Roman Sestertius Coin

This is an ancient Roman sestertius minted under Emperor Philip I, (Marcus Julius Philippus Augustus) also known as Philip the Arab. It dates to between 244 - 249 AD. It is an example of a period when coins were being made from brass due to scarcity of precious metals. It is part of our Trade and Economy collection.

The obverse features a portrait of Philip, shown draped, facing right and wearing laurel wreath. It reads "IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG" which means "Emperor Marcus Julius Philippus Augustus"

The reverse shows Annona, who is the personification of grain allocation. She is standing left and the letters read "ANNONA AVGG" which means "Annona of the Augusti".

A loaf of bread cost would have cost roughly half a sestertius, and half a litre of wine would have cost anywhere from less than half to more than one sestertius.