Small Change, Big Games

‌Small change Big Games Intro

Small Change Big Games is a project that explores images of games and festivals on Roman coins in The Hunterian’s collection.‌

Our inspiration for the project is the 50p piece designed for the Commonwealth Games, which were held in Glasgow in summer 2014. The coin shows the Saltire, a symbol of national identity, and the font is based on the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, an important figure in the city of Glasgow. The coin also shows people playing sport – running and cycling.

In the project, we have drawn parallels between this coin and similar Romans coins that also feature aspects of national and civic identity and were minted specifically to celebrate games and festivals.

Our online exhibition is organised around four main themes found on the ancient Roman coins:

Small change Big Games - Religion 

  • Sport
  • Religion
  • Politics
  • History

The exhibition, including can be found at We are also on twitter @smallchange2014 or email us

Sarah Graham and Jennifer Hilder, Final year PhD researchers in Classics

PhD Research

Sarah is working on depictions on the underworld in early Christian art and literature and Jennifer is examining an anonymous guide to public speaking from Rome in the first century BCE. Both are interested in deciphering coins and introducing different audiences to the classical world.