Along with the unique tressis, the design of this rare dupondius may, as Thurlow & Vecchi postulate (p. 23), commemorate in some ceremonial fashion the opening of the new Roman mint. The wheel design on the reverse is open to a number of fanciful interpretations. Mattingly (Roman Coins, p. 49) thought the symbol represented communication, with the spokes suggesting the unification of cities. Sydenham, in Aes Grave, saw a connection “between the wheel and Rome’s rapidly expanding road system.” (Thurlow & Vecchi op. cit.) Thurlow and Vecchi viewed the wheel as a “simple statement of the unit of value,” with the Latin word for wheel being assis, along with it being an attribute of Fortuna, which “together with its convenient design, [made] it a most suitable as a coin type.” While their connection of the wheel to Fortuna is an attractive possibility, as the neighboring Etruscans also used the wheel as a device on at least 38 varieties of their local aes, T & V’s interpretation of the wheel seems highly speculative, given that no concrete etymological connection between the the word assis and the denomination as. The word assis, however, is a variation of the word axis, which refers specifically to the the axle tree, or even the celestial pole and, by metonymy, the vault of heaven which revolves around the pole star. Perhaps, if the portrait on the obverse is that of Roma, the wheel is to be interpreted as an allusion to the vault of heaven under which all Romans were to live (see Verg. Aen. VI.789-790).
This issue was cast in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (ancient Roman province Philippopolis). It goes without saying you always get the exact item in the picture.
Head of Rome right, wearing Phrygian helmet, at left II
Spoked wheel with value II
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.