The Beard and the Bull
Kushan Coins
People in the Bible Who Issued Coins
Imperial Mints of Philip the Arab
Later Roman Coinage
Latin Plurals
Latin Pronunciation
Library of Ancient Coinage
Life in Ancient Rome
List of Kings of Judea
Malloy Weapons
Maps of the Ancient World
Military Belts
Mint Marks
Museum Collections Available Online
Nabataean Alphabet
Nabataean Numerals
The [Not] Cuirassed Elephant
Not in RIC
Numismatic Bulgarian
Numismatic Excellence Award
Numismatic French
Numismatic German
Numismatic Italian
Numismatic Spanish
Parthian Coins
Patina 101
Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet
Phoenician Alphabet
Pi-Style Athens Tetradrachms
Pricing and Grading Roman Coins
Reading Judean Coins
Representations of Alexander the Great
Roman Coin Attribution 101
Roman Militaria
Roman Mints
Roman Names
Rome and China
Satyrs and Nymphs
Serdi Celts
The Sign that Changed the World
Silver Content of Parthian Drachms
Star of Bethlehem Coins
Statuary Coins
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
Syracusian Folles
Taras Drachms with Owl Left
The Temple Tax
The Temple Tax Hoard
Test Cut
Travels of Paul
Tribute Penny
Tribute Penny Debate Continued (2015)
Tribute Penny Debate Revisited (2006)
Tyrian Shekels
Uncleaned Ancient Coins 101
Venus Cloacina
What I Like About Ancient Coins
Who was Trajan Decius
Widow's Mite

   View Menu


Please help us convert the Dictionary of Roman Coins from scans to text by typing the original text here. Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.
    MERCVRIVS.ó The God Mercury, son of Jupiter, and Maia, one of the daughters of Atlas: so called by the Latins (according to Festus) from merces or the gains of trade, because he was supposed to preside over mercantile affairs. The Greeks called him Hermes. By the poets he was honoured under various surnames; and the offices and occupations assigned to him by mythologists were still more numerous and diversified. His principal characteristic was that of being the faithful and intimate attendant upon Jupiter, and his ordinary messenger. Next in importance was his dignity of chief herald and minister of the gods, as well infernal as celestial.----Diodorus Siculus says of Mercury that he was the first amongst the deities who instituted religious worship and sacrifices; hence we see him on coins imaged with caduceus and purse, and the inscription around his effigy of PIETAS AVG., or AVGG.----There is a coin of Gallienus which illustrates his attributes of rewarding acts of religion to the gods with gifts, and on which Mercury is represented with caduceus and crumena, the inscription being DONA AVG.----He is distinguished on all ancient monuments by his head being covered with a winged cap (in Latin petasus), and his feet are also furnished with wings. He wears a hat, as the reputed god of merchants, because (says Vaillant in his Colonies) all business negotiations should be kept hidden; and wings are appended to it, because the bargaining between sellers and buyers shoulder be speedily dispatched like a bird through the air.----The rod with serpents entwined on it, called caduceus, signifies the regal power which is sometimes given to merchants, or it is the symbol of contentions removed and peace promoted. Sometimes we see a ram, a tortoise, a dog, or a cock at his feet.
    Mercury, the worship of whom was borrowed (so early, it is said, as the time of Romulus) from the Etruscans, has his bust impressed (with or without the petasus covering his head) on the ancient brass coins of the Romans.----See the Sextantes or parts of the As.----On a quinarius of the Papia family appears the head of Mercury, and a lyre on the reverse, an association which corroborates the pretensions made for him by Horace and other poets, to be considered as the inventor of that instrument.----We also see the head of Mercury, with the caduceus behind it, on denarii of the Aburia, Apronia, Pomponia, and other families.
    Mercuryís image at full length is not often found on coins of the republic or of the upper empire. His head is, however, to be discerned on some denarii of the Mamilia family; and on one of the Rubria family it exhibits itself united to that of Hercules, like the head of Janus.----Mercury seated is the most rare to be met with. His posture is almost uniformly upright.----Beger, however, gives a very rare medal of Tiberius, on the obverse of which is that Emperorís head laureate, with the circumscription TI. CAES. DIVI. AVG. F. AVG. IMP.----On the reverse appears Mercury sitting on a rock, with a caduceus in his right hand, and with the inscription PERMIS. P. CORNELI. DOLABELLAE. PROCOS. C.P. CAS. D.D.----Spanheim (in his Caesars of Julian) gives us, on two Greek Imperial medals, Mercury with all his adornments, his hat with two wings, his caduceus in one hand, his purse in the other; and his two winged buskins, which he put on when he performed the part of Jupiterís messenger.
    Mercury, with his attributes, is depictured on a rare third brass of Claudius II Gothicus, with the epigraph FIDES. AVG.----A half-naked male figure, with radiate head, holding the winged caduceus of Mercury in his right and an instrument like a trident in his left hand, appears on a first brass of Clodius Albinus, with legend of SAECVLO FRVGIFERO.----A similar figure, and the same legend, is seen on first brass of Septimius Severus.
    Mercury standing, with the crumena in his right hand, forms the reverse type of a very rare gold coin of Gallienus, inscribed FORTUNA REDVX.----An image of the same deity appears on coins of Herennius Etruscus, Hostilian, Valerian, Postumus, Carinus, and Numerian: the epigraph to most of these is PIETAS AVGusti.----On a gold coin of Gallienus Mercury accompanies the legend of PROVIDENTIA AVG.----On a first brass of Marcus Aurelius, he appears in a temple; and also without the temple.    See REGLIGio AVGVSTI.----On a silver coin of Gallienus, Mercury with his attributes accompanies the legend of DONA AVG.
    Mercury dragging a ram to the altar is the type, without legend, of one of the beautiful medallions of Antoninus Pius.
    Mercury, though not unfrequently typified on coins of Roman die, is represented with his various attributes of the petasus, caduceus, and crumena, on many colonial medals, bearing Latin legends.----See Heliopolis (Philip I), Patrae (Caracalla and Elagabalus), and Tyrus (Valerian and Salonina).

View whole page from the Dictionary Of Roman Coins