Reading and dating roman coins

Of course it also doesn't help matters that the Romans used 'V' for both 'V' and 'U' on their coins.

A similar situation can be found with the letter 'I' and its substitution for both the letters 'I' and 'J'. Try writing the inscription down and take a look at the table of "Titles and Honors in Roman Coinage".

Even more significantly, large and identical payments could now be easily made which made possible a whole new scale of commercial activity.

Coins also had a function as a vehicle to spread the imagery of the ruling class as coinage was the mass media of the day and often carried likenesses of emperors and famous imperial monuments which would be the nearest most Romans ever got to see of them.. Despite their heaviness this type continued to be produced up to c. As the Romans expanded over central Italy war booty meant coins could be produced using precious metals - gold, silver, and bronze.

The inscription seems to read; 'IMPCMAXENTIVSPFAVG'. By comparing what you wrote down with the list, you may be able to see a pattern emerge.

Now look at the image on the right to see how this title actually breaks down into its components.

Deciphering inscriptions and titles are some of the most challenging and frustrating aspects of ancients collecting. It takes awhile for your mind to develop an understanding of what your eyes are trying to tell it.

The following is a very simplified technique for understanding coinage titles.


Following the death of Caesar coinage was produced by the various parties fighting to succeed him but with Octavian's victory a uniform Roman coinage was once more established.

This was especially so following the acquisition of the silver mines of Macedonia from 167 BCE, resulting in a huge boom in silver coins from 157 BCE. 141 BCE the bronze was devalued so that now 16 were equivalent to one denarius.


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