Description:This Roman Republic denarius coin was minted in Rome by moneyer Mn. Fonteius C. f. in 85 BC. The obverse depicts the god Apollo wearing a laurel wreath, with a thunderbolt below. In ancient mythology, Apollo was seen as the most beautiful god. He was the patron god of archers, the god of light, truth and prophecy, music, poetry and the arts. Medicine and healing were also associated with Apollo, as he was seen as a god who had the ability to cure.
The Roman worship of Apollo was adopted from the Greeks, and during a period of pestilence in the 430ís BC, Apollo's first temple in Rome was built at the Flaminian fields. Over the centuries, Apollo became one of the chief gods of Rome. Caesar Augustus considered himself to be under the special protection of Apollo and was even said to be his son. After the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, Augustus erected a new temple to Apollo, dedicated a portion of the spoils to him and instituted annual games in his honor.
The reverse side of this coin features the winged infant Cupid seated on a goat, with the caps of the Dioscuri above. Cupid was the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. He was the son of the goddess Venus and he was the equivalent of the Greek god Eros. Cupid's bow and arrow served as his source of power. Any person, or even a deity, who is shot by Cupid's arrow was filled with uncontrollable desire.