• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Were coins used in the Roman Empire more for propaganda purposes or as a monetary means? Examples of how coins were used during Neros reign and how some literary sources link to them.

Extracts from this document...


Were coins used in the Roman Empire more for propaganda purposes or as a monetary means? Examples of how coins were used during Nero's reign and how some literary sources link to them. Coins have been around since about 4000 BC and have been used for many purposes. Generally we think of coins as a monetary means of paying for goods or services, but this has not always been their use. Coins have been used in the past for propaganda uses and as a sign of status. Their use for propaganda was very widespread and important throughout the era of the Roman Republic and the Empire. One main reason for this widespread use of coins for propaganda was the extensive land that the Romans came to dominate in their growing empire. This meant that Roman rulers could not visit or be directly known to all of the subject inhabitants. With this problem the emperors had to find another way of promoting and advertising all of the great successes that they had. One method of doing this was through coins, where the reverse side was minted with a sign of the emperor's achievements. These achievements included famous victories in battle or personal events such as marriages within the imperial family. ...read more.


Depicting the lyre on a coin shows that he must be comfortable with the level of his musical talents, 'finally encouraged by his progress'10. This shows a part of Nero's personal life. This expression of an emperor's personal life can make or break an emperor; it can be either taken as a weakness or strength. In this case Nero saw it as a strength, as it was used as a propaganda tool after Nero sang and played the lyre at 'his d´┐Żbut at Naples, where he did not cease singing until he had finished the number which he had begun'11. He minted himself playing the lyre on a coin, to express his love for the musical arts and to show that he had musical talent. There is one problem however, since we will never know if he actually had real musical talent, as writers of his time were reluctant to criticise and wouldn't portray him in a bad light. Nero also liked to become a poet, as he thought that is was eloquent. 'He is always writing poetry... now Nero has become fond of it'12. Tacitus explains that people disliked his fondness of the arts as he was not very good at them, and that they 'make fun of his singing'. ...read more.


It can be perceived now that these emperors needed to use coins for propaganda as they never felt that everyone liked them as an emperor. In Nero's reign there were many revolts. This made Nero very aware that he had a lack of support from his citizens and that this made him worry about what people thought about him. I think this was a key reason why Nero used coins to such a extent to show himself off. Bibliography 1. Suetonius- The Twelve Caesars - Nero 2. http://dougsmith.ancients.info/abb.html - used for information on coins abbreviations 3. http://www.usask.ca/antiquities/coins/nero.html - coin reference 4. http://members.verizon.net/vze3xycv/RulersCoins/romanpic.htm - coin reference 5. Roman Coins and their values, written by R.Sear and published by Seaby's Numismatic publications - coin reference 6. http://www.deadromans.com/coins/default.htm#Sestertius - values of coins, reference 7. http://www.usask.ca/antiquities/coins/nero.html - coin reference 8. http://www.franic.info/coins/mycoins.html 9. http://hobbyblog.blogspot.com/2004_11_28_archive.html 10. Tacitus - Nero and his helpers Proof reading OK Page numbers OK Word count 2,041 excluding Bibliography. About 1,000 more words needed, all of which should mention the literary sources. You need at least 2 more coins that show aspects of Nero's reign with comparative comments on what Suetonius or Tacitus say about him. The stuff about coins and base metals etc on p.5 is irrelevant to the title. Also it is of the wrong period. Very little deep analysis or thoughtful personal comment for AO2. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. To what extent did the Roman emperor Augustus restore the republic?

    Aediles in order to organise games, public buildings and public services in Rome; it was therefore no surprise that Augustus reduced the power of the Aediles as for a Senator to make a name for himself it, under the Principate, would be a direct threat to Augustus himself.

  2. In what ways does The Simpsons portray American family and social values?

    In a satirical twist, her pacifier actually turns out to be a signal transmitter, which the aliens monitored in order to see when she was 'ready'. As well as this Maggie is perhaps depicted as the most enigmatic member of the family.

  1. To what extent does the architecture of Rome highlight the aims of the emperors?

    For example, Alston tells us that Caligula constructed temples to his "numen" or divine image on both the Capotiline and Palatine hills as he believed he was a god and that he should be worshipped. It was against the beliefs of the Romans that a living man should be considered

  2. Is Aeneas pious, and would the Romans of Augustan Rome have thought him to ...

    Aeneas not only holds the Funeral Games in book 5 out of reverence for his father, but to also raise the morale of his men. Aeneas holds various races and matches which allow his men to be happy after the death of Dido, which they would have suspected happened, and

  1. To what extent does the evidence support the view that Roman emperors paid very ...

    30); this gave the slaves and freedmen the opportunity to have a role to play in the organisation of Rome and in their lives. Claudius? and Augustus? roles in organising the city of Rome clearly dispute the suggestion that Roman emperors paid very little attention to the administration of

  2. Do Augustan sources portray an accurate picture of the Battle of Actium?

    as well as the ?woman who brandished Roman spears? (4.6). These attempts to make Antony Cleopatra?s puppet also served to highlight the divide between East and West, the West being Roman and very masculine, the East being very effeminate.

  1. To what extent and for what reasons did Augustus resist the creation of an ...

    that the Hellenistic practice of ruler-worship was well established in certain provinces. However, the evidence suggests that this was not the case as Augustus did little to nothing to prevent the construction of such temples. Indeed, Augustus, upon hearing that the people of Tarraco had reported a palm tree had

  2. To what extent did the military reforms of Marius contribute to the collapse ...

    Further, Marius redeveloped the cohorts, which resulted in the shifting of loyalty from the State to the generals of the armies. Eventually, it was this shift that can be seen as a necessary element to the disintegration of the Republic because it provided firm leadership to the ordinary soldier and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work