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Roman Emperors & Their Coins
First published April, 2010
at Hubpages.com

The Introduction

          This is the first in a series of articles about the Roman Emperors, their stories, families, friends, lovers, enemies, and the coins that were issued during their times. Although each topic will center on an emperor and the people, politics, assassinations, wars, murders, myths, religions, insanity, avarice, arrogance, and delusions that might have been, the heart of each article will be the coins. Each coin being the fingerprint left behind, and, in some cases, the only evidence of their having ruled.
          Coins create a bridge to the past. They place a small piece of history in the palm of our hands. When mixed with imagination, they become accessible, interesting, and artful little time machines.

          Take for example the URBS ROMA coins shown above (VRBS ROMA is Classical Latin for City of Rome; URBS ROMA is Modern Latin's use of the U for V.). They were issued by Constantine between 330 to 334 AD. These coins were shiny and new when priests claimed that Constantine converted to Christianity on his deathbed in 337 AD.  All thought the claim was made by a Christian priest who was alone with Constantine at the moment of his death.  No one knows for sure.  There is evidence to support that he did and did not convert.  The momentum of history has relegated the debate to academe.
          The coin on the left speaks to Constantine's Pagan roots depicting helmeted Roma obverse and Romulus and Remus suckling at the wolf on the reverse, while the coin on the right depicts Constantine's Christian interests with the Chi Rho symbolizing Christianity on the reverse.  These coins are not the only evidence that Constantine ruled during a period when Pagan and Christian dominance and influence was in flux, and that Constantine used both sides to his advantage.
          These coins cost me around $25 US each.  There are varieties of these coins that are very common.  Many are available to the collector on a budget.  I've paid as little as $2.50 for an VRBS ROMA coin.
          I will leave the rest for my article on Constantine the Great and how he ordered the execution of his eldest son Crispus (326 AD) for treason and his second wife Fausta (327 AD) for... For what? What was it? I'm not sure. I'll try to find out for my article on Constantine the Great and the coins he issued, but I suspect that boiling her in water makes motive a mute point by shining light on his character.
          I enjoy the history of the ancient past as well as the history that is unfolding around us today. I love collecting the coins, new and old, that symbolize, describe, and connect to the people, places and happenings that make up our history. I want to share with you the pleasure I enjoy examining and touching these ancient metal sculptures. Beyond being wonderful educational tools, they are the craft and art of often unnamed


By: Anthony Ballatore

Roman Emperors & their Coins

0) Ancient Roman Coins On Ebay

1) When, where & why were coins first made?

2) The Story of Romulus and Remus & The Birth of Rome

3) The Roman Republic

4) Julius Caesar and the Death of the Republic

5) Augustus Caesar: The First Roman Emperor

6) Tiberius Caesar: The First Julio-Claudian Heir

7) Caligula: The first really crazy Caesar

8) Claudius: A level headed Caesar?

9) Nero: The Last Julio-Claudian Heir

Websites worth knowing:

By far the single best location for identifying, evaluating, and touring ancient coins. This link will direct you to their seach engines. Enjoy.

Along with WildWinds, this is a site of the highest regard, accurate information, and ethical policies; 'AUTHENTICITY GUARANTEED FOR ETERNITY' says it all.

Frank S. Robinson is a unique individual. I have more respect for Mr. Robinson than any other coin dealer.  His book 'The Case for Rational Optimism' (2009) will most likely leave you with this same perspective. If his book doesn't, dealing with him will. He is often mistaken for Neil Armstrong. :-)

Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.
Located in Chicago, Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. is an excellent location for both common and rare coins; often of
museum quality.

Reid Goldsborough's web pages are well written, educational, the first site to read regarding counterfiet coins. This site is hosted for free by VCoins.

A commercial coin and information site established December 3, 1998.  Their code of ethics and years of operation speaks loudly.

Another commercial coin and information site.

One of our sites dedicated to pens, ink, quills, books, writing, reading, history, and anything else that envolves language, art, and ideas.

 individuals that worked over, considered, and created every detail of the dies that were used to produce them. These coins were created by people just like you and me; each a person living under the same Moon and stars, standing on the same Earth, breathing from the same bubble of air as we do today. Coins connect us directly with a small group of our ancestors who had dreams and desires just like we have today. Make the connection yet? I intent to help with that.
          There is a list of links above to the first 9 articles in this series. They include the advent of coins on Earth, the birth of Rome, the Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, and the first five emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. I will continue with the Emperors that followed right through to the end of the great Pax Romana (Latin for 'Roman Peace').

Remember to insure all of your coins, and keep them in a safety deposit box; not at home.

All rights reserved.  All designs, images, intellectual properties, writings, drawings, paintings, sculptures, and comedy are the property of Anthony G. Ballatore if not attributed.  This document is for viewing only.  No reproduction rights are granted, licensed, implied, or sanctioned in any form or manner, and are hereby exclusively reserved for and by Anthony G. Ballatore.  If you have written something that you believe is relavent to this site, please use our Contact Us page, and let us know why you believe we should publish it.  Thanks.