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A large number of inscriptions surviving from the late Roman Republic testify to the abiding interest that public figures of the time had in publicizing themselves. By proclaiming their own achievements and those of their families in inscribed texts, displayed as conspicuously as possible, Romans with ambitions could create the kind of personal publicity which apparently helped to advance their status and careers. The most conspicuous publicity was generated by inscriptions placed on public monuments; the most widely circulated publicity, however, was generated by the inscriptions and small relief sculptures which appeared on coins. Since people at all levels of society handled coins in their everyday lives, they were constantly exposed to the messages that coins could be made to bear.


This is the publisher‘s version of the work. This publication appears in The College of the Holy Cross’ institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.

Originally published in Schweizerische Numismatische Rundschau Volume 68, 1989, pp. 19-45.