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Silver denarius of the emperor Hadrian

Rome, A.D. 117-138.

Unknown provenance

The Roman emperors were fully aware of the value of coinage as a propaganda tool. Everyone, from the governor of a province to the peasant working the land, could pay attention to the ever-changing inscriptions on the reverses of the coins with which they dealt daily. In this way, the government could present itself and its achievements to all the inhabitants of the vast empire. Moreover, it was a means of communication to which the government had a complete monopoly. The personifications - Fortuna, or luck, in this case depicted with a horn signifying prosperity - were intended to proclaim the virtues of the emperor or the good fortune of those fortunate enough to live under his rule.