ERIC Table of Contents


|Title Page|

|Introduction|

|About| |Roman| |Coins|

|Denominations|

|Coins| of |Other| |Ancient| |Cultures|

|Identifying| |Roman| |Coins|

|How| |To| |Use| |This| |Book|

|Mintmarks|

|Mint| |Map|

|Pricing| And |Grading|

|Bibliography|

|Reference| |Catalogs| |Cited|

|Coin| |Terms| |Used|

|Glossary|

|Rarity Tables|

|Index| of |Rulers|

|Photography| |Credits|

|Additional| |Web| |Resources|

Imperial Catalog:

|AUGUSTUS|
|LIVA|
|AGRIPPA|
|NERO| |CLAUDIUS| |DRUSUS|
|GERMANICUS|
|AGRIPPINA I|
|TIBERIUS|
|DRUSUS|
|ANTONIA|
|CALIGULA|
|CLAUDIUS I|
|BRITANNICUS|
|AGRIPPINA II|
|NERO|
|GALBA|
|CLODIUS| |MACER|
|OTHO|
|VITELLIUS|
|VESPASIAN|
|DOMITILLA|
|TITUS|
|DOMITIAN|
|DOMITIA|
|JULIA| |TITI|
|NERVA|
|TRAJAN|
|PLOTINA|
|MARCIANA|
|MATIDIA|
|HADRIAN|
|SABINA|
|AELIUS|
|ANTONINUS| |PIUS|
|FAUSTINA I|
|MARCUS| |AURELIUS|
|FAUSTINA| |II|
|LUCIUS| |VERUS|
|LUCILLA|
|COMMODUS|
|CRISPINA|
|PERTINAX|
|DIDIUS| |JULIANUS|
|MANLIA| |SCANTILLA|
|DIDIA CLARA|
|PESCENNIUS| |NIGER|
|CLODIUS| |ALBINUS|
|SEPTIMIUS| |SEVERUS|
|JULIA| |DOMNA|
|CARACALLA|
|PLAUTILLA|
|GETA|
|MACRINUS|
|DIADUMENIAN|
|ELAGABALUS|
|JULIA| |MAESA|
|JULIA| |SOAEMIAS|
|JULIA| |PAULA|
|AQUILIA| |SEVERA|
|ANNIA| |FAUSTINA|
|SEVERUS| |ALEXANDER|
|JULIA| |MAMAEA|
|ORBIANA|
|MAXIMINUS I|
|PAULINA|
|MAXIMUS|
|GORDIAN I|
|GORDIAN II|
|BALBINUS|
|PUPIENUS|
|GORDIAN III|
|TRANQUILLINA|
|PHILIP I|
|OTACILIA| |SEVERA|
|PHILIP II|
|PACATIAN|
|JOTAPIAN|
|TRAJAN| |DECIUS|
|HERENNIA| |ETRUSCILLA|
|HERENNIUS| |ETRUSCUS|
|HOSTILIAN|
|TREBONIANUS| |GALLUS|
|VOLUSIAN|
|AEMILIAN|
|CORNELIA| |SUPERA|
|SILBANNACUS|
|URANIUS| |ANTONINUS|
|VALERIAN I|
|MARINIANA|
|VALERIAN II|
|GALLIENUS|
|SALONINA|
|SALONINUS|
|REGALIANUS|
|DRYANTILLA|
|POSTUMUS|
|LAELIANUS|
|MARIUS|
|VICTORINUS|
|DOMITIAN II|
|TETRICUS I|
|TETRICUS II|
|QUIETUS|
|MACRIANUS|
|CLAUDIUS II|
|QUINTILLUS|
|AURELIAN|
|SEVERINA|
|ZENOBIA|
|VABALATHUS|
|TACITUS|
|FLORIAN|
|PROBUS|
|SATURNINUS|
|CARUS|
|CARINUS|
|MAGNIA| |URBICA|
|NIGRIAN|
|NUMERIAN|
|JULIAN I|
|DIOCLETIAN|
|MAXIMIAN|
|CARAUSIUS|
|ALLECTUS|
|DOMITIUS| |DOMITIANUS|
|CONSTANTIUS I|
|THEODORA|
|GALERIUS|
|GALERIA| |VALERIA|
|SEVERUS II|
|MAXENTIUS|
|ROMULUS|
|CONSTANTINE I|
|HELENA|
|FAUSTA|
|ALEXANDER|
|LICINIUS I|
|CONSTANTIA|
|MAXIMINUS II|
|LICINIUS II|
|CRISPUS|
|VALERIUS| |VALENS|
|MARTINIAN|
|CONSTANTINE II|
|DELMATIUS|
|HANNIBALLIANUS|
|CONSTANS|
|CONSTANTIUS II|
|MAGNENTIUS|
|DECENTIUS|
|NEPOTIAN|
|VETRANO|
|CONSTANTIUS| |GALLUS|
|JULIAN II|
|JOVIAN|
|VALENTINIAN I|
|VALENS|
|PROCOPIUS|
|GRATIAN|
|VALENTINIAN II|
|THEODOSIUS I|
|AELIA| |FLACCILLA|
|MAGNUS| |MAXIMINUS|
|FLAVIUS| |VICTOR|
|EUGENIUS|
|HONORIUS|
|CONSTANTINE III|
|CONSTANS II|
|MAXIMINUS|
|PRISCUS| |ATTALUS|
|JOVINUS|
|SABASTIANUS|
|CONSTANTIUS III|
|GALLA PLACIDIA|
|JOHANNES|
|VALENTINIAN III|
|LICINIA| |EUDOXIA|
|HONORIA|
|PETRONIUS| |MAXIMINUS|
|AVITUS|
|MAJORIAN|
|LIBIUS| |SEVERUS|
|ANTHEMIUS|
|EUPHEMIA|
|ANICIUS| |OLYBRIUS|
|GLYCERIUS|
|JULIUS NEPOS|
|ROMULUS| |AUGUSTUS|
|ARCADIUS|
|EUDOXIA|
|PULCHERIA|
|THEODOSIUS II|
|EUDOCIA|
|MARCIAN|
|LEO I|
|VERINA|
|LEO II|
|ZENO|
|ARIADNE|
|BASILISCUS|
|ZENONIS|
|LEONTIUS I|
|ANASTASIUS I|
|ANONYMOUS| |COINAGE|

ERIC The Encyclopedia of Roman Imperial Coins
by Rasiel Suarez


Identifying Roman Coins

 
The first step in learning anything about a coin is to be able to decipher the clues given in its design. Fortunately, Roman emperors wanted you to know who was pictured on the coin‟s obverse. Even better, the Romans gave birth to the Latin alphabet making the inscriptions quite readable assuming they‟re not too worn or missing. Lastly, the coins themselves follow very predictable conventions in their designs so that what is learned for one coin can be applied in identifying the next.
 
The typical Roman coin will look something like this:
 

 
At first that string of letters may seem daunting to interpret. While each letter appears recognizable it looks like one big, alien word. For all their inventiveness, the Romans seem to have ran out of steam after designing the letter Z and the idea of spacing between words never really caught on. Dots occasionally serve this function but normally the coin lettering will be all bunched up like in this photo.
 
The Latin alphabet used in Roman times is somewhat shorter than the English one. There are no J's, U's or Y's. Instead, an I is used where a J would normally be found and, likewise, a V is the U or Y stand-in. All writing is always upper case.
 
Knowing this, in the sample photo the string of letters encodes not only the name of the emperor, in this case Maximian which is readable starting the third letter in, but also several of his titles. Since there were many titles bestowed on emperors the only way to cram them into the available space was to abbreviate them. In this particular coin the first two letters are D and N which stand in Latin for Dominus Noster (Our Lord), then MAXIMIANO (a Latin form of the name Maximian), FELICISSIMO (roughly translating to “most dutiful”), then SEN (short for senior) and lastly AVG for Augustus, the most important imperial title. A literate Roman back then would understand this inscription to mean something like “Our Lord Maximian, most dutiful senior Augustus”.
 
The reverse reads PROVIDENTIADEORVMQVIESAVGG. Breaking this up yields Providentia Deorvm Qvies Avgg which translates to “By the providence of the Gods there is peace”. This particular coin speaks therefore of the peaceful transition of power from the emperor, Maximian, to his appointed successor.
 
Other coins will follow this basic principle and the connection to modern coins should be obvious thereby making the identification of each one easier. On the other hand, many ancient coins will prove more difficult to figure out because they're worn, damaged or have legends that are too difficult to make out. Those features that are visible will have to suffice in correctly attributing the coin. It is unfortunately not unusual to find a coin that resists identification because there is simply too little to go on. However, even in these cases it should at least be possible to determine the approximate age and region of the coin.