References works which discuss reverse types on Roman coins.

Roman Historical Coins, by Clive Foss. Hardcover.  335 pages. Many B&W photos throughout. Seaby Books.
    This book lists virtually all Roman imperial coins that are issued to mark some current event. Arranged by emperor, it gives a biography of each with events mentioned on coins dated and discussed. Then a list of relevant coins is arranged by date (of the event, not the coin). If you are interested in reverse types, this book is very helpful. Republican coins that mark current events are also included.

Roman Bronze Coins, from Paganism to Christianity, 294-364 AD. by Victor Failmezger. 
    This good book lists all copper coins from this period by time period and reverse types and notes which emperors used each of the types, making it very easy to tell when a reverse type is unique to a particular emperor. 42 page plates of color photos of coins illustrate most of the types. 

Roman History and Coinage, 44 BC  - AD 69, by C.H.V. Sutherland. Hardcover. 131 pages. Oxford Clarendon Press.
    The accounts of ancient historians of 50 events are quoted in the original and translated into English and illustrated with related coins. (I think the author died before the book was completed and the editors were unable to find some of the photos he intended to insert, so it looks as if some photos are missing. For example, the first coin photo is "1b" and there is room for "1a"!)  This book is good for first-century historical references.

Historical References on Coins of the Roman Empire, by E.A. Sydenham. A 1968 reprint (with the wrong title on the reprint cover, saying "to coins" instead of "on coins") of a 1917 work. Hardcover. 155 pages.
    A list, with some discussion and infrequent coin photos, of coins that relate to history from Augustus through Gallienus. Superceded by Foss, above.

Dictionary of Roman Coins, by Seth Stevenson. Hardcover. 1889, reprinted 1964.
    Many collectors enjoy this massive 929-page work published in 1889 (but mostly written c. 1850). It has been reprinted and is not hard to find. It has a quaint 19th century style more than compensated for by its extremely thorough listing of types, legends, attributes, and any other term that might come up in conjunction with Roman coins. Among everything else, reverse types are listed by legend, attributed to their issuing emperors, and discussed.

Roman Anniversary Issues, by Michael Grant. Hardcover. 204 pages.
    Grant, a very prominent historian and numismatist, had a theory that the Romans paid a great deal of attention to anniversaries (50 years, 100 years, etc.) and often noted them on coins. The author scoured Roman coinage looking for possible examples and mentions them here. Although some anniversaries are certainly commemorated on coins (e.g. the 1000th anniversary of the founding of Rome on coins of Philip) Grant found many more instances than most numismatists are inclined to credit.

Roman History from Coins, by Michael Grant. Small format paperback. 95 pages plus 31 plates. A good book on how rulers thought of their coins, the empire and its coinage, and coins as evidence for the past.


Of course, most general works on Roman coins note instances when the reverse is particularly interesting.

Back to the main page on unique reverse types.