Political Leaders

Aligned to elementary social studies learning standards, Really BIG Money teaches children about world cultures and supports the development of financial literacy.


Follis coins, Ancient Rome, around 1,700 years ago (294 to 312 CE)

Follis coins, Ancient Rome, around 1,700 years ago (294 to 312 CE)

Gift of Abraham A. Rosen

How big is this money?

This head is made up of 165 ancient Roman coins. Someone buried these in a large group of 563 coins underground around 1,700 years ago.

Why are there faces on these coins?

Ancient Roman people made these bronze coins. They show portraits of Roman leaders called emperors. These emperors were among the first people in the world to put their own faces on coins. When the coins moved around the Roman Empire, people would see who was in charge of their government and economy.

The Roman emperor Diocletian (Di-oh-KLEE-shin) is on this coin. Faces of 10 Roman leaders are on the coins in this exhibit.

Follis coin, Ancient Rome, around 1,700 years ago (294 CE) 

Gift of Abraham A. Rosen

View object record

Ancient Romans buried large numbers of coins underground. They did this at religious ceremonies or for safekeeping. This archaeologist is excavating a Roman coin hoard of 52,503 coins found in Frome, England, in 2010. The coins are from around 1,700 years ago, when England was part of the Roman Empire.

© Pauline Rook. Somerset County Council and South West Heritage Trust, 2020