Numismatics with Kenny's Blog

15 Feb 2015

Crocodiles on Roman coins most familiar as the emblem of the province of Egypt

Ancient Coins | Numismatics with Kenny

Crocodiles must have been just as exotic and fearsome to the people of the ancient world as they are to us today. To the Romans, the crocodile was most familiar as the emblem of Egypt, and its appearances on Roman coins were in reference to that province.

The first time a crocodile appeared on a Roman coin was in about 37 B.C. by an official who had authority over the Greek island of Crete and the North African region of Cyrenaica. He issued copper pieces signed CRAS or KPAΣ, leading most scholars to identify him as M. Licinius Crassus, the eldest son of the wealthy triumvir Crassus, who in 53 B.C. infamously had led about 20,000 Roman soldiers to their death in a poorly executed campaign against the Parthians.





Level 6

That's a cool coin! Thanks for the info!

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