The denarius, the silver coin of Rome, weighed about 4 grams and it presented on the obverse the head of Rome with the winged crested helmet and the sign of X value, while on the reverse there were the Dioscuri, the divine twins who, according to the legend, came to the aid of Rome during the Battle of the Regillo Lake. The name of denarius derives from the original value of 10 axes, indicated with the sign of X value (from the distributive numeral deni meaning "ten"). Its issue is correlated to the strong financial commitment that Rome had to support in order to fight against Carthaginians; nevertheless, it is not easy to establish precisely at which moment of the conflict it goes back, as there is a certain disagreement between the sources data handed down and the archaeological ones. Certainly it was put already in circulation in 211 B.C., when for the second time Romans seized Morgantina, a city of Sicily, which supported Carthaginians during the Second Punic War (217-202 B.C.) against Romans. The coin was known and appreciated not only in the Italian peninsula but also in the whole Mediterranean basin. In addition, substantial finds testify its circulation also in areas far from Rome.
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