Temi musicali nelle monete romane / Musical themes on Roman coins

TitleTemi musicali nelle monete romane / Musical themes on Roman coins
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsCastaldo, D
EditorRocconi, E
Book TitleLa musica nell'Impero Romano: Testimonianze teoriche e scoperte archeologiche = Music in the Roman Empire: Theoretical Evidence and Archaeological Findings
Pagination113-122
PublisherPavia University Press
CityPavia
ISBN9788896764022
Abstract

In the perspective of the broadening of research sources for the enquiry on ancient Roman music, we propose stimuli for reflection about musical themes on Roman coins. In the numismatic iconography of the late Republic, the musical element appears almost always as an attribute of deities or, more rarely, of mythical characters: Apollo’s cithara becomes the symbol of Libertas on coins produced by the tyrannicides. In spite of the rigid standards that necessarily had to be respected, in the Roman world coins acquire a strong propagandistic character which finds parallels in historical reliefs and sculpture. The musical themes which may be found on some late Republican coins have the function of exalting the moneyers’ family (Pomponius Musa, Scribonius Libo, Caius Cestius). On coins of the Augustean age, representations of Apollo become very frequent: the image of Augustus is almost always associated with Apollo citharoedus, the official god of the Res Publica, and Apollo’s cithara becomes the symbol of the Pax Romana. [p. 113]

Notes

Music in the Roman Empire contains the Proceedings of the Second Annual Meeting of MOISA, The International Society for the Study of Greek and Roman Music and its Cultural Heritage, Cremona, Aula Magna, Facoltà di Musicologia, Università degli Studi di Pavia, 30-31 ottobre 2008.

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