Ancient Roman and Greek Coins: Educational pages
Table of Contents: (Click the images to go to the pages)
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Beginners, begin here with the FAQ page
Associated pages about buying on eBay and buying, about selling
about moving up from "beginner" to "intermediate" collector
Annotated Roman coin educational links (with some Greek coin links too)
Links to web sites that emphasize particular emperors.
For beginners who ask "What should I collect?"
Information about rarity and its importance for cost (for intermediate collectors).
Commentary on a difference between collecting US and ancient coins.
Information about avoiding fakes
This coin is a common silver denarius of the Roman emperor Septimus Severus, 193-211 AD
(These are educational pages and nothing here is for sale. If you are looking for ancient coins for sale, here is my site, Augustus Coins, and here are links to other sites.)
Newest: 2018, "Byzantine 'anonymous folles' of the 10th-11th centuries"
2018, August 5: Links to useful notes and printouts for a few good books, including the Seaby introductory series (Greek, Roman, Roman Provincial), SNG Copenhagen, BCD Pelopnessos, Celator index, SAN index, Ras Suarez' rarity rankings, Latin pronunciation, list of Greek authorities, a few legends of Roman Alexandria translated.
2018, June 4: vota coins
2018, March 24: The small theme "Mother of the Camps."
2018, March 1: ADVENTVS, the Roman emperor arrives in Rome.
2018, Jan. 20: PROFECTIO, a Roman travel type
Jan. 9: Late Roman fractions under the tetrarchy.
2017, Dec. 30: For beginners who ask "What should I collect?"
Nov. 11: The quadrans page.
The order: Newest first. (down to the first horizontal line).
Then four large sites: Late Roman AE, Christian Symbolism, Ancient Imitations, Contents of Sale Catalogs.
Then many pages in chronological order of the topic (links next).
Skip down to sites on the Roman Republic, the third century, the tetrarchy, Constantine, and Byzantine coins.
Date: 10th - 11th centuries
Byzantine "anonymous folles" of the 10th - 11th centuries
The site illustrates all the types, explains attributions and dates, gives their frequencies, and tells their stories here.
This coin: A large 32-30 mm "Class A2" follis attributed to Basil II (the Bulgar Slayer) and Constantine VIII
Date: Second to fifth centuries
VOTA coins of the Roman Empire
Vows to reward the gods for granting a wish were are part of the Roman religion
The large site about vows recorded on Roman coins is here.
This coin: VOTA SVSCEPTA XX (vows taken for 20 years of reign)
Septimius Severus (193-211) sacrificing at the ceremony celebrating making it to 10 years, while renewing his vows to 20 years.
MARTI CASTRORVM, Mother of the camps
This type was used on the coins of only two empresses.
This coin: A silver denarius struck for Faustina, Jr., wife of Marcus Aurelius
Dates: All of ancient coinage
Possible Collecting Themes and reference works about them
to help answer the question "What should I collect?"
This coin: A silver Roman provincial coin of Trajan with a camel on the reverse, celebrating his annexation of Arabia in AD 106 . It could be part of a Roman provincial coin collection or part of a collection of animals on ancient coins.
Date: Third century AD.
ADVENTVS, arrival of the emperor
The Roman emperor arrives in Rome
This coin: Septimius Severus (193-211) returns to Rome in 202.
Date: During the Roman empire
PROFECTIO, and other travel types
The Roman emperor departs for war
This coin: Severus Alexander (222-235), lead by Victory, departs for war in the east.
Date: c. AD 300
Late Roman fractions from Trier under the tetrarchy
This coin: a small, 13 mm, fraction, struck for Diocletian, minted at Trier.
VOT/XX/AVGG, in celebration of his 20th anniversary
Date: First and second centuries
The Quadrans and Semis Denominations
of Roman Imperial Coins
This coin: an "anonymous" type with helmeted bust of Mars/cuirass
Table of contents, with large educational sites first.
Guide to Late Roman AE Coin Types, AD 364-450
A complete list of types of emperors Valentinian I through Theodosius II and Valentinian III
A resource for collectors of Late Roman AE coins.
This coin: Valens/GLORIA ROMANORVM
Christian Symbols on Roman Coins
A complete list of types from its beginning under Constantine to 364 AD.
A resource for collectors of late Roman AE coins.
This coin: Magnetius, AD 350-353, with a Christian chi-rho reverse type.
Date: The entire Roman period
Ancient Imitations of Roman Coins
An educational site about genuinely ancient coins that were imitations or counterfeits in their day.
This coin: An ancient counterfeit Roman Republican denarius.
Ancient Coin Auction Catalogs: Contents
An educational site for ancient coin collectors about sale catalogs.
A related site where catalogs are grouped by collecting theme.
This catalog: M&M 37, Basel, Switzerland.
Smaller educational sites (chronologial order):
Date: c. 324 BC.
Coins and archaeology work together to identify Seuthes III
This coin: Greek king Seuthes III
Date: First century BC.
Roman Republican plated imitation in Dacian style
Dates: Roman Republic and Empire to AD 321
The Quinarius Denomination
An illustrated discussion of the five time periods with the "quinarius"
This coin: 16-15 mm. Issue of the moneyer C. Fundanius, 101 BC.
Dates: Third to First Centuries BC
Roman Republican Coin Types and their Dating
Republican coins are not explicitly dated, so how can we know their dates?
A timeline page of examples and a page of theory.
This coin: one of the first types of the silver "denarius" denomination
Date: Entire Roman imperial period.
Some reverse types that are unique to a particular Roman emperor
in a quiz format (with immediate answers). Can you recognize them?
This type: Captive seated on a pile of arms. DAC CAP in exergue.
Date: Roman imperial period.
The real meaning of SECVRITAS on Roman coins.
This coin: Caracalla, 196-217 AD
Geta, his portraits, 198-212 AD.
Geta's portraits change as he ages from nine to twenty-two.
This coin: His first portrait style.
Severus Alexander (222-235) "year 5"
coins of Roman Alexandria
Year 5 (AD 225/6) is particularly interesting because there are Alexandrian year 5 coins
from two different years and two different mints. See the page with the explanation.
This coin: A "year 5" coin struck in Rome for the mint of Alexandria, Egypt.
Maximinus Thrax, the giant. Roman emperor 235-238. His portrait types.
Maximinus Thrax issued denarii with three distinct portrait types.
This coin: The early style portrait.
What was Volusian's name?
Volusian, Augustus, 251-253 AD.
This coin: Volusian, stuck at Antioch.
The Tripolis mint of late third century AD Rome
An illustrated list of all the coin types of the Tripolis mint.
An educational resource for collectors.
This coin: Tacitus, 276 AD.
Coded Officina Marks of the Roman emperors
Diocletian and Maximian at Siscia (289-290 AD)
The unique use of the Jovian and Herculian titles to indicate officina numbers
This coin: Maximian with mintmark incorporating ΛI, part of a code.
Date: 293 - 300
Fortuna under the first tetrachy:
Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius, and Galerius (293-300 AD)
A rare follis type issued only at Trier.
This coin: Diocletian/FORTVNAE REDVCI AVGG NN
Dates: AD 294-310
The Argenteus Denomination
An illustrated discussion of the history and types of the denomination.
This coin: 20-19 mm. An argenteus of Diocletian, struck 96 (XCVI) to the pound of silver.
Dates: AD 287-297
Usurpers who wanted to join the club
Usurpers under the first tetrarchy (the time of Diocletian and Maximian)
This coin: The usurper Domitius Domitianus at Alexandria, Egypt
The unusual "quarter-follis" denomination
struck 305-306 AD under the tetrarchy
An illustrated list of all the varieties. An educational resource for collectors.
This coin: A quarter-follis of Maximinus II.
Dates: AD 310-311
Adfini, Cognat, Patri, Socero
under Maxentius at Rome
Some unusual words found on a commemorative series issued by Maxentius
This coin: 23 mm. IMP MAXENTIVS DIVO MAXIMIANO PATRI
Date: 312 AD
Anonymous civic issues under Maximinus II (AD 310-313)
also known as "pagan coinage of the Great Presecution of Christians" and as "Civic coinage."
See this page with the types.
This coin: 15 mm. Jupiter/Victory
Constantine as Caesar and as FIL AVG (A.D. 306-310)
An illustrated article on the the Roman rulers and their mints from 306-310
when Constantine was awarded the unusual title "Filius Augusti".
This coin: Constantine as "FIL AVG", minted at Antioch.
CONSTANTINOPOLIS: Roman coins commemorating
the founding of Constantinople under Constantine.
A short article here (only about this one common type).
A complete list and longer article here. (The picture links to this one.)
This coin: CONSTANTINOPOLIS/Victory, 330-340 AD.
Long Mintmarks on Roman Imperial coins.
A few of the longest mintmarks illustrated.
This coin: Julian II, "the Apostate", 361-363 AD.
Vetranio, Roman emperor in AD 350: His six AE coin types.
The Roman emperor Vetranio ruled in the Balkans for ten months in AD 350.
His AE coin types are listed and illustrated here.
This coin: Vetranio with the famous early Christian "HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS" reverse.
Jovian, Roman emperor from June 363 to Febuary 364:
His four AE types.
The Roman emperor Jovian reigned only eight months.
His AE coin types are listed and illustrated here.
This coin: Jovian with reverse VOT/V/MVLT/X from Sirmium.
Officina Numbers on Late Roman Coins
The unusual use of officina numbers spelled out on issues of Valentinian, Valens, and Gratian.
This coin: Valens, 364-378 AD, with officina PRIMA.
The Dan Clark Collection of early
Byzantine copper coins with a cross above the head.
An extensive collection of unusual cross-above head coins.
This Coin: Justin I (518-527), Sear 84, with a bold cross above his head.
The Byzantine emperor Justinian (527-565 AD)
and the earthquakes at Antioch.
Byzantine coins of Justinian from Antioch
This coin: Justinian seated facing on a throne
Can you think of one emperor who issued coins from one mint with at least five distinctly different mintmarks?
Begin on pages here.
The end of the table of contents for the educational site.
Here are ancient coins and related literature for sale.