Description:This silver victoriatus coin was minted in Rome between 211 - 195 BC. Until 225 BC, silver coins were rare in ancient Rome, which preferred using large bronze coins for commerce. However, when their legions came into conflict with Hannibal's armies and war elephants from Carthage in the Second Punic War, the Romans needed large amounts of smaller silver coins to pay for soldiers and equipment. Fortunately, the Roman army seized vast hoards of silver when they captured the Greek city of Syracuse in 212 BC.
Ancient coins were an important means of disseminating a message and on the obverse of this coin, the Romans chose Jupiter, the king of the gods and the god of sky and thunder. He was the equivalent of Zeus to the Greeks and could throw lightning bolts. Beginning in 509 BC, the largest temple in Rome was that of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill. On the roof was a chariot drawn by four horses with Jupiter himself as the charioteer.
The reverse of this coin depicts winged Victory placing a wreath upon a military trophy. Victory was the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Nike. She was a symbol of victory over death and determined who would be successful during war. The boastful image on this coin came to fruition by 202 B.C., when Hannibalís army was forced out of Italy and finally defeated in North Africa.