Schon seit dem 7. Jh. v. Chr. kommen Münzen als Geld zum Einsatz; fast ebenso lang ist die Geschichte bildlicher Darstellungen auf Münzen. Geldstücke dienen nicht nur als Zahlungsmittel, sondern haben einen Symbolcharakter, der häufig in nicht-ökonomische Gesellschaftsbereiche hineinreicht (Eckhart). Seit der Antike ist die Tradition verbreitet, Herrscherbildnisse auf Münzen zu prägen (Manders). Nicht nur dienen die monetären Darstellungen der Könige, Kaiser und Machthaber als Garant für den Wert der Münze, umgekehrt legitimiert und veranschaulicht die greifbare Münze—zumindest auf den ersten Blick—deren Herrschaftsanspruch...
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