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Identifying Late Roman Bronze Coins




The aim of this work is to help in the attribution of the Late Roman Bronze Coinage,
during the period A.D. 313-498.

The period covered by this genuine Visual Catalogue includes almost two centuries, from 317 A.D., when there were minted the first coins of Licinius II, Crispus and Constantinus II, owing to his joint proclamation as caesares, until 498 A.D., the year on which the emperor of East Anastasius I proceeded to reform the monetary system of bronze, passing to what we know as Byzantine coinage.

The difficulty for the correct idenfication of these coins is evident; usually the coins are very deteriorated, they have incomplete legends and busts of practically unrecognizable emperors. With this Identification Guide, we hope to help you to obtain a precise attribution, for sure almost impossible to obtain otherwise.

We have chosen 188 types of reverses which include the totality of the most frequent types. You can acced to them clicking the buttons marked: obverses by ruler, types of reverses, reverses by legend, by ruler and by mint. Depending on the condition of your coin, you should look for it starting from one or another page. See also the pages of abbreviations, maps, mints and don´t forget the indexes: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4.

We show the bronze coinage of the late Roman Empire which we can denominate official or regular. This work include the coins minting by the emperors and their relatives, and rebels or usurpers, however, uncertain coins, hybrid mintings, large bronze medallions, false contemporanean coins, barbarian copies, ostrogoths and vandals emissions, haven’t been considered in this Identification Guide.

The names of the coins (follis, centenionalis, maiorina and nummus) are not indicated in this study, his nomenclature is too confused and we have preferred indicating only the size (Æ 1, 2, 3 and 4).

At first, the bronze coinage of this late roman period can seem repetitive and little interesting, nevertheless the complexity -and the beauty of this type of coins is evident and we hoped is shaped in the information that we presented in this Visual Catalogue / Identification Guide.

Madrid (Spain), July 15th, 2008
Manuel Pina & Javi

Note: In 2014, the enigmatic coinage of the Festivals of Isis was the subject of a joint study by the same authors and it is published on this same website:

 See our: "Visual Catalogue of Festival of Isis Coinage. Rome, fourth century A.D."

In 2017, nine years after the first edition, I revised the Identification Guide to include the coins issued between 313 and 317 A.D., also adding some rare types of missing reverses, and including new ones that have been appearing during those last years.

The updating never ends. Today this "Visual Catalog" comprises 247 types of reverses, covering the coins described in the RIC (vol. VII, VIII, IX and X) and some others not included in this work. That is, the Roman bronze coins issued between the years 313 and 498 A.D.

(By the way, I have also added something desired by dealers and collectors: the degree of rarity, which is indicated in each of the types of the "Gallery of Late Roman Bronze Coins").

Madrid (Spain), Feb. 15th, 2019
Manuel Pina

Notes from the author:

I want to express my gratitude to professor Eduardo Dargent, prestigious historian and numismatist who honor me with his friendship, for having written the prologue, but especially for having introduced me to the interesting work of Guido Bruck: "Die Spätrömische Kupferprägung" (Graz, Austria 1961), a small but charming book that encouraged me to undertake the task of arranging, by means of images, the intricate information of the labyrinthian RIC and LRBC.

Task that had never been not even begun, of not having been tackled of joint and enthusiastic form (around February, 2006) with passionate other of the Late Roman Empire, my friend Javi. A million thanks Javi.




- All rights reserved -

Work registered at "Registro General de la
Propiedad Intelectual de la Comunidad de Madrid",
with number 16 / 2008 / 11553




Prologue Introduction Abbreviatio. Historical
- 2 - 3 - 4
& Links


      M. Pina   -  Javi