Allegory of Hispania

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100 peseta coin portraying Hispania reclining between the Pyrenees and Gibraltar.

The allegory of Hispania is the national personification of Spain.

The antecedent of this representation were some coins on which there was a horseman holding a lance and the legend HISPANORVM. These coins corresponded to the first half of the 2nd century BC and were minted in Morgantina (Sicily). These coins were carried out by the Hispanic mercenaries who received the government of this Sicilian city by order of the Roman Senate during the Second Punic War.

The first representation of Hispania appeared during the Roman Republic as the head of a woman with the legend HISPAN, and was minted in Rome by the Roman family Postumia (81 B.C.). Since then different coins emerged with allegorical representations of Hispania with different characteristics during the entire Roman era.

Like other coins with provincial allegories, it would fall into disuse due to the prevalence of symbols of Rome and Constantinople being minted on coins and would not reappear until the Spanish peseta, which itself was based upon the allegory used during the reign of Hadrian. From then on, the allegory would be made into monuments, statues and reliefs.