From Art to Artifact:  Making Sense of Roman Coins

Coin of Julia Domna

Understanding the Palladium

The Palladium had a rich mythological history at Rome. According to legend, the Palladium was a statue of Minerva stolen from Troy by Diomedes and brought to Rome by Aeneas. Considered to maintain the safety of the city, the Romans housed the Palladium in the temple of Vesta. However, images of the Palladium did not strictly accompany reverse-types of Vesta; in 47-46, Julius Caesar minted a coin with the image of Aeneas fleeing Troy with his aged father, Anchises, on his shoulder and the Palladium in his right hand (image at left).