Ground floor



Wall showcases:

"Traditional Currencies from Africa, Asia and Oceania"
Here we show you money made of jewellery, feathers or other materials, and other means of payment from indigenous people.



Gold Room

"Money in the Roman Republic".


Theme 1: War is Father of all things

  • The Army and the State

Roman Republican administration relied on the organization of the army. The organization of the central people`s assembly resembled that of the army. It elected the highest officials of the state who possessed both civil and military power.

  • Of Coins and Wars

All major changes in Roman coinage hark back to the necessities of war. During the Samnite Wars, Rome adapted its own system to the Greek coinage system and commissioned Greek artists with the production of Greek-style coins. The biggest monetary reform of ancient history was triggered by the war against Hannibal. It gave birth to the denarius that was to be in circulation for almost 500 years.


Theme 2: Pater Patriae or How can Rome be fed?

  • Subject 1: Conquests

The Roman emperor became the guarantor of the well-being of Rome`s citizens. They expected him to organize lavish games, commission magnificent buildings and always provide enough grain to assure a livelihood. For all of that he needed money, as for the legionaries` pay and the salaries in the imperial administration. The easiest way to raise money was war. Making new provinces always provided Rome with rich war booty.

  • Subject 2: Taxation

In addition, the Roman emperors expanded the system of taxation. Every citizen in the provinces was obliged to pay not only taxes to his native town but a fixed tax per head to the Roman Empire, complemented by a share of his agricultural production. To levy all-encompassing taxes, censuses were carried out regularly.

The Roman Empire did not only possess the world`s first national budget but likewise had systematic tax declarations valid in the whole Empire.

"The just price"

  • The focus of this exhibition is the economic history of the Middle Ages. We want to show you that the law of supply and demand is not as everlasting and natural as it seems nowadays. Different rules applied in the Middle Ages – which ones exactly you will find out in our five Picture Tours.
  • Our Picture Tours aim to explain how the modern market economy developed out of small seeds planted many centuries ago. They also want to offer an alternative view on today’s understanding of money, wealth and the meaning of life. No medieval man would comprehend why we frantically chase money, wealth and influence. Different benchmarks were set in the Middle Ages.
  • We recommend you eliminate all previous prejudices you have developed from watching historical movies. Allow yourself to be drawn into the world of the Middle Ages. And always remember: Medieval men and women weren’t any better or worse, smarter or dumber than we are. They simply had a different range of experiences. These Picture Tours will tell you all about those experiences.



Stephan Koncz will be your guide in the MoneyMuseum. Listen to his audio introduction below.


Signet Sunflower Foundation