Roman Republic, Denarius

The obverse of this Roman denarius from the year 67 BC supposedly shows the Egyptian goddess Isis. She is vested with the attributes of diverse other deities: the helmet of Minerva, the laurel wreath of Apollo, the bow and the quiver of Diana), the wings of Victoria, and the horn of plenty of Fortuna.

The reverse depicts an eagle on a thunderbolt. Both were symbols of Jupiter, the major Roman god. On the occasion of an army reform in 104 BC, the eagle was introduced as the highest Roman signa militaria. It sat on top of a pole, the Aquila, the eagle standard. The Aquila was carried ahead of the legions in battle as a means of identification and stimulation.