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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Greek Imperial ▸ EgyptView Options:  |  |  | 

Roman Provincial Coins from Egypt

From Augustus' conquest until Diocletian's monetary reforms, Egypt maintained a separate currency. Hoard evidence indicates that when crossing into Egypt all imperial coinage had to be exchanged for Egyptian and when leaving all Egyptian coinage had to be exchanged for imperial coinage. Coins are dated according to the Egyptian year which began on 29 August, or 30 August following a leap year. The Egyptian tetradrachm was officially valued at one denarius.


Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Dikaiosyne is the Greek personification of justice and fair dealing. One of the most common reverse types of Alexandria, she always holds scales and a cornucopia.
RX84177. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5653, Geissen 3201, Milne 4748, Curtis 1966, BMC Alexandria 2492 var. (obv. legend), Kampmann 119.3, Emmett 4034.1, SNG Hunterian -, VF, weight 8.895 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 20 Nov 284 - 28 Aug 285 A.D.; obverse A K Γ OYAΛ ∆IOKΛHTIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Dikaiosyne seated left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, LA (year 1) upper left; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 290, Diocletian and Maximian met in Milan, on the five-year anniversary of their rule, to discuss politics and war. Rome had become only the ceremonial capital of the Empire.
RX84179. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5947, Geissen 3313, Milne 4988, Curtis 2099, SNG Cop 1044, SNG Hunt 4932, SNG Milan 2256, BMC Alexandria 2577, Kampmann 120.50, Emmett 4148.6, VF, well centered on a tight slightly ragged flan, reverse a little flat, some spots corrosion, weight 7.323 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 290 - 28 Aug 291 A.D.; obverse MAΞIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Nike flying left, wreath in right hand, palm over shoulder in left, S over L (year 6) left, star right; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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About 287, Diocletian assumed the title Iovius and Maximian assumed the title Herculius. The titles were symbolic of their roles: Diocletian-Jove was dominant, responsible for planning and commanding; Maximian-Hercules had the heroic role of completing assigned tasks. Despite the symbolism, the emperors were not actually worshiped as the gods Jupiter and Hercules in the imperial cult. Instead, they were seen as the gods' instruments, imposing the gods' will on earth.
RX84180. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5907; Milne 4980; SNG Cop 1041; BMC Alexandria p. 328, 2547; Kampmann 120.49; Emmett 4130.6; Geissen -; SNG Hunterian -; SNG Milan -, VF, well centered on a tight flan, weight 7.838 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 290 - 28 Aug 291 A.D.; obverse MAΞIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse Herakles standing facing, nude, Nike offering wreath in right hand, grounded club in left hand, Nemean lion's skin draped over left arm, S over L (year 6) lower left, star upper right; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In Gaul in 288, Maximian constructed a Roman fleet to fight Carausius, king of Britain. In 289 he attempted to reconquer Britain but lost the new fleet due to bad weather. He was forced to accept a peace treaty.
RX79898. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4881; SNG Hunterian 4916; SNG Cop 1027; SNG Milan 2247; Kampmann 120.30; Emmett 4147.3; Dattari 5958 var.; Geissen 3296 var. (all var. AKMO...), VF, well centered, light marks and corrosion, weight 9.387 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 287 - 28 Aug 288 A.D.; obverse A K M A OYA MAΞIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Nike flying right, raising wreath in extended right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand, L - Γ (year 3) across fields, star right; $45.00 (€40.05)
 


Aurelian, August or September 270 - October or November 275 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 273, Aurelian increased Rome's daily bread ration to nearly 1.5 pounds and added pig fat to the list of foods distributed free to the populace.
RX84118. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5489, Geissen 3083, Milne 4426, Curtis 1781, SNG Milan 1977, SNG Cop 879, SNG Hunter 4781, BMC Alexandria 2360, Kampmann 106.40, Emmett 3924, gVF, nice brown chocolate surfaces, well centered on a tight flan, weight 7.685 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 273 - 28 Aug 274 A.D.; obverse A K Λ ∆OM AYPHΛIANOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse eagle standing slightly left, head turned back right, tail right, wings open, wreath in beak, ETOVC E (year 5) upward on left; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Variations of this type are listed with the longer A K M A OYA... obverse legend, and either without a star, with a star left or with a star upper right on the reverse.
RX84178. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5861, Geissen 3279, Milne 4795, SNG Milan 2023, SNG Hunt 4904 var. (no star), BMC Alexandria 2551 var. (star l.), Kampmann 120.8, Emmet 4113, VF, nice portrait, nice surfaces, tight flan, weight 7.262 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 1 Apr 286 - 28 Aug 286; obverse A K M OYA MAΞIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Eirene standing half left, raising olive branch in right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, L - A (year 1) across fields, star upper right (on edge of flan); $80.00 (€71.20)
 


Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Victory or Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon. Victory or Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek and Roman coins.
RX79881. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5715; Milne 4857; SNG Milan 2184; SNG Hunterian 4872; BMC Alexandria p. 325, 2519; Kampmann 119.48; Emmett 4064.4; SNG Cop -; Geissen -, VF, well centered, nice portrait, some die wear and damage, edge crack, some light corrosion, weight 7.641 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 287 - 28 Aug 288 A.D.; obverse A K Γ OYA ∆IOKΛHTIANOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse Nike advancing right, raising wreath in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand over left shoulder, ∆ over L (year 4) on right; $60.00 (€53.40)
 


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Homonoia was the goddess (or spirit or personification) of harmony, concord, unanimity, and oneness of mind. She is usually depicted either seated or standing with a cornucopia.
RX79598. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4941; Dattari 5930; Kampmann 120.45; Emmett 4141.5; Geissen -; BMC Alexandria -; SNG Hunterian -; SNG Cop -; SNG Milan -, VF/F, well centered on a tight flan, light corrosion, reverse struck with a damaged die, weight 7.097 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 1 Apr 286 - 28 Aug 286; obverse A K M A OYA MAΞIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse Homonoia standing left, raising right hand, double cornucopia in left hand, star left below arm, L - E (year 5) flanking across field; $60.00 (€53.40)
 


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt, Hermonthite Nome

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Struck during a period when the Alexandria mint demonstrated a remarkable diversity of types. The nome coinage named specific provinces in Egypt, though it was struck in Alexandria alongside other bronze and circulated throughout Egypt. A comparison may be made to America's state quarters.
RX84090. Bronze obol, RPC Online 6324 (14 spec.); Dattari 6263; Kampmann N17.2; BMC Alexandria p. 363, 99; Emmett 1259.11; Geissen -; SNG Cop -; SNG Milan -; SNG Hunter -, aF, glossy green patina, some porosity and tiny pits, weight 3.677 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 126 - 127 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI TPAI A∆PIA CEB, laureate head right, slight drapery on left shoulder; reverse EPMWNΘ, Montou-Apollo standing slightly left, head left, wearing himation over left shoulder and arm, and around hips and legs, long scepter in right hand, small Boukhis bull in extended left hand, L IA (year 11) downward lower right; rare; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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In 189 A.D., plague (possibly smallpox) killed as many as 2,000 people per day in Rome. Farmers were unable to harvest their crops and food shortages brought riots in the city. Part of Rome burned in 190. Commodus ordered the city to be rebuilt under the name Colonia Commodiana.
RX79588. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 2686 ff.; Curtis 852; Geissen 2252; Dattari 3889; SNG Cop 582; BMC Alexandria p. 175, 1404; Kampmann-Ganschow 41.124; Emmett 2558, F, dark patina, weight 10.856 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 189 - 28 Aug 190; obverse M A KOM ANTW CEB EYCEB, laureate head right; reverse bust of Selene left, large crescent on left, L Λ (year 30) on right; $80.00 (€71.20)
 










REFERENCES

Blum, G. "Numismatique D’Antinoos" in JIAN 16. (Athens, 1914). pp. 33 - 70.
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Curtis, J.W. The Tetradrachms of Roman Egypt. (Chicago, 1957).
Dattari, G. Numi Augg. Alexandrini. (Cairo, 1901).
Emmett, K. Alexandrian Coins. (Lodi, WI, 2001).
Geissen, A. Katalog alexandrinischer Kaisermünzen, Köln. (Cologne, 1974-1983).
Kampmann, U. & T. Ganschow. Die Münzen der römischen Münzstätte Alexandria. (Regenstauf, 2008).
Milne, J. G. A Catalogue of the Alexandrian Coins in the Ashmolean Museum. (Oxford, 1933).
Pool, R. S. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Alexandria. (London, 1892).
RPC Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/
Savio, A. ed. Catalogo completo della collezione Dattari Numi Augg. Alexandrini. (Trieste, 2007).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values. (London, 1978 - ).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 8: Egypt, North Africa, Spain - Gaul. (New Jersey, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale, Vol. 4: Alexandria I, Augustus - Trajan. (Zurich, 1998).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, Part 2: Roman Provincial Coins: Cyprus-Egypt. (Oxford, 2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Italy, Milano XIII, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche, Aegyptus (Egypt), Part 2: Octavianus Augustus - Lucius Verus. (Milan, 1991).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Italy, Milano XIII, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche, Aegyptus (Egypt), Part 3. Commodus - Galerius Caesar. (Milan, 1992).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, February 22, 2017.
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Roman Egypt