Roman

Ancient roman coins were minted from the 3rd century BC until the 5th century AD. Ancient roman coins commonly feature a portrait of an individual (e.g. the emperor) on the obverse and a deity on the reverse. Some of the most detailed portraits of an emperor can be found on an ancient roman coin. In many of these ancient roman coins we see what the roman emperors must have looked like in life. In this section you will also discover Roman Provincial (or Greek Imperial) coins.
Claudius, 41 to 54 AD, Syria, Seleucis and Pieria, Antioch, AE25, SC, struck c. 41-54 AD

Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was Emperor of Rome from 41 to 54 AD. The first Roman Emperor born outside Italy he suffered from a limp and sligh deafness. Despite this, he proved a capable Emperor. At age 63, he died in 54 AD, possibly at his wife's hands, and was succeeded by his adopted son Nero as Emperor. This coin was struck at the Antioch mint in Syria. Due to the different style (dot above and below), Butcher classifies this coin as being minted in an intermediate period between the earlier and later issues of Claudius or alternatively the product of ancient counterfeiters.Accordingly a more precise date cannot be attributed to this coin. The purpose of the pellets and numeral letters on the coins from Antioch must have served some purpose but what that purpose was exactly has been lost in time and remains today the subject of some speculation.…

Claudius, 41-54 AD, Ae As, Constantia, struck 42 AD

Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was Emperor of Rome from 41 to 54 AD. The first Roman Emperor born outside Italy he suffered from a limp and slight deafness. Despite this, he proved a capable Emperor. At age 63, he died in 54 AD, possibly at his wife's hands, and was succeeded by his adopted son Nero as Emperor.…

Commodus, 177-192 AD, Egypt, Alexandria, BI Tetradrachm, Zeus-Ammon, struck 186/187 AD

Commodus was the son of Marcus Aurelius. A megalomaniac, he liked to portray himself as Hercules, as evidenced in numerous statues which exist today, as well as fight as a gladiator, often exotic animals such as lions and elephants. Famous in present day, for his portrayal in the 2000 film, Gladiator.…

Crispina, 177-192 AD, AE Dupondius, struck 180-183 AD

Bruttia Crispina was Roman Empress from 178 to 191 and wife to Commodus. Her marriage to Commodus failed to produce an heir. After 10 years, she was banished to the island of Capri on false charges of adultery, then executed. Juno, was a Roman Goddess who protected the state and also the women of Rome. Often featured with a peacock (not on this coin).…

Crispina, Ancient Imitative of Ae As, Juno, 180-183 AD

Most likely an ancient imitative ("cast limes falsa") of an official issue. Bruttia Crispina was Roman Empress from 178 to 191 and wife to Commodus. Her marriage to Commodus failed to produce an heir. After 10 years, she was banished to the island of Capri on false charges of adultery, then executed. Juno, was a Roman Goddess who protected the state and also the women of Rome. Often featured with a peacock (not on this coin).…

Domitian AE As, 87 AD

Beautifully preserved green patina. A much lighter shade of green than appears in the photos. Nice example of a portrait of Emperor Domitian with much of the inscription of both sides preserved.…

Domitian, 81-96 AD, AR Denarius, Minerva, struck 90 AD

Domitianus (Domitian) was the son and heir of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. His 15 year reign (the longest since Tiberius) came to an abrupt end when he was assassinated by court officials. The Roman goddess Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter. The Roman equivalent of Athena, she is similarly the goddess of wisdom. Often shown with an owl, which symbolises wisdom. One week prior to his assassination, Domitian reportedly had a dream in which Minerva warned him that she was no longer able to protect him.…

Domitian, 81-96 AD, AR Denarius, Minerva, struck 92 AD

Domitianus (Domitian) was the son and heir of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. His 15 year reign (the longest since Tiberius) came to an abrupt end when he was assassinated by court officials. The Roman goddess Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter. The Roman equivalent of Athena, she is similarly the goddess of wisdom. Often shown with an owl, which symbolises wisdom. One week prior to his assassination, Domitian reportedly had a dream in which Minerva warned him that she was no longer able to protect him.…

Domitian, 81-96 AD, Syria, Seleucis and Pieria, Antioch, AR Tetradrachm, Eagle, struck 91-92 AD

An extremely rare coin, there are only 23 of this type known and this coin is one of, if not the finest examples. The portrait itself is of superb style and certainly among the finest portraits known of Domitian on any coin of any denomination. This coin once likely belonged to a German soldier in a Roman legion: there were many Germans in the Roman army of the East. Personal ownership is evidenced by the ancient graffiti in the right field of the obverse which reads E P M A. Refer photos to the right to take a closer look. This coin was found around Petra, a city south of Jordan and far from the soldier's homeland.…

Domitian, AE As, Fides Publica, 86 AD

Domitianus (Domitian) was the son and heir of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. His 15 year reign (the longest since Tiberius) came to an abrupt end when he was assassinated by court officials. Fides, on the reverse of this coin, was the Roman goddess of good faith and honesty. Her purpose was to oversee the moral integrity of the Roman people. Later she became known as Fides Publica ("Public Faith", as described on the reverse of this coin) and her function evolved to becoming the guardian of treaties and other state documents which were stored in her temple. H. Mattingly theorises that the appearance of Fides on the coinage of Domitian is closely linked to the role of the Emperor as censor (BMCRE II, p. xci). The CENSPER PP in the obverse legend represents Domitian making himself censor for life ("censer perpentuus"). In the year in which this coin was struck, the following events occur: Decebalus of Dacia attacks Moesia; Domitian with Cornelius Fuscus takes the field; the 'agon Capitolinus' instituted; and the revolt of the Nasamones in Africa (BMCRE II, p. lxxx).…

Domitian, AE As, Fortuna Augusta, 92-94 AD

Domitianus (Domitian) was the son and heir of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. His 15 year reign (the longest since Tiberius) came to an abrupt end when he was assassinated by court officials. The CENSPER PP in the obverse legend represents Domitian making himself censor for life ("censer perpentuus"). Fortuna was the Roman goddess of fortune and the personification of luck. She is often shown with a ship's rudder and a cornucopiae. She is shown with the rudder with which she steers the world, the cornucopiae from which she dispenses plenty. Fortuna Augusta is an aspect of Fortuna which looks after the prosperity of the Emperor. H.Mattingly speculates that the appearance of Fortuna Augusta on coinage issued under Domitian is possibly linked to the dedication of the temple of the gens Flavia (BMCRE II, p. xcii). In the years 92-94 AD in which this coin was likely struck, the following events occur: Edict of Domitian ordering destruction of vines in provinces. War against Sarmatae and Suevi ended by Domitian in person. Domitian returns to Rome. Second expulsion of philosophers. Persecution of opposition leaders in Rome. Important buildings completed in Rome, the 'Capitolium', the 'forum transitorium', the 'divorum porticus', the 'Iseum…

Domitian, AR Denarius, Pegasus, 79-80 AD

An excellent coin for collectors of mythological creatures on ancient coins. Arguably the Pegasus is amongst the most famous creatures of Greek mythology. The son of Poseidon and Medusa, Pegasus, the winged horse feature, is found everywhere on ancient Greek and Roman coins, pottery and art.…