In 2016, Italy celebrated the 2200 anniversary of the death of the famous Roman comedian Plautus by minting a 2-euro coin in his honor.
Titus Maccius Plautus was born around 250 and died 184 BCE. Interestingly, his nomen – Plautus – means “little jester” in Latin. Plautus was one of the oldest (next to Cato the Elder) Roman writers whose works have been preserved not only in fragments. Shakespeare drew inspiration and style from his works.
On the obverse of the coin are two theater masks depicting a young woman and a slave – two characters from Plautus’ works. We know these images from a mosaic from the Capitoline Museum, which dates back to the first and second century CE.
Under the left mask is the date of his death – 184 BCE, and under the right – year 2016. Under the horizontal line the inscription PLAUTO (Italian form of “Plautus”) will be engraved. The coin’s creator is Luciana De Simoni.
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