Calgary Coin & Antique Gallery

Ancient Roman Mythology


roma head

      Most ancient cities had a goddess who watched over them and was often named for the city. In the case of Rome, this goddess was Roma.

      She seems to have first appeared as a derivation of Minerva, whom the Romans had borrowed from the Etruscans and associated with the Greek goddess Athena. Even though they started as one and the same, Roma soon was viewed distinct from Minerva and both continued to be worshipped.

      On Republican period coins, only her helmeted bust is usually shown. Under the Empire coins, often show Roma as a standing warrior figure. Occasionally, especially on late gold solidii, she is depicted seated on a throne, but by then Rome had adopted Christianity and she was only a symbol of the Empire, not a diety.

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