Legends on Roman Coins

Here is a silver coin (denarius) of Caracalla, Roman emperor 198-217 AD.

The legend gives the Roman name he used (beginning at 6:00).

ANTONINUS PIVS = Antoninus Pius (There were four emperors who used this name. We call him by his nickname, Caracalla)
It gives two of his titles AVG = Augustus = emperor BRIT = Britannicus = conqueror of the Britains

 The reverse legend has more titles.

The reverse reads: PM TRP XVI COS IIII PP

PM = Pontifex Maximus = high priest
TR P = power of the tribune
XVI = 16 (in Roman numerals), meaning it was now the 16th time he had that power, that is, the 16th year of his reign. Year 1 = 198 AD, so year 16 = 213 AD.
COS = Consul, a high Roman office IIII = 4 in Roman numerals, meaning he had held the office of consul four times.
P P = Pater Patriae = father of his country (like George Washington).

The type is Liberty holding a (triangular) cap of liberty and a sceptre. It probably refers to Caracalla's granting of Roman citizenship to all inhabitants of the Empire.

The Roman emperor Septimius Severus, 193-211 A.D, on a common silver coin (a denarius) the size of a dime struck, 201 AD.

The legend reads "SEVERVS AVG PART MAX"
(beginning at 6:30 on the coin, and without spaces to conveniently separate words).
It gives part of his name,

SEVERVS (They used a "V" for our "U"), and three of his titles:

 The reverse has a legend too.

Severus reverse It reads "RESTITVTOR VRBIS".


VRBIS = City [again note the use of "V" for "U"] "Urb" is seen in English words for city like "urban" and "suburb."

So the reverse legend is "Restorer of the city (Rome)."
The picture shows the emperor in military gear at a religious sacrifice, pouring from a bowl over a sacred fire in a tripod. His spear is reversed (point down) to symbolize the peace resulting from his victories. The legend to his restoring of the city (Rome), presumably by building and repairing buildings. 

Translations of Roman legends off-site. (Remember to come back!)

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