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Index Of All Titles


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ERIC Table of Contents


Title Page

Introduction

About Roman Coins

Denominations

Coins of Other Ancient Cultures

Identifying Roman Coins

How To Use This Book

Mintmarks

Mint Map

Pricing And Grading

Bibliography

Reference Catalogs Cited

Coin Terms Used

Glossary

Rarity Tables

Index of Rulers

Photography Credits

Additional Web Resources

Imperial Catalog:

AUGUSTUS
LIVA
AGRIPPA
NERO CLAUDIUS DRUSUS
GERMANICUS
AGRIPPINA I
TIBERIUS
DRUSUS
ANTONIA
CALIGULA
CLAUDIUS I
BRITANNICUS
AGRIPPINA II
NERO
GALBA
CLODIUS MACER
OTHO
VITELLIUS
VESPASIAN
DOMITILLA
TITUS
DOMITIAN
DOMITIA
JULIA TITI
NERVA
TRAJAN
PLOTINA
MARCIANA
MATIDIA
HADRIAN
SABINA
AELIUS
ANTONINUS PIUS
FAUSTINA I
MARCUS AURELIUS
FAUSTINA II
LUCIUS VERUS
LUCILLA
COMMODUS
CRISPINA
PERTINAX
DIDIUS JULIANUS
MANLIA SCANTILLA
DIDIA CLARA
PESCENNIUS NIGER
CLODIUS ALBINUS
SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS
JULIA DOMNA
CARACALLA
PLAUTILLA
GETA
MACRINUS
DIADUMENIAN
ELAGABALUS
JULIA MAESA
JULIA SOAEMIAS
JULIA PAULA
AQUILIA SEVERA
ANNIA FAUSTINA
SEVERUS ALEXANDER
JULIA MAMAEA
ORBIANA
MAXIMINUS I
PAULINA
MAXIMUS
GORDIAN I
GORDIAN II
BALBINUS
PUPIENUS
GORDIAN III
TRANQUILLINA
PHILIP I
OTACILIA SEVERA
PHILIP II
PACATIAN
JOTAPIAN
TRAJAN DECIUS
HERENNIA ETRUSCILLA
HERENNIUS ETRUSCUS
HOSTILIAN
TREBONIANUS GALLUS
VOLUSIAN
AEMILIAN
CORNELIA SUPERA
SILBANNACUS
URANIUS ANTONINUS
VALERIAN I
MARINIANA
VALERIAN II
GALLIENUS
SALONINA
SALONINUS
REGALIANUS
DRYANTILLA
POSTUMUS
LAELIANUS
MARIUS
VICTORINUS
DOMITIAN II
TETRICUS I
TETRICUS II
QUIETUS
MACRIANUS
CLAUDIUS II
QUINTILLUS
AURELIAN
SEVERINA
ZENOBIA
VABALATHUS
TACITUS
FLORIAN
PROBUS
SATURNINUS
CARUS
CARINUS
MAGNIA URBICA
NIGRIAN
NUMERIAN
JULIAN I
DIOCLETIAN
MAXIMIAN
CARAUSIUS
ALLECTUS
DOMITIUS DOMITIANUS
CONSTANTIUS I
THEODORA
GALERIUS
GALERIA VALERIA
SEVERUS II
MAXENTIUS
ROMULUS
CONSTANTINE I
HELENA
FAUSTA
ALEXANDER
LICINIUS I
CONSTANTIA
MAXIMINUS II
LICINIUS II
CRISPUS
VALERIUS VALENS
MARTINIAN
CONSTANTINE II
DELMATIUS
HANNIBALLIANUS
CONSTANS
CONSTANTIUS II
MAGNENTIUS
DECENTIUS
NEPOTIAN
VETRANO
CONSTANTIUS GALLUS
JULIAN II
JOVIAN
VALENTINIAN I
VALENS
PROCOPIUS
GRATIAN
VALENTINIAN II
THEODOSIUS I
AELIA FLACCILLA
MAGNUS MAXIMINUS
FLAVIUS VICTOR
EUGENIUS
HONORIUS
CONSTANTINE III
CONSTANS II
MAXIMINUS
PRISCUS ATTALUS
JOVINUS
SABASTIANUS
CONSTANTIUS III
GALLA PLACIDIA
JOHANNES
VALENTINIAN III
LICINIA EUDOXIA
HONORIA
PETRONIUS MAXIMINUS
AVITUS
MAJORIAN
LIBIUS SEVERUS
ANTHEMIUS
EUPHEMIA
ANICIUS OLYBRIUS
GLYCERIUS
JULIUS NEPOS
ROMULUS AUGUSTUS
ARCADIUS
EUDOXIA
PULCHERIA
THEODOSIUS II
EUDOCIA
MARCIAN
LEO I
VERINA
LEO II
ZENO
ARIADNE
BASILISCUS
ZENONIS
LEONTIUS I
ANASTASIUS I
ANONYMOUS COINAGE

ERIC The Encyclopedia of Roman Imperial Coins
by Rasiel Suarez


Rarity

 
Gauging the relative rarity of the various emperors, empresses and other personages for whom coins were made since the time of Augustus and through that of Anastasius over 500 years later is a formidable task. The extant coins of the Roman empire have come into the hands of collectors as well as private and public institutions either because they were handed down through the generations or because they have been recovered after being lost by their original owners (and then handed down through the generations!). Since on the one hand new coins are being found all the time and records of how many coins were minted back then were never kept no one knows for sure just how rare or common any single ruler, coin type or denomination is. Rarity is also not linearly progressive in the sense that a ruler's length of reign is not necessarily a good yardstick for determining overall rarity. While there's obviously a general correlation with popular emperors with long reigns having many extant coins today that is only loosely indicative of how many coins were actually made during that period and, more importantly, how many have survived.
 
For example, if one were to add up all the remaining coins left of the top fifty rulers, whose individual reigns would add up to decades, you would still have fewer coins than many single, short-lived emperors such as a Quintillus or Otho. There are several reasons for this including the fact that the more ephemeral the ruler the less likely that they had access to an active mint or the required resources to run it. Of those that did perhaps their particular period was so troubled that little currency was being manufactured. In other cases it's just a matter of bad luck in that the particular ruler had most of his or her coins lost or melted down. And in yet others it is simply that the ruler came and went before the mints under his temporary control had any time to ramp up production.
 
However, polling existing collections and using the available historical clues one can come to some conclusions that will be reasonably accurate. For the very rare issues or even coins attributed to rare emperors or empresses a single hoard can dramatically alter the rarity scales as understood to be at any given moment. For what it's worth, a couple of tables are presented to provide a general idea of how rare or common coins are for each of the known emperors, empresses, caesars and others who had coins made in their names. A rarity of 1 means the coin is very common while a 9 is of extreme rarity. For the purposes of this scale then a rarity of 5 or higher is fairly rare and each successive number escalates this rarity exponentially. 
 
With the exception of the late Roman Solidus and its various fractions gold coins are to be considered uniformly rare. Few collectors of Roman imperial coins will be lucky enough to own an Aureus or any other pre-Constantinian gold denomination.











Summary:  The full Roman Imperial set has:

 
• A total of 135 emperors of which 34 were usurpers not counting Clodius Macer who was not hailed as emperor nor Haniballianus whose title was King of Armenia.
• A total of 10 Caesars.
• A total of 51 women (40 wives, 4 mothers, 4 sisters, 2 daughters and 1 grandmother)
• 5 emperors' sons and one friend (Agrippa)
• A grand total of 204 persons (joint issues counted as one)
 
Note: The coins of  usurper-emperors, Amandus, Aelianus and Sponsianus, are discounted by most numismatic experts as fakes. Coins attributed to Proculus and Bonosus are highly controversial and in the author‟s opinion mis-identified coins of barbarous origin. Coins minted in the name of Marcus alone, brother of Basiliscus with whom he shared the imperial title briefly, are not known. Additionally, coins in the name of Victoria, mother of Victorinus, were supposedly minted in copper, silver and gold but none are known to have survived. The 18th century historian Gibbon asserts that an Egyptian merchant named Firmus rebelled during the reign of Aurelian and minted coins in his own name but these, too, have yet to appear. Some arguably Roman issues were excluded from this tally such as Vindex, Antinous, Odovacar, etc.
 
2[1] Emperors in bold, Caesars in italics

Table 2 – Ruler Rarity (relative)

 
In ascending order, approximately from most common to rarest:
 
1. Constantine I
2. Constantius II
3. Constantine II
4. Valens
5. Valentinian I
6. Constans
7. Licinius I
8. Probus
9. Aurelian
10. Valentinian II
11. Gallienus
12. Gratian
13. Constantius Gallus
14. Theodosius I
15. Arcadius
16. Honorius
17. Licinius II
18. Julian II
19. Jovian
20. Diocletian
21. Crispus
22. Claudius II
23. Maximian
24. Maximinus II
25. Anastasius
26. Tetricus I
27. Tetricus II
28. Salonina
29. Tacitus
30. Delmatius
31. Gordian III
32. Philip I
33. Postumus
34. Victorinus
35. Philip II
36. Galerius
37. Helena
38. Magnentius
39. Decentius
40. Vespasian
41. Antoninus Pius
42. Claudius
43. Augustus
44. Elagabalus
45. Severus Alexander
46. Septimius Severus
47. Caracalla
48. Carinus
49. Numerian
50. Florian
51. Hadrian
52. Trajan
53. Maxentius
54. Galeria Valeria
55. Trajan Decius
56. Faustina Sr.
57. Faustina Jr.
58. Domitian
59. Marcus Aurelius
60. Geta
61. Fausta
62. Valerian I
63. Magnus Maximus
64. Agrippa
65. Germanicus
66. Constantius I
67. Quintillus
68. Commodus
69. Marcian
70. Nerva
71. Julia Domna
72. Herennia Etruscilla
73. Otacilia Severa
74. Carus
75. Lucius Verus
76. Severina
77. Julia Maesa
78. Julia Mamaea
79. Nero
80. Aelia Flaccilla
81. Caligula
82. Julia Soaemias
83. Volusian
84. Leo I
85. Valerian II
86. Trebonianus Gallus
87. Drusus
88. Sabina
89. Maximinus
90. Tiberius
91. Crispina
92. Lucilla
93. Titus
94. Plautilla
95. Vabalathus
96. Theodora
97. Eudoxia
98. Macrinus
99. Antonia
100. Saloninus
101. Carausius
102. Severus II
103. Procopius
104. Herennius Etruscus
105. Clodius Albinus
106. Theodosius II
107. Allectus
108. Julia Paula
109. Hostilian
110. Aelius
111. Aquilia Severa
112. Vitellius
113. Zeno
114. Galba
115. Maximus (Caesar)
116. Quietus
117. Macrianus
118. Flavius Victor
119. Diadumenian
120. Johannes
121. Otho
122. Vetranio
123. Magnia Urbica
124. Aemilian
125. Eugenius
126. Hanniballianus
127. Livia
128. Balbinus
129. Pupienus
130. Agrippina II
131. Orbiana
132. Valentinian III
133. Marius
134. Pescennius Niger
135. Mariniana
136. Romulus
137. Pertinax
138. Agrippina I
139. Basiliscus
140. Julia Titi
141. Julian
142. Gordian I
143. Gordian II
144. Laelianus
145. Didius Julianus
146. Pulcheria
147. Eudocia
148. Verina
149. Domitilla
150. Nero Claudius Drusus
151. Paulina
152. Nigrinian
153. Domitius Domitianus
154. Constantine III
155. Galla Placidia
156. Libius Severus
157. Didia Clara
158. Manlia Scantilla
159. Jovinus
160. Anthemius
161. Matidia
162. Marciana
163. Majorian
164. Plotina
165. Domitia
166. Honoria
167. Julius Nepos
168. Pacatian
169. Martinian
170. Alexander
171. Cornelia Supera
172. Licinia Eudoxia
173. Romulus Augustus
174. Zenobia
175. Jotapian
176. Maximus
177. Avitus
178. Clodius Macer
179. Nepotian
180. Constantius III
181. Britannicus
182. Regalianus
183. Priscus Attalus
184. Uranius Antoninus
185. Dryantilla
186. Zenonis
187. Tranquillina
188. Annia Faustina
189. Petronius Maximus
190. Glycerius
191. Ariadne
192. Constans II
193. Sebastianus
194. Leo II
195. Olybrius
196. Euphemia
197. Leontius
198. Valerius Valens
199. Constantia
200. Silbannacus
201. Domitian II
202. Saturninus
 

Table 3 – Denomination Rarity  

In ascending order, from most common to rarest, excluding multiples and fractions:
 
1. AE4's (fourth and fifth century)
2. AE3's and reduced Folles (fourth century)
3. AE Antoninianus
4. AE Folles (third and fourth century)
5. AE2 (fourth century)
6. AR Antoninianus
7. AE As
8. AR Denarius
9. AE Dupondius
10. AE Sestertius
11. AE1 (fourth century)
12. AR Siliqua
13. AE Quadrans
14. AU Solidus
15. AU Tremissis
16. AE Semis
17. AR Argenteus
18. AU Aureus
19. AR Cistophoric Tetradrachms
20. AU Semissis
21. AR Miliarense
22. AU Scripulum
23. AR Quinarius
24. AU Quinarius