Heads or tails

Caracalla Denarius Hercules (© Ancient Coin Traders)

On January 1, 1999, the countries of the European Union entered into a monetary union. Euro bills and coins replaced francs, guilders and Deutsch marks, among others. 11 countries lost a key symbol of sovereignty in the modern world. No one knows what the effects of the Union will be. But rather than peering into the future for answers, perhaps we should look to our past. 2000 years ago, the Romans formed the largest monetary union the world has ever known.

In “Heads or Tales”, Michele Ernsting looks at the euro of antiquity and what we can learn from it about our past and our future.

Producer: Michele Ernsting

Broadcast: February 26, 1999