Living Forever?

Women born in Switzerland in 2018 have an average life expectancy of 85.4 years, corresponding to about 31,000 days or almost three quarters of a million hours. That’s impressive. In 85.4 years you can do plenty of things: you can go to school or even to university, start a family, develop your career, devote yourself to your hobbies. And yet, eventually, it all comes to an end. The many advances in medicine haven’t changed anything about the fact that people die.

So, how do we deal with that? What role does death play in our lives? Do we repress the thought of death? Do we try to delay it by any means possible? How much comfort are we willing to give up so that others can survive? 

No, this exhibition will not answer any of these questions. Instead it deals with how questions and answers regarding death and the hope for eternal life have changed over time.

Follow us on our journey through the centuries with books from the MoneyMuseum’s library. We begin with an unknown plague …

traditional payment

Traditional Means of Payment

Traditional societies have a hierarchical organization. The position of a person, and with it his prestige, depends not on how much he possesses, but on how many goods he has given to the other members of the society.

Money in the Roman Republic

As a rule, coins are not manufactured to provide future generations with an insight into their users’ environment, but to be recognized as a reliable currency in the largest possible geographic area. The recognition effect was important – for instance, the most successful coins from Greek antiquity, the tetradrachms introduced by the Athenians and by Alexander the Great, featured the same image for more than one and a half centuries.

The denarii of the Roman Republic, on the other hand, are a completely different matter! Here, in the excited first century BC, the coin motifs change quicker than the years. We find everything: scenes from the past, allusions to the present, images of everyday political life, buildings, people, and of course deities. The ones responsible seem to have squeezed their whole world into the small space a denarius provides for coin motifs.

The exhibition highlights the phase of the Roman Empire when it was still Republican and focused on virtues, which enabled this state to fly high later.


Introduction to our library with rare books and modern literature. 

Visit our specially dedicated website: Bookophile.com

Signet Sunflower Foundation