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Roman Coin Legends and Inscriptions

This is a list of Common Inscriptions found on Roman coins.


A A A F F --- Viri Auro Argento Aere Flando Feriundo, or The Men for Striking and Casting gold, silver, and bronze.

ABVNDANTIA --- The personification of abundance. Attributes: cornucopia, grain stalks.

ADSERTOR LIBERTAS --- Restorer of Liberty.

ADLOCVTO --- A speech made by the emperor to his army, or Praetorian Guard, on a notable occasion such as the initiation of a military campaign.

ADVENTVS, ADVENT --- Arrival. Commemorates the return, or arrival of an emperor.

ADVENTVI AVG FELICISSIMO --- Felicitations of the Roman people upon the return of the emperor.

AEDIS, AED --- Temple or shrine.

AEGYPTOS --- The personification of Egypt.

AEQVITAS, AEQVIT --- The personification of equity. Atributes: cornucopia, balance-scales, scepter.

AETERNAE, AETERNITAS, AETERN --- The personification of stability,drawn from the concept of eternity. Attributes: globe, phoenix, torch, scepter; sometimes depicted holding the heads of the sun and moon.

AETERNAE MEMORIAE --- Eternal remembrance.

AFRICA --- The personification of North African Provinces. (modern day Libya and Tunisia)

ALAMANNIA --- The personification of the Germanic tribe, the Alans.

AMOR --- Love.

ANCILE --- One of twelve sacred shields which fell from heaven. These shields were beaten to awaken Mars when war was declared.

ANNONA --- The goddess of the wheat harvest, and the deity over-seeing the grain imports from Africa. Attributes: grain stalks, prow modius, cornucopia.

ANNONA AVGVSTI --- Provisions from the emperor.

ANNONA AVGVSTI CERES --- Provisions from the Majestic Ceres, the Hellenistic goddess of grain.

APOLLO, APOL, APOLLONI --- The Hellenistic sun god; also patron of the arts and prophecy. Attributes: long hair, naked, lyre, bow and arrow. (APOLLONI SANCTO, Holy Apollo.)

AR AD --- Arabia Adiabenius.

ARA PACIS --- the Altar of Pax.

ARMENIA --- a country north of Persia.

ASIA --- The personification of the province of Asia, or modern Turkey.

AVG, AVGG, AVGGG; AVGVSTI, AVGVSTO or AVGVSTVS --- The title "Augustus", usually abbreviated, is often found on reverse legends when refering to an attribute of an emperor.An emperor's titular honor is AVGVSTVS (nominative, masculine); or AVGVSTA (feminine). If the inscription is dedicated to the emperor, or relates an honor given to an emperor, it would take the form AVGVSTO (to Augustus; or plural AVGVSTIS). When the title is used with a personalized attribuet like glory, it would take the form GLORIA AVGVSTI (glory of the emperor). During the Imperial era, especially under the tetrarchy, the pluralgenitive form AVGVSTORVM (of the emperors), is encountered. In abbreviated forms, the last "G" is repeated to refer to the other legitimate rulers bearing the title of Augustus at the same time. Each "G" refers to one of the emperors. (i.e. AVGG on a Trajan Decius coin would be refering to Trajan Decuis as the first "G", and Herennius Etruscus,(his son) as the second "G") .


BEATA TRANQVILLITAS, BEATA TRANQLITAS --- "Blessed calm". Refers to the stability under the rule of Constantine I.

BIGA --- Chariot with two beasts.

BONI, BONVS, BONA, BONO --- Good, noble, kind, honest.

BONO GENIO PII IMPERATORIS --- The good genius of the emperor.

BONVS EVENTVS --- An Italic god of agriculture. and later used as a personification of good news. Depicted pouring libations from patera over an altar, and holding a cornucopia.

BRITANNIA --- The personification of the British Province. Depicted as a female sitting on a rock, holding a spear and resting arm on shield. Antoninus Pius issued a set of bronze sestertius coins in Rome to be circulated in Britian.


CADUCEUS --- A winged staff entwined with snakes. Served as a symbol for safety, speed, and was assiciated with a hearld.

CAELESTIS --- Celestial, or from the heavens. Divinity.

CAES, CAESAR --- This was the gens name of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and later adopted as the title for heir-apperent to the Imperial rank. Then under the tetrarchy, this title was designated to a junoir emperor. Some adopted this title to gain prestige and legitimacy (Otho). If there were two or more caesars at one time then the legend would reflect this by adding another "S" for each additional caesar. (CAESS would indicate two caesars).

CALRITAS REIPVB --- Brightness of the Republic.

CALVMNIA --- false accusation or claim.

CAPPADOCIA --- The personification of Cappadocia, in centeral Asia Minor.

CAPTA --- Conquered. This was used in the first and second centuries by soldier emperors to commemorate the conquest of new territories. The cooin would have either the allergorical image for that province bound and abjected, or a military trophy. The legend usually included the name of the province with the feminine verb of "capio" (to seize) as CAPTA. (i.e. AEGYPTO CAPTA, DACIA CAPTA, etc....)

CARITAS --- Affection or liking to.

CARITAS MVLTA AVGG --- Great relations and affection by two emperors (AVGG = two, AVGGG = three).
*An exeption to this rule was the relations between Pupienus and his co-emperor Baibinus. who didn't get along too well.

CARTHAGE --- The personification of Carthage.

CASTRORVM --- military fort or camp.

CENS, CENSOR --- A temporary official duty which entailed a commision to determine the composition of the Senate. Eligibility requirements included wealth, property and moral character. With this the emperor could purify the Senate to his advantage and liking.

CERERI FRUGIF --- The fruit bearing Ceres.

CERES --- The Hellenistic goddess of grain (Demeter). Depicted on bronze/brass coins to suggest a plentiful food supply to the masses. Attributes: holds grain, torch, and veiled head

CIPPUS --- A stone pillar, engraved with Imperial and Senetorial proclamations, set in public places or beside roads.

CIVITATIBVS ASIAE RESTITVT --- Citizen rights/ Citizenship Restored in Asia Minor.

CLEMENTIA,CLEM --- The personification of clemency or mercy. In the first and second centuries most types were sponsored by the Senate and may refer to the emperors pardoning of a distinguished Senator accused of sedition or treason. Attributes: olive branch.

COLLEGIA SACREDOTVM --- The college of priests that governed the observance of state religion. If an emperor or carsar (heir, prince), was not elected as Pontifex Maximus, he was co-opted into the college. These coin types usually depict several sacred instruments pecular to the priestly office that the emperor was appointed. Typical legend: SACERD(os) COOPT(atus) IN OMN(ia) CONL(egia) SVPRANVM(erum) EX S(enato) C(onsulto).

COLONIA BOSTRA --- Colony of Bostra (Arabia).

COMDITOR --- The Founder. (i.e. ROMVLO CONDITORI, "Romulus the Founder").

COMES AVG --- Companion of an emperor. Usually refers to the deity depicted on the coin reverse.

COMITI AVGG NN --- Retinue of emperors.

CONCORD AEQUIT --- Concord of Equity.

CONCORDIA --- The personification of unity and agreement. Often depicted in troubled times, seeking to unite public opinion behind Imperial policy. Attributes: cornucopia, patera, scepter.

CONCORDIA EXERCITVS, CONCORDIA MILITVM --- Unity of the Army or Militia. The personification of Concordia is depicted holding military symbols of authority, such as two standards or scepter.

CONGIARIUM --- Donatives of food or money made to the people of Rome during the first and second centuries. Depicted with emperor seated in a curule chair on a platform, with several attendants handing out coins to the people.

CONIVGALIBVS --- marriage. (DIS CONIVGALIBVS = to the deities of marriage).

CONSECRATIO --- Apotheosis. In the first and second centuries when a popular emperor or their family member died, they were consecrated as gods. Their successors built a personality cult around the dead emperor, serving as chief priest, and often dedicating temples to the dead. In the third century this custom faded out as the Cristian era evolved. Some common types of these depict a cult item or temple of the deified emperor. Some include: a cart drawing the cult image of the deified emperor, an emperor throne, a funeral pyre, an eagle, altar or peacock.

CONSENSVS --- Consensus.

CONSER VRB SVAE --- Protector of the city's customs and traditions. Conservator of Rome.

CONSERVAT AVG, CONSERVATOR AVG --- Protector of the emperor. Usualy refers to Sol, Mars and Jupiter.

CONSTANTIA --- The personification of steadiness. If dressed in armor then the personification is of courage and firmness.

CONSTANTINOPOLIS --- The personification of the city Constantinople/Byzantium (Modern day Istanbul). The capital under Constantine and then the backbone of the Eastern Empire.

CONSTITVTO --- to set up an agreed price.

CORNUCOPIA --- The horn of plenty. Asymbol of prosperity and fortune.

CORONA CIVICA --- The Wreath of Civic Service, awarded by the Senate for saving the life of a Roman. Upon accession, most emperors would receive this honor for preserving the Empire against it's enemys. This award conveyed great honor and distinction.

COS --- Consul. The chief executive officer under the Republic. There were two elected together to serve simultaneous, for one year. An Emperor's usurped the Consul' powers, first nominating his own clients for election,then ultimately appointing Consuls himself. Most emperors served as Consul several times during their reign. In a coin legend the Roman numerals after the COS refer to the number of times he has held the Consuls office.

CURULE CHAIR --- A short bench that originally served as the seat of curule aedile (the moderator of senate meetings). It became the symbol of official rank and was reserved for Consuls, Praetors and the Imperial family.

CV L --- Clupeus Virtutis, Or shield of virtue. This refers to the golden shield awarded to Augustus by the Senate for his virtue, clemency, justice and dutifulness. Other emperors through Trajan were awarded with similar shields upon accession. This award was depicted on a shield as either CL V or S P Q R held by the personification of Roma or Victory.

CVSTOS --- The Guardian

CYBELE --- The mother of the gods, Mother earth. Also known as Magna Mater (the Great Mother). Attributes: turreted and veiled head, lions; often riding a lion-drawn cart. Titles: MAGNA MATER, MATER DEI


DACIA --- The province of Dacia is on the lower Danube basin, including parts of Romania and Bulgaria.

DEA CAELESTIS --- The patron deity of the city of Carthage. Attributes: lion, thunderbolt,scepter, usually riding lion.

DECVRSIO --- To laugh at or ridicule.

DEDICATIO --- Dedication to/of. (DEDICATIO AEDIS = dedication of a temple).

DE IVDAEIS --- "With regard to Judaea".

DEO VVLCANO --- "The god Vulcan".

DESTINATO --- Determined to be assigned.

DEVICTA --- Conquered. Defeat.

DIANA, DIANA LVCIFERA --- The Hellenistic goddess of the hunt and the moon goddess (Artemis); also the patroness of children. Attributes: crescent moon, torch, bow and arrow, hunting dog, stag. Titles: LUCIFERA (light-bringer), CONSERVATRIX, VICTRIX.

DIS GENITALIBVS --- For having children.

DISCIPLINA --- educated instruction or disciplined training. Refers to an emperors focus on an educated, or well trained armies.

DIVI F, DIVI FILIUS, DIVVS, DIVO, DIVA, DIVI --- The title "divus" means god and refers to a deified emperor or Imperial family member. DIVVS and DIVA are the nomative forms (masculine and feminine respectivly). These usually appear on the legend of the dead emperor. If the issuer of the coin is the son of a "God" then the legend DIVI (genitive form), would appear in the legend.

DOMINOR NOSTROR CAESS Caesars our lords.


EQVESTER ORDO PRINCIPI IVVENT --- (see Princeps Ivventvtis) .

EQVITVM, EQVIT --- Of the cavalry. In Republican times the cava;ry was drawn from the middle class, who were able to afford the horse and armor, and were thus called the equestrian order.

EVENTVS --- Incident or occurrence.

EXERCITVS --- The Army and the Infantry. A common reverse type under military dictators in the fourth century.

EXPED --- refers to an emperors visit to an area or province.

EX S C --- Ex Senato Consulto, or by Senatorial Decree. Often used to refer to the award of honor to the emperor by the Senate.

EX S C OB CIVES SERVATOS --- A decree of the Senate bestowed for having saved the lives of citizens.


FECVNDITAS --- The personification of fertility. Assosiated with bearing Imperial heirs. These often are depicted with children. (FECVND AVGUSTAE Fertility of the empress.)

FEL TEMP REPARATIO --- The restoration of happy times. A major theme of the reformed billon and bronze coinage in the late Constantinian dynasty. Some reverse types include the phoenix, a barbarian dragging a young captive from a hut, or a Roman soldier spearing a fallen horseman (Persian cavalry).

FELICITAS, FEL, FELIC, FELICISSIMO --- The personification of happiness and success. Attributes: caduceus, scepter, and sometimes is leaning on a column.

FELIX --- Lucky, fortunate, and sometimes can be noted as being wise. Also used as a title for Venus. (FELIX ADVENT AVGG N N, Happy arrival of both our emperors.)

FIDEI PVBLICAE --- The faithfulness of the officials.

FIDES --- The personification of faithful protection, or fulfillment of duties.

FIDES PVBLICA --- The promise of public protection.

FIDES EXERCITVS, FIDES MILITVM --- Faithfulness of the Army or Militia. The personification of Fides is depicted holding military symbols of authority, such as two standards or a scepter.

FISCI --- money-bag, purse.

FISCI IVDAICI CALVMNIA SVBLATA --- refers to the remission of tax imposed on the Jews by Nerva to fund the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus.

FOLLIS --- A leather bag used to hold money.

FORT RED --- Fortunate return of our emperor.

FORTI FORTVNAE --- a dedication to the brave man of Fortune.

FORTVNA --- The personification of luck and fate and accorded cult status as a minor deity by some Romans. The emperors often used the type of Fortuna to imply that they serve as a intermediary between fate and the Empire. Attributes: cornucopia, olive branch, patera, rudder or a wheel.

FORTVNA REDUX, FORT RED --- Fortuna, who leads one back. This type commemorates the vows an emperor made prior to departing on a hazardous journey, and then upon his safe arrival.

FRVGIFERO, FRVGIFE, FRVGIFER, FRVGIS, FRVG --- Fruitfulness or fertile.

FRVMENTO --- Grain, crops.

FVNDATOR --- The Founder.


GALLIA --- The personification of the Gallic provinces, Gaul, France, Switzerland, and Northern Italy.

GAVDIUM POPVLI ROMANI --- Delight of the Roman Public.

GENETRICI, GENETRIX --- Mother, or ancestress. (VENERI GENETRICI = Mother Venus).

GENIO ANTIOCHENI --- A dedication to the Genius of Antioch.

GENIO AVGVSTI --- A dedication to the Genius of the emperors, possibly refering to the guardian spirit looking over the emperor and his family.

GENIO POP ROMANI --- A dedication to the Genius of the Roman Public. This type commemorates the spirit of Rome as well as the unique character of the Roman people.

GENIO SENATVS --- A dedication to the Genius of the Senate.

GENITALIBVS --- Birth, of creation.

GENIVS, GEN --- The personification of the guardian spirit.

GERMANIA --- The personification of Germany.

GLORIA EXERCITVS --- Glory of the Army. Common type reverse.

GLORIA NOVI SAECVLI --- The glory of the new age.

GLORIA ROMANORVM --- Glory of the Romans.


HERCVLES, HERCVLI, HERCVL --- A great Greek hero, credited with spreading civilization, to which he became a god. Used to the liking of Trajan, Commodus, and Postumus.

HILARITAS, HILAR --- The personification of cheerfulness and joy. Attributes: Palm branch, cornucopia,scepter, patera.

HISPANIA --- The personification of the Spanish Provinces.

HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS --- Under this sign you will be victorius. This refers to Constantine's dream of being lead into battle by an angel bearing a cross. Thus defeating Maxentius at the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 A.D.

HONOS, HONORI --- The personification of Honor.(HONOS ET VIRTUS, Honor and virtue.)


III VIR A A A F F --- Tres Viri Auro Argento Aere Flando Feriundo, or The Three Men for Striking and Casting Gold, Silver and Bronze. This is the Latin title for the Republican and early Imperial board of the three moneyers, and usually appears in conjunction of the moneyers that issued a particular coin issue.

IMP, IMPERI, IMPERAT, IMPERATOR --- The Emperor or supreme military commander. In Republican times the title was used to describe successful generals. Beginning with Julius Caesar the Roman autocrats adopted the title as a praenomen or official rank. The Senate continued to award the title Imperator as an honorary acclamation following major victories.

INDVLGENTIA --- The personification of tenderness. To grant, leniency or concession. be kind to. be lenient to. Accorded cult status as a minor deity by some Romans.(INDVLGENTIA AVGG IN CARTH, Indulgence of the emperor to Carthage.)

INVICTA --- Unconquered, in reference usually to a city or goddess.

INVICTVS, INVICTO, INVICTA --- Invincible, unconquerable. see Sol.

I O M --- a shortend version of IOVI OPTIME MAXIME, or "Jupiter the best....".

IOVI --- The dative form of Jupiter, used in dedicatory inscriptions. (i.e. IOVI CVSTOS, to Jupiter, the protector)

IOVI CONSERVATOR AVG(G) NN ---Jupiter, conservator of our emperor (or emperors).

IOVI EXSVP --- Jove who excels in all things.

IOVI PROPVGNATORI --- Jupiter the defender.

IOVI STATORI --- Jupiter the stabilizer.

IOVI VOT SVSC PRO SAL CAES AVG SPQR --- Vows to Jupiter by the senate and the Roman people for the restoration of the health of the emperor.

ISIS --- An Egyptian goddess of the underworld and the wife of Osiris, who represented the birth and death of one year. Attributes: rattle (sistrum), bucket.

ITALIA, ITALIAM, ITALICA --- The personification of Italy. Usually depicted as a female figure on a globe, holding a cornucopia and scepter.

IVDAEA --- The personification of Judaea.

IVDAEA DEVICTA --- Judaea conquered.

IVN, IVVENI, IVVENTIS --- Junior, young.

IVNO, IVNONIS, IVNONI, IVNONEM --- Juno (Hera), the consort of Jupiter, and the patroness of child birth. Attributes: peacock, scepter, patera. Titles: CONSERVATRIX, LVCINA, REGINA.

IVNO FELIX --- Happy Juno.

IVNO LVCINA --- Goddess of light.

IVNO REGINA --- Juno the Queen.

IVNONI MARTIALI --- The war like Juno.

IVPPITER, IOVIS --- Jupiter, the genitive form is Jovis. The Hellenistic father of the current generation of gods (Zeus), and the god of the skies. Often posed as the protector of the state and the emperor (IOVI CVSTOS). Attributes: thunderbolt, scepter, eagle, small figure of Victory, globe; usually depicted naked, or naked with cloak across his shoulder. Titles: CVSTOS, CONSERVATOR, PROPVGNATOR, TONANS (Thunder), VICTOR.

IVSTITA --- The personification of justice. Attributes: olive branch, patera, scepter.


JANUS --- The Italic deity of time and the ages. A popular Republican Type, but rare on Imperial coins. He was the first king of Italy and invented civilization for which he became a god.

JANUS, TEMPLE OF --- At times of peace the temple doors are closed.


LABARUM --- A military standard with the Chi-Rho monogram.

LAETITIA --- The personification of joy and good grace. Attributes: wreath, rudder steering globe, anchor.

LEG --- Legion.(LEG I, LEG II, LEG III - The number of the legions).

LIBER --- The Hellenistic goddess of wine (Bacchus/Dionysios). Attributes: wine cup, thyrsos (a staff ornamented with grape leaves), crown of ivy leaves, panther.

LIBERALITAS, LIBERAL --- The personification of generosity, and frequently, an indirect reference to a specific Imperial donative to the urban population. Attributes: tessera, cornucopia, or coins flowing from a cornucopia.

LIBERTAS, LIB --- The personification of liberty. Often used by usurpers claiming to restore the liberty of the Roman Republic. Attributes: pileus (pointed hat), scepter.

LVDOS ---Games. Sport or entertainment.

LVNA --- An alternative manifestation of the moon goddess, as used by Julia Domna and Gallienus; more appropriately a personification of the moon.


MAGNAE --- great, powerful, extensive.

MAG PIVS --- Great and pious.

MARS, MARTIS --- The god of war, spring and regeneration. MARS (masculine), MARTIS (genative). Attributes: spear, shield, trophy, olive branch, crested helmet. Appears either naked or cloaked with helmet, or fully armored. Titles: CONSERVATOR, PACIFER (holds olive branch), PROPVGNATOR, VICTOR, VLTOR.

MART PAC, MATI PACIF or PACIFERO --- Mars, the pacifier.(MARTIA CONSERVATORI Mars, the conserver.
MARTI PROPVGT, Mars, the defender.)

MARSUPPIUM --- A bag or pouch to carry valuables or official documents.


MATRI --- Mother, matron. (MATRI MAGNAE = mother of great power).

MAVRETANIA --- The personification of Mauretania ( modern day Morocco and Algeria).

MERCVRY --- The Hellenistic messenger god (Hermes). Attributes: caduceus, petasos (winged cap), marsuppium.

MILITVM, MILIT, MIL --- Foot soldier, military.

MINERVA --- The Roman version of the Hellenistic Pallas Athene. Minerva is common on Domitan coinage, who was a great soldier and general. Attributes: spear (which she usually brandishes), shield, crested helmet, aegis, small figure of Victory, prow. Title: VICTRIX

MODIUS --- A measuring device used for grain. Its depiction on coins implies an abundance of food.

MONETA --- An reflection of Juno as the patroness of money and the mother of muses.

MVLIEBRI --- Feminine, womanly. (FORTVNAE MVLIEBRI = feminine Fortuna).

MVNIFICENTIA --- Generosity.

MVTVVS, MVTVA --- Mutual, or agreed upon.


NAVALIS --- of ships. (VICTORY NAVALIS, victory of ships).

NEMESIS --- An avenging spirit or punisher of evil. Most frequently appears to indicate the suppression of a mutiny, as in the coinage of Claudius. Attributes: caduceus, snake, wheel.

NEPTVNE --- The Hellenistic god of the sea (Poseidon). Attributes: dolphin, trident, figure head of prow, prow.

NEPTUNE REDUX, NEP RED --- Neptune, who leads one back from the sea. Commemorates the vows an emperor makes in anticipation of a safe sea journey and a safe return journey home. Attributes:Trident, acrostolium.

NILVS --- refers to the Nile river. The Nile is depicted as a male figure usualy lying, legs draped, and holding a cornucopia and reeds. Also may have a crocodile and/or hippopotamus.

NOBILITAS --- The personification of aristocracy. Attributes: palladium, scepter.

NOST, NOSTRORVM --- Of our people. (i.e. CAESARVM NOSTRORVM, the heir apperent of our people)


OB CIVES SERVATOS, OB C S --- In return for civic service. This refers to the award of the Corona Civica (see CORONA CIVICA).

OBSEQVENS --- yield to with compliance, (FORTVNA OBSEQVENS = compliant Fortune).

OPI --- the personification of power, might and influence. Usually depicted as a woman holding a scepter and her head resting on her hand.

OPS --- The ancient Italic goddess of abundance and wealth. Attributes: grain stalks, scepter.

OPTIMO --- good, honest, brave, noble.

OPTIMO PRINCIPI --- honest, brave and noble leader.

ORIENS AVG --- Oriens is the name of Sol when he is assosiated with the sun. This implies rising fortune for the emperor and thus the Empire.


PACATOR ORBIS --- Pacifier of the world.

PACE PR UBIQ PARTA IANUM CLUSIT --- Portal of Janus being closed (indicates peace).

PACE PR TERRA MARIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT --- Refers to the closing of the doors of the temple of Janus, to symbolize world peace. ?

PACI AVGUSTAE --- The peace of the emperor.(an emperors personal vision of "Imperial Stability").

PACIFER --- Peace maker.

PALLADIUM --- The cult image of Minerva (Pallas Athene).

PANNONIAE --- The personification, depicted as two women, of the province Pannonia. The province was along the Mid Danube basin and included parts of Yugoslavia. Pannonia produced several emperors in the third century.

PARAZONIUM --- A short sword in its sheath.

PARTHICO --- Refers to the Parthians. (a country south of the Caspian Sea).

PATERA --- A bowl used to pour libations.

PATER PATRIAE, P P --- The father of the country. This honorary title was immensely lofty, the title granted to most emperors by the Senate. Most took the title upon succession, some waited modestly to accept the title (Nero, Hadrian). Tiberius refused the title altogether.

PATIENTIA --- the personification of patience, endurance, suffering.

PAX --- The personification of peace. Attributes: olive branch, scepter, cornucopia, caduceus.

PAX FVNDATA CVM PERSIS --- Firm peace with the Persians.

PAX ORBIS TERRARVM --- Peace of the entire world.

PERP, PERPETVITAS,PERPETVAE, PERPETVVS --- Perpetuity, perpetual. May refer to the life of an emperor, PERP AVG.

PIETAS, PIETATI, PIET --- The personification of devotion to the gods, one's duties and the emperor. Usually depicted as veiled, and sacrificing from a patera over an altar.

PIETAS MVTVA AVG --- The mutual piety of the two Augusti.

PILEUS --- The conical cap assosiated with liberty.

PIO --- Appease, or propitiate.

PLEBEI --- Common people, or lower class.

PLEBEI VRBANAE FRVMENTO CONSTITVTO --- refers to a free dole of grain given to each citizen of Rome in 97 A.D. under Nerva.

PONTIF MAXIM --- Pontifex Maximus. The chief of the board of fifteen priests who directed the Roman State religion. Many emperors held this office and coins frequently refer to it soon after an emperor has been elected. Some of the typical instruments found on these coins are: an apex (conical cap), the aspergillum (used to sprinkle water over an altar ond/or victim), the lituus (staff), the praeferculum (held wine for libations), secespita (knife), the securis (an axe for quartering the victim), and a simplum (wine serving ladle).

POPVL IVSSV --- By the order of the Roman people.

POTESTATEM --- the ability to rule with power and force.

PRAETOR, PRAE --- Leader, or in front of.

PRAETORIANORVM --- of the Praetorian Guard.

PRINCEPS IVVENTUTIS, PRINC IVVENT --- First among the young men. A Republican title for the leader of the equestrian portion of the Militia, drawn from the middle class, to be able to afford a horse and armor. In the Imperial era this title was normally bestowed by the Equestrian order to imply that the holder was of middle class. Also given to heirs apparent to the Imperial rank. The reverse usually depicted the awarded "Princeps Iuventis" on a shield.

PRINCEPS --- Prince. A title for the emperor in the late Imperial period.

PRINCIPI --- leader, or first man.

PROFECTIO --- Departure. Commemorates the departure of the emperor.

PROPAGO --- Posterity or propagate.



PROVIDENTIA, PROVID,PROVI, PRO --- The personification of foresight. (PROVIDENTIAE CAESS, Foresight of the Caesars.) Attributes: baton, globe.

PVBLICA, PVBLICAE, PVB --- Belonging to the people. Also can indicate a state official.

PVDICITIA --- The personification of modest virtue, or chastity. Frequently used on the coins of emperesses.


QVADRAGENS REMISSA S C --- Gentiles remit, refers to the remission of the customs duty in Gaul and Hispania under Nero, and to the proscription of Nero's finance officials.

QVADRIGA --- A chariot drawn by four beasts.

QVIES --- the personification of retirement and rest. Depicted standing holding branch and scepter.

QVIRITIVM --- Citizens of Rome, collectively in their peacetime functions.


RAVENNA --- The personification of Ravenna, which was usually the capital for the Western Empire from the time of Honorius.

RECTOR ORBIS --- Restorer of the World. A common type of Probus and Aurelian.

REDACTAE --- to drive back, or reduce.

REDUX --- Coming back, returning.

REDVCI --- Leading back, returning.

REGI ARTIS --- The Art of Leadership. (Claudius Gothicus)

REGINA --- "Queen". (IVNO REGINA = Queen Juno).

REGNA ADSIGNATA --- "the Kingdoms Alloted".

RELIG VETERA H S NOVIES MILL ABOLITA --- Refers to the liberality of Hadrian in remitting debts.

REPARATIO REIPVB --- Restoration of the Republic.

REQVIES --- Rest (from labor), Retire.

RESTITVT SAECVIL --- Restoration of the spirit age.

RESTITVTAS ORBIS --- Restoration of the World.

RESTITVTOR EXERCIT --- Restorer of the Army.

RESTITVTOR AFRICAE --- Restitutor or ruler of Africa.

RESTITVTOR ORBIS --- Restitutor or ruler of the world.

RESTITUTOR VRBIS --- Restittutor or ruler of the city (Rome).

RESVRGES --- Resurgent (i.e. ROMA RESVRGES, resurgent Rome).

ROM ET AVG --- A cult of Roma and Augustus, worshipped almost exclusively in the Provinces. This cult is reffered to on the popular altar reverse asses of Lugdunum (Augustus and Tiberius).

ROMA --- The goddess of the city of Rome as well as the personification of Rome. Depicted as wearing armor and holding a small figure of Victory.

ROMAE AETERNAE, ROMAE AETERINITAS --- (Dictated as) to Eternal Rome.

ROMANORVM --- of the Romans (i.e. GAVDIVM ROMANORVM, Delight of the Romans)

ROMA PERPETVA --- Everlasting Rome

ROMA RENA, ROMA RENASCENS --- Revived or renewed Rome.

ROMVLO CONDITORI --- "Romulus the founder".


SACERDOS --- Priest (or priestess). Mostly refers to the issuer of the coin was a priest of the divine. (also see CONSECRATIO).

SACRA --- Sacrafice, or to make sacred.

SAEC, SAECVLI, SAECVLO, SAECVLARES --- The passing of a human generation which was celebrated with music, dance and festivals. Some of the participating emperors were Augustus, Claudius, Domitan and Septimius Severus. Some reverse types include: sacrifices, sellisternia (feast), a stone pilar (cippus), or later , the games (gladiator, animal sacrificing, etc..) . (FELIC SAEC = happiness of the era, or age).

SAECVLARES --- Refers to the Saecular games. Some reverse types include animals that were displayed, and then slaughtered during the games. Some animals include the lion, gazelle, antelope, stag, goat, or a she-wolf.

SAECVLI FELICITAS --- The Era of Prosperity.

SAECVLVM FRVGIFERVM --- A personification of the fruitful age, or Golden age.

SALVATOR REIPVLICAE --- Savior of the Republic.

SALVS, SALVTARIS, SALVTI --- The goddess of health and safety. On the basis from an old Italic custom of pleasing the gods by sacrificing a virgin to the sacred snakes. Salus usually appears on a coin after suppression of a coup against the emperor, or when an emperor recovers from an illness. Attributes: sacrificing to snake from patera. The snake is usually rising from the altar or being held in arms.

SALVS GENERIS (GEN) HVMANI --- Salvation to human kind.

SANCTO --- Holy or sacred. (APOLLONI SANCTO = Holy Apollo).

SAPIENTIA PRINCIPIS --- The Wisdom of our Prince.

SARMATIA --- The personification of Sarmatia, which is located partly in moderm Russia and Poland. This tribe raided the Empire frequently in the fourth century.

S C --- Senatus Consulto. By Senatorial Decree.

SECVRITAS --- The personification of freedom from danger. Usually issued after the suppresion of a plot against an emperor, or after repelling a foriegn incursion.

SEGENTIA --- The Roman goddess of the ripening of wheat, or crops.

SELLESTERNIVM --- A ritualistic faest heald in honor of the gods, and to try and charm them into clemency. Usually issued after a great disaster, plague, or some terrible moment in time.

SENATVS --- Senate.

SERVATOS --- Guard or protect.

SICILIA -- To be scilent, or not speak about.

SIDERIBVS RECEPTA --- "Received by the stars". Reverse usually depicting Diana Lucifera holding a torch. Diana lit the way for the dead to journey to their new home in the heavens and stars.

SOL, SOL INVICTVS --- Originally the personification of the sun (Helios), then later became a kind of vague status as a deity. Aurelian founded the Temple of Sol Invictus and used this cult as a spiritual model for the recovery of the Empire that was in recovery from the anarchy. A festival was held for Sol on his birthday, December 25, which was later co-opted by the Christians as Christmas Day. Attributes: radiate crown, globe, whip, is depicted naked with cloak. Titles: COMES, INVICTVS, ORIENS.

SOLI INVICTO COMITI --- (dedicated as) to his companion (emperor), the unconquered Sol.

SOSPITATORI --- to defend or preserve.

SPES --- The personification of
hope, or imminent good. Attributes: holds flower, lifts her robe as she walks.

SPES PVBLICA --- Hope of the Public.

SPES REPVBLICAE --- Hope of the Republic.

S P Q R --- Senatus Populusque Romanus, or The Senate and the People of Rome. This was a standard legend for expressing the authority on Senatorial decrees. On coins it was used to emphasize the importance of the honor that was awarded to an emperor. Usually depicted engraved upon a shield (Honorary Shield of Virtue, see CL V , Clupeus Virtutis).

SVBLATA --- to take away or remove. Steal


TELLVS STABIL --- "The stable world". Tellus was an allegrical figure of the world, or mother earth.

TEMP, TEMPORVM --- of the Times (i.e. FELICITAS TEMPORVM, prosperity or happiness of the Times).

TEMPVLM, TEMPL --- Temple. ( TEMPVLM DIV AVG REST = Temple for the God Augustus himself).

TERRARVM --- of the World

TESSERA --- A cubic tablet mounted on a handle.

TOGA, TOGATE --- The Toga was the mantle or outer garment of a Roman citizen. Special designs were reserved for those who served on the Senate or Consul. On a coin the emperor is usually refering to his Consular rank.

TR P, TRI POT --- Tribunicia Potestas, or Tribunician Powers. This refers to the Republican office of the Peoples' Tribune, an official elected to see to the political needs of the Plebeians. This position had the power to veto power over the Senatorial Decrees, so the emperor (until the tetrarchy), found that holding this title would be to his advantage. This was a one year term, and on the anniversary of his acclamation, he would have his powers formally renewed. The Roman numerals appearing after his title refers to the number of times he has held the office, and to include the year. This becomes useful when trying to date a coin. (i.e. TR P VI, means the sixth year of an emperors reign).

TRANQVILLITAS, TRANQ --- The personification of tranquillity. Attributes: holds rudder and grain ears.

TRES GALLIAE --- The three regions of Gaul. Aquicania, Lugdunsis and Narbonensis.

TRIVMFATOR GENTIVM BARB(arorum) --- Triumphant over the barbarian tribes.

TROPAEA --- A Roman military trophy was constructed from the arms and armor of a vanquished enemy, set up to put fear into the enemy so they do not return. (looks like a scare crow)

TVTATORI --- Guard, defend or protect against.


VBIQVE --- Everywhere, anywhere. (VBIQVE PAX = peace everywhere)

VENVS, VENERI, VENERIS ---The Hellenistic goddess of love and beauty (Aphrodite). She was the patron goddess of Julius Caesar and then the Julian line (Venus Genetrix). (VENERIS is the genative form) Attributes: apple, small figure of Victory. Titles: CAELESTIS (of the skies), FELIX, GENETRIX, VICTRIX.

VESTA --- The goddess of public hearth (Hestia). She was attended by twenty priestesses, the Vestal Virgins, who ensured that the fire on her altar would burn for eternity. The ancient Roman religion revolver around the belief in tutelary spirits that protected each house or hearth. The head of the house (pater familias), were to tend to the spirits that protected the house. Vesta was the greatest of these spirits and looked after the entire population. Emoerors used this cult figure of Vesta as a patriotic allusion to their role as the patron of the state (pater patriae) as well as the Pontifex Maximus. Attributes: patera and scepter, simplum, palladium. Titles: MATER, SANCTA.

VICTOR --- The victor (not the personification of Victory). Usually refers to the agent OF victory such as MARS VICTOR.

VICTORIA --- The Hellenistic goddess of Victory (Nike). Frequently appears as an attribute to other deities, such as Roma, Jupiter and Venus. Attributes: wreath, wings.

VICTORIA OTHONIS --- Victory of Otho. Minted to pay troops during his campaign against Vitellius.

VICTORIAE LAETE PRINC PERP --- Joyful victories of the long lived princes.

VICTRIX --- Conqueror.

VIRTVS --- The personification of manliness, courage and virtue. Frequently appears in armor, thus stressing the military values of the emperor.

VIRTVS EXERCITVS --- The virtue of the Army.

VLTOR --- The Avenger.

VNDIQVE VICTORES --- Victory on all fronts (undique, means from all sides).

VOLCANO, VVLCAN --- The Hellenistic goddess of iron, fire and wepons (Hephaistos). Attributes: hammer, tongs, anvil.

VOTA, VOTIS, VOTVM --- Vows (to the Gods). The Roman custom of offering vows of a certain sacrifice to the Gods in return for the granting of some favor or wish. At the beginning of his reign, the emperor would offer vows to have a prosperous ten year term. The legend VOTA SVSCEPTA, refers to the vows at the beginning of a ten year reign. VOTA SOLVTA, refers to the sacrifices made in fulfillment of those vows. In the fourth century , the emperors had lowered their expectations and vows were offered for a five year reign (VOT V). Rulers that lived and reigned for longer periods, offered vows after a completion of a term, and offering for another would be, VOTIS XV MVLTIS XX (because of the vows, 15 years, through more vows, 20 years). This would be issued after the 15 year reign, and to offer vows for the next 5 years (= 20 years). Later during the fifth century, it was used as just an essential inscription on an ornamental shield held by victory, and the numbers do not refer to any specific anniversary.

VOTA PVBLICA --- Vows of the People. This commemorates the reign of two emperors embarking on a joint Consulate, and the vows made for a prosperous term in office.

VRBANAE --- of the City. Urban.

VRBS --- A "city".

VRBS ROMA BEATA --- Blessed city of Rome.
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