Ancient Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus (usually referred to by his cognomen Plautus) is one of the defining icons of Latin comedy, his influence extending across the globe and across the centuries. Among his numerous other source materials, Shakespeare drew heavily from Plautus for style, characters and plot.
This year, Italy is honoring the 2,200th anniversary of his death with a circulating two-euro coin that features a gold-colored inner segment and a silver-colored outer part.
Interstingly, Plautus’ nomen (family name) of Maccius means “little clown”.
He was born in 254 BCE and died 70 years later in 184 BCE.
The obverse of the Titus Maccius Plautus coin features two theatrical masks representing the young woman and the slave, two characters from Plautus’ New Comedy, as seen in a mosaic from the second century CE on display at the Capitoline Museum in Rome. In the background of the coin, surrounding the masks, is the floorplan of a Roman theater from Plauto’s period.
Under the left mask is the year 184 A.C., the year of Plautus’ death. Under the right mask is the year 2016. PLAUTO (Italian for “Plautus”) is inscribed in a horizontal line along the base of the gold-colored inner segment. At the top of the inner segment is the monogram of the Italian Republic, IR. On the left of the design is an R mintmark for the Mint of Rome, and on the right of the coin are the initials LDS for designer Luciana De Simoni. The 12 stars of the European Union are seen in the silver-colored ring surrounding the golden inner segment.
The reverse of the two-euro coin features the common reverse of Euro coinage, which includes an outline of Europe’s geographical outline, with six vertical lines and the 12 stars of the European Union running along the right side of the design. A large numeral “2”, denoting the denomination of the coin in euros, dominates the left side of the design.
Belgian coin designer Luc Luycx designed the common reverse.
Designer(s): Luciana De Simoni is an artist/engraver who has done work for both the Italian Mint (Mint of Italy) and the Mint of Rome (View Designer’s Profile). Luc Luycx is a Belgian coin designer and computer engineer, best known as the designer of the common reverse of Euro coinage (View Designer’s Profile).
|Year Of Issue:||2016|
|Alloy:||Inner part – nickel and brass; Outer part – copper and nickel|
|OBV Designer||Luciana De Simoni|
|REV Designer||Luc Luycx|
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Italian 2-Euro Commemorative Coins Currently Available on eBay