Roman Coinage

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Definition

Roman coins were first produced in the late 4th century BCE in Italy and continued to be minted for another eight centuries across the empire. Denominations and values more or less constantly changed but certain types such as the sestertii and denarii would persist and come to rank amongst the most famous coins in history.

More about: Roman Coinage

Timeline

  • 326 BCE
    The first Roman coins are minted at Neapolis.
  • c. 211 BCE
    A new system of Roman coinage is introduced which includes the silver denarius.
  • c. 200 BCE
    Rome now dominates the production of coinage in Italy.
  • c. 157 BCE
    There is a boom in the production of Roman silver coinage, in part thanks to the acquisition of silver mines in Macedonia.
  • c. 141 BCE
    The Roman bronze as coin is devalued so that now 16 as equal one silver denarius.
  • c. 135 BCE
    The Roman magistrates responsible for coinage begin to stamp coins with images of landmarks, events and personalities.
  • 84 BCE
    Sulla mints new silver and gold coins to pay his army.
  • c. 46 BCE
    Julius Caesar mints the largest quantity of gold coins ever seen in Rome.
  • c. 23 BCE
    The brass orichalcum sestertius is first minted in Rome.
  • 16 BCE
    The Roman mint at Lugdunum is established.
  • 64 CE
    Nero reduces the weight and percentage of precious metal in Roman coins, a trend continued by several subsequent Roman emperors.
  • 293 CE
    Diocletian reforms the Roman coinage system, guaranteeing the gold aurei at 60 to a pound and minting the nummus coin.
  • 301 CE
    Diocletian reasseses the values of Roman coins and limits minting rights to between 12 and 15 mints across the empire.
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