The visual program behind the Roman architectural depictions on coins


Architectural representations are rare, but they do occur on Roman coins. Today they are a valuable source of information on how buildings and sometimes even minor details looked like, which have since perished. Unfortunately, because of the nature of coins the interpretation of the depictions is occasionally quite difficult. This is further complicated by that the architectural representations, apart from the purely propagandistic purpose, also had various other meanings. Through some examples I will try to show in this paper, how these depictions can be used for the interpretation of the remains of actual buildings or for their reconstruction.