Numismatic and History Discussions > Books and References

Books on Roman Egyptian Coins?

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David Atherton:
I seen in another post that there is a book available called "Coinage in Roman Egypt: The Hoard Evidence" and I was wondering if anyone could recommend any other books about Roman Egyptain coinage?

Seems like an fascinating subject to me.

Steve Minnoch:
I can't help much on books, but this link contains a number of scanned articles and complementary items:


David Atherton:
Wow! Thanks so much Steve.

Until I receive my books, that link will suffice very nicely!

Here's a write up of the references of Roman Egypt for coins of Severus Alexander.  It's from 

Thank you.


Alexandrian Coins by Keith Emmett (Emmett)
This reference is exclusively for Alexandrian coinage (Egypt) and contains an extensive cataloging system that allows for new coins, rarity, drawing of all coin obverses and reverses, maps and a concordance to other references.   The best new reference on this Alexandrian coinage for Severus Alexander or any other emperor.   A great deal at $49.95.
Catalog of Alexandrian Coins by J. G. Milne (Milne)
Another reference on just Alexandrian Coinage, this one has a good introduction and plate types.   Most coins of Severus Alexander for Alexandria are listed. Definitely worth $55.
Tetradrachms of Roman Egypt by James W. Curtis (Curtis)
A catalogue of over 2000 coins, with introduction, rarity guides, index, and history. This new reprint incorporates an additional 1200 illustrations from the catalogues of several dealers. Additionally, there are two articles by Milne: "The Leaden Token-Coinage of Egypt Under the Romans" and "The Currency of Egypt in the Fifth Century."  Good coverage of Severus Alexander.  $55
Coins of Alexandria and the Nomes British Museum Catalogue by Poole (BMC Alexandria)
A limited number of coins and plates are within this reference for Severus Alexander but still a useful reference.  Not easy to find and expensive at around $100.

I just wish to add a few comments of my own.

1. Emmett: It was designed to be exhaustive in scope but it is more like a reverse type catalog by Emperor/ denomination/ reverse type and regnal date. It provides a rarity value for each coin from R1 to R5. The regnal dates for each ruler are given with the general obverse types on the coins. Obverse inscriptions are given as a general guide only. There is reverse type index at the back and one reference per coin is given a citation to another collection.

The reverse type catalog is in alphabetic order. One can assign an emmett number in under 30 seconds. It is independent of RPC. Future editions will likely add any missing types/dates. It is likely there will be some rarity value changes in any future editions (usually +/- 1 unit.

2. Milne: Catalog primarily of the coins donated by Milne to the Asmolean Museum, Oxford England. It's an extensive collection, very precise descriptions of the obverse types (likely still ahead of its time). It relies on extensive cataloging information at the back of the book (a pain at times). It can be problematic for new collectors to use. Obverse inscriptions among the most reliable and reverse date placements are very accurate. One can absorb a lot of information from different parts of the book. It's about as extensive in scope as the ANS collection.

3. Curtis. Catalog of only silver (primarily tetradrachm) coins. Likely lists about half of the known tetradrachms. Well detailed information with several unique specimens. Individual rarity values of a given coin much more reliable than the general rarity classification by ruler.

4. BMC Alexandria. Interesting early Alexandrian catalog containing a large number of extremely rare coins but at times missing some very common ones. A landmark collection-- well researched and built on the previous Feuardent and Mionnet catalogs. The coin plates are well worth the price of the book. Christiansen recently published additions and corrections to the collection.

*** Digital file free at the Digital Library Numis ***

5. Dattari. Probably the finest Alexandrian collection ever created. Written in Italian, but easy to use. Coin plates of all the types are the best anywhere. Some date reading problems occur in the catalog and there are other errors not cited in the errata. Recently Bernardi published a large volume of the original Dattari coin rubbings (along with 7000 additional coins not described). If you purchase the Dattari book also get the Bernardi book. These volumes are for the specialist. Date placements are not as accurate as Milne or BMC.  Still in print, but hard to find in the US.

 new Mar. 2015: *** Pdf of Dattari's book is available at ***

6. Geissen (Koeln collection). Incredible collection with facing plates of all the coins. In German, with the usual difficulties in reading German. Helped by the coin photos, this catalog is very well done. Obverse inscriptions are given in modern Greek -- not as helpful as Milne or BMC. As well, the reverse date placement is not as accurate as Milne-- but as you can look at the coin photo and make your own determination as to whether you have a coin variety. I wish I could read German better. For the specialist-- and expensive to purchase. All volumes may not be in print at this time.

There are some other collections/catalogues and if I have some time to kill I'll add them later.



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