Sala IV. Numismatics and Roman architecture

Room IV introduces us to two aspects of great interest in Roman culture: numismatics, with a collection of more than 2,000 coins, and Roman architecture, exhibiting various construction elements, including fragments of cornices, column bases , capitals and other elements of this nature found in the term of Baena.

La palabra «moneda» deriva de una de las advocaciones de la diosa romana Juno: Moneta (‘la que avisa’). Apparently, this goddess had warned the Romans of the imminence of certain disasters. He was credited, for example, with the salvation of the city, when it was invaded by the Gauls in 390 BC: the geese that were inside the enclosure of the sanctuary of Juno, located on the Capitol Hill, alerted Manlius Capitolinus with their cackling, that he was thus able to repel the enemy attack (LIV., VII 28, 7). From the third century B.C. on, the mint of Rome was established in the temple of Juno Moneta.

The Romans created different mints or houses where the coins that would be used to pay for products and services were made. In the Bética province, one of the most important was established in its capital, Corduba.

The space dedicated to the glyptic deserves special mention: the art of engraving or carving precious stones or steel stamps to make coins and medals. In this room of the Museum several pieces of great interest are exhibited, highlighting several gold rings and above all a cameo with the portrait of a Roman woman where the color and transparency that these productions acquired in the time of Augustus stand out in search of wealth and the shine like supreme desideratum of art.

One of the numismatic showcases of the Museum.

Roman capitals in Room IV of the Museum.


Numismatics is one of the auxiliary disciplines of History; the science of minted metal coins, whose weight and law are guaranteed with a mark of the issuer.

Although sometimes the legends of the coins can be part of a generic inventory, it is possible in many cases to confirm with the help of other parallel sources that such legends refer to historical events.

From the technical point of view, we obtain data of various kinds from the coins: the artistic quality or the execution of the portrait, the fusion or minting systems, the metals and alloys, etc.

Numismatics has contributed its points of view regarding economic problems, such as the curious delay of the Romans in using coins; the strange monetary dualism of the IV-III centuries BC. C. in which in Rome coarse globs of bronze (the aes rude) and silver coins inspired by those of Magna Graecia coexisted; the adaptation to the Greek system denarius = drachma; the successive modifications in the system and in the law of metals; the variety of provincial issues, and many other phenomena. Also from the field of numismatics, it has been studied how the unearthed coin deposits, even in areas that were outside the old Empire, are testimonies of the spread of trade and the prestige of Roman coins in the markets.

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Roman architecture

The cities of ancient Rome stood out for their extraordinary architecture that, even today, surprises enclaves such as the Torreparedones archaeological park and other places where, judging by the elements on display in the Baena Historical Museum, there must have been sumptuous buildings.