Currency Of Ancient Rome

The main Currency Of Ancient Rome during most of the Roman Republic and the western half of the Roman Empire consisted of coins including the aureus (gold), the denarius (silver), the sestertius (bronze), the dupondius (bronze), and the as (copper). These were used from the middle of the third century BC until the middle of the third century AD, a remarkably long time. They were still accepted as payment in Greek influenced territories, even though these regions issued their own base coinage and some silver in other denominations, either called Greek Imperial or Roman provincial coins. During the third century, the denarius was replaced by the double denarius, now usually known as the antoninianus or radiate, which was then itself replaced during the monetary reform of Diocletian which created denominations such as the argenteus (silver) and the follis (silvered bronze). After the reforms Roman coinage consisted mainly of the gold solidus and small bronze denominations. This trend continued to the end of the Empire in the West.

Coinage Of Ancient Rome:
The first currency of Rome consisted of large irregular lumps of bronze known as aes rude, which was different from Greek currency, where initially silver was used exclusively, even for very small denominations. Ancient minting techniques caused lumps as modern coins were forced to be round. Aes rude were impractical since they needed to be weighed for every transaction; they were eventually replaced with large cast objects that were round or rectangular called aes signatum. Next came a standardized currency of cast bronze, called aes grave, based around the denomination known as the as, which weighed one Roman pound, and fractional values. The first silver coins struck in the name of Rome were a series of drachmae minted during the outbreak of war with Pyrrhus. The value of a drachma was equivalent to the daily wage for a skilled laborer. These coins, of the highest Greek style, were not struck in Rome, but in Neapolis, and were most likely made to facilitate trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy. The silver coin that became the backbone of Roman economy, the denarius, was first struck in 211 BC; valued at originally at 10 asses, it was retariffed in 140 BC to 16 asses (to reflect the diminished size of the as). The use of gold in the production of coinage was originally sporadic. During the Republic gold coins were issued only in times of great need, such as during the Second Punic War or during the campaign of Sulla. The regular mintage of the aureus, the main gold coin of the Roman Empire, began during the time of the Imperators, who required huge sums to fight their enormous wars. The aureus had a fixed value of 25 denarii. As time went on, in Rome, while the coin was 95% silver, it gradually lowered, finally to a quality of 0%. Roman coins were worth from a loaf of bread up to a new horse or lion depending on their value.

Authority to mint coins in Ancient Rome:
Unlike most modern coins, Roman coins had intrinsic value. While they contained precious metals, the value of a coin was higher than its precious metal content, so they were not bullion. The majority of the written information about coins that survives is in the form of papyri preserved in Egypt’s dry climate. The coinage system that existed in Egypt till the time of Diocletian’s monetary reform was a closed system based upon the heavily debased tetradrachm. Although the value of these tetradrachmas can be reckoned as being equivalent in value to the denarius, their precious metal content was always much lower. Clearly, not all coins that circulated contained precious metals, as the value of these coins was too great to be convenient for everyday purchases. A dichotomy existed between the coins with an intrinsic value and those with only a token value. This is reflected in the infrequent and inadequate production of bronze coinage during the Republic, where from the time of Sulla till the time of Augustus no bronze coins were minted at all; even during the periods when bronze coins were produced, their workmanship was sometimes very crude and of low quality. Later, during the Roman Empire, there was a division in the authority of minting coins of particular metals. While numerous local authorities were allowed to mint bronze coins, no local authority was authorized to strike silver coins. On the authority to mint coins Dio Cassius writes, "None of the cities should be allowed to have its own separate coinage or a system of weights and measures; they should all be required to use ours." Only Rome itself struck precious metal coinage, and the mint was centralized in the city of Rome during the Republic and during the early centuries of the Empire. Some Eastern provinces struck coins in silver, but these coins were local denominations that were intended to circulate and to fill only a local need. The issue of bronze coins can be interpreted to be of little value, and of little importance to the central government of Rome, since expenditures of the state were large and could be more easily paid with coins of high value. It is known that during the first century an as could only purchase a pound of bread or a litre of cheap wine (or according to Pompeiian graffiti, the services of a cheap prostitute). The importance and the need for smaller denominations for the population of Rome was probably high. Evidence of this can be seen in the numerous imitations of imperial Claudian bronzes that, although probably not authorized by Rome, appear to have been tolerated and were struck in large numbers. Since the government required coins mainly as a means to pay its army and officials, it had little impetus or desire to fulfill the need for bronze coins.

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The role of coins in Ancient Rome:
Another role that coins played in Roman society, although secondary to their economic role within Roman commerce, was their ability to convey a meaning or relate an idea via their imagery and inscriptions. The interpretation of imagery featured on coins is clearly subjective, and has drawn criticism for over-interpreting minor details. The first images to appear on coins during the Republic were rather limited in diversity and generally represented the entire Roman state. The job of deciding what imagery to feature belonged to the committee of tresviri monetales ('trio of money men'), young statesmen who aspired to be senators. The position of tresviri monetales (moneyers) was created in 289 BC and lasted until at least the middle of the third century AD. Although initially there were only three, the number was increased by Julius Caesar to four during the end of the Republic. Imagery on the earliest denarii usually consisted of the bust of Roma on the obverse, and a deity driving a biga or quadriga on the reverse. There was no mention of the moneyer’s name, although occasionally coins featured control marks such as small symbols, letters, or monograms which might have been used to indicate who was responsible for a particular coin. Eventually, monograms and other symbols were replaced with abbreviated forms of the moneyer’s name. After the addition of their names, moneyers began to use the coins to display images that relate of their family history. While not every coin issued featured references to an ancestor of a moneyer, the number of references increased and the depictions became more and more of current interest. Self-promoting imagery on coins was part of the increasing competition amongst the ruling class in the Roman Republic. The Lex Gabinia, which introduced secret ballots in elections in order to reduce electoral corruption, is indicative of the degree of competition amongst the upper class of this time period. The imagery on Republican coins wasn’t meant to influence the populace; the messages were designed for and by the elite. The imagery on coins took an important step when Julius Caesar issued coins bearing his own portrait. While moneyers had earlier issued coins with portraits of ancestors, Caesar’s was the first Roman coinage to feature the portrait of a living individual. The tradition of putting one’s own portrait on coinage was not abandoned following the assassination of Caesar, although the imperators from time to time also produced coins featuring the traditional deities and personifications found on earlier coins. The image of the leader of Rome took on a special importance in the centuries that followed, because during the Empire the emperor embodied the state and its policies. The names of moneyers continued to appear upon the coins until the middle of Augustus’ reign. Although the duty of moneyers during the Empire is not known, since the position was not abolished, it is believed that they still had some influence over the imagery of the coins. The main focus of the imagery during the Empire was on the portrait of the emperor. Coins were an important means of disseminating this image throughout the Empire. Coins often attempted to make the emperor appear god-like through associating the emperor with attributes normally seen in divinities, or emphasizing the special relationship between the emperor and a particular deity by producing a preponderance of coins depicting that deity. During his campaign against Pompey, Caesar issued a variety of types that featured images of either Venus or Aeneas, attempting to associate himself with his divine ancestors. An example of an emperor who went to an extreme in proclaiming divine status was Commodus. In 192, he issued a series of coins depicting his bust clad in a lion-skin (the usual depiction of Hercules) on the obverse, and an inscription proclaiming that he was the Roman incarnation of Hercules on the reverse. Although Commodus was excessive in his depiction of his image, this extreme case is indicative of the objective of many emperors in the exploitation of their portraits. While the emperor is by far the most frequent portrait on the obverse of coins, heirs apparent, predecessors, and other family members, such as empresses, were also featured. To aid succession, the legitimacy of an heir was affirmed by producing coins for that successor. This was done from the time of Augustus till the end of the Empire. Featuring the portrait of an individual on a coin, which became legal in 44 BC, caused the coin to embody the attributes of the individual portrayed. Dio wrote that following the death of Caligula the Senate demonetized his coinage, and ordered that they be melted. Regardless of whether or not this actually occurred, it demonstrates the importance and meaning that was attached to the imagery on a coin. The philosopher Epictetus jokingly wrote: "Whose image does this sestertius carry? Trajan’s? Give it to me. Nero’s? Throw it away, it is unacceptable, it is rotten." Although the writer did not seriously expect people to get rid of their coins, this quotation demonstrates that the Romans attached a moral value to the images on their coins. Unlike the obverse, which during the imperial period almost always featured a portrait, the reverse was far more varied in its depiction. During the late Republic there were often political messages to the imagery, especially during the periods of civil war. However, by the middle of the Empire, although there were types that made important statements, and some that were overtly political or propagandistic in nature, the majority of the types were stock images of personifications or deities. While some images can be related to the policy or actions of a particular emperor, many of the choices seem arbitrary and the personifications and deities were so prosaic that their names were often omitted, as they were readily recognizable by their appearance and attributes alone. It can be argued that within this backdrop of mostly indistinguishable types, exceptions would be far more pronounced. Atypical reverses are usually seen during and after periods of war, at which time emperors make various claims of liberation, subjugation, and pacification. Some of these reverse images can clearly be classified as propaganda. An example struck by emperor Philip in 244 features a legend proclaiming the establishment of peace with Persia; in truth, Rome had been forced to pay large sums in tribute to the Persians. Although it is difficult to make accurate generalizations about reverse imagery, as this was something that varied by emperor, some trends do exist. An example is reverse types of the military emperors during the second half of the third century, where virtually all of the types were the common and standard personifications and deities. A possible explanation for the lack of originality is that these emperors were attempting to present conservative images to establish their legitimacy, something that many of these emperors lacked.

Further history of Ancient Roman coins:
The type of coins issued changed under the coinage reform of Diocletian, the heavily debased antoninianus (double denarius) was replaced with a variety of new denominations, and a new range of imagery was introduced that attempted to convey different ideas. The new government set up by Diocletian was a tetrarchy, or rule by four, with each emperor receiving a separate territory to rule. The new imagery includes a large, stern portrait that is representative of the emperor. This image was not meant to show the actual portrait of a particular emperor, but was instead a caricature that embodied the power that the emperor possessed. The reverse type was equally universal, featuring the spirit (or genius) of the Romans. The introduction of a new type of government and a new system of coinage represents an attempt by Diocletian to return peace and security to Rome, after the previous century of constant warfare and uncertainty. Diocletian characterizes the emperor as an interchangeable authority figure by depicting him with a generalized image. He tries to emphasize unity amongst the Romans by featuring the spirit of Romans (Sutherland 254). The reverse types of coins of the late Empire emphasized general themes, and discontinued the more specific personifications depicted previously. The reverse types featured legends that proclaimed the glory of Rome, the glory of the army, victory against the "barbarians", the restoration of happy times, and the greatness of the emperor. These general types persisted even after the adoption of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire. Muted Christian imagery, such as standards that featured Christograms (the chi-rho monogram for Jesus Christ’s name in Greek) were introduced, but with a few rare exceptions, there were no explicitly Christian themes. From the time of Constantine until the "end" of the Roman Empire, coins featured indistinguishable, idealized portraits and general proclamations of greatness. Although the denarius remained the backbone of the Roman economy from its introduction in 211 BC until it ceased to be normally minted in the middle of the third century, the purity and weight of the coin slowly, but inexorably decreased. The problem of debasement in the Roman economy appears to be pervasive, although the severity of the debasement often paralleled the strength or weakness of the Empire. While it is not clear why debasement was such a common occurrence for the Romans, it's believed that it was caused by several factors, including a lack of precious metals, inadequacies in state finances, and inflation. When introduced, the denarius contained nearly pure silver at a theoretical weight of approximately 4.5 grams. The theoretical standard, although not usually met in practice, remained fairly stable throughout the Republic, with the notable exception of times of war. The large number of coins required to raise an army and pay for supplies often necessitated the debasement of the coinage. An example of this is the denarii that were struck by Mark Antony to pay his army during his battles against Octavian. These coins, slightly smaller in diameter than a normal denarius, were made of noticeably debased silver. The obverse features a galley and the name Antony, while the reverse features the name of the particular legion that each issue was intended for (it is interesting to note that hoard evidence shows that these coins remained in circulation over 200 years after they were minted, due to their lower silver content). The coinage of the Julio-Claudians remained stable at 4 grams of silver, until the debasement of Nero in 64, when the silver content was reduced to 3.8 grams, perhaps due to the cost of rebuilding the city after fire consumed a considerable portion of Rome. The denarius continued to decline slowly in purity, with a notable reduction instituted by Septimius Severus. This was followed by the introduction of a double denarius piece, differentiated from the denarius by the radiate crown worn by the emperor. The coin is commonly called the antoninianus by numismatists after the emperor Caracalla, who introduced the coin in early in 215. Although nominally valued at two denarii, the antoninianus never contained more than 1.6 times the amount of silver of the denarius. The profit of minting a coin valued at two denarii, but weighing only about one and a half times as much is obvious; the reaction to these coins by the public is unknown. As the number of antoniniani minted increased, the number of denarii minted decreased, until the denarius ceased to be minted in significant quantities by the middle of the third century. Again, coinage saw its greatest debasement during times of war and uncertainty. The second half of the third century was rife with this war and uncertainty, and the silver content of the antonianus fell to only 2%, losing almost an appearance of being silver. During this time the aureus remained slightly more stable, before it too became smaller and more base before Diocletian’s reform. The decline in the silver content to the point where coins contained virtually no silver at all was countered by the monetary reform of Aurelian in 274. The standard for silver in the antonianus was set at twenty parts copper to one part silver, and the coins were noticeably marked as containing that amount (XXI in Latin or KA in Greek). Despite the reform of Aurelian, silver content continued to decline, until the monetary reform of Diocletian. In addition to establishing the tetrarchy, Diocletian devised the following system of denominations: an aureus struck at the standard of 60 to the pound, a new silver coin struck at the old Neronian standard known as the argenteus, and a new large bronze coin that contained two percent silver. Diocletian issued an Edict on Maximum Prices in 301, which attempted to establish the legal maximum prices that could be charged for goods and services. The attempt to establish maximum prices was an exercise in futility as maximum prices were impossible to enforce. The Edict was reckoned in terms of denarii, although no such coin had been struck for over 50 years (it is believed that the bronze folles was valued at 12.5 denarii). Like earlier reforms, this too eroded and was replaced by an uncertain coinage consisting mostly of gold and bronze. The exact relationship and denomination of the bronze issues of a variety of sizes is not known, and is believed to have fluctuated heavily on the market. The exact reason that Roman coinage sustained constant debasement is not known, but the most common theories involve inflation, trade with India, which drained silver from the Mediterranean world, and inadequacies in state finances. Another reason for debasement was lack of raw metal with which to produce coins. Italy itself contains no large or reliable mines for precious metals, therefore the precious metals for coinage had to be obtained elsewhere. The majority of the precious metals that Rome obtained during its period of expansion arrived in the form of war booty from defeated territories, and subsequent tribute and taxes by new-conquered lands. When Rome ceased to expand, the precious metals for coinage then came from newly mined silver, such as from Greece and Spain, and from melting older coins. Without a constant influx of precious metals from an outside source, and with the expense of continual wars, it would seem reasonable that coins might be debased to increase the amount that the government could spend. A simpler possible explanation for the debasement of coinage is that it allowed the state to spend more than it had. By decreasing the amount of silver in their coins, Rome could produce more coins and "stretch" their budget. As time progressed the trade deficit of the west because of its buying of grain and other commodities led to a currency drainage in Rome. As a renowned collector from the 18th century once said, "Each Roman coin is a unique, yet sophisticated piece of history."

Coinage came late to the Roman Republic compared with the rest of the Mediterranean, especially Greece and Asia Minor where coins were invented in the 7th century BC. The currency of central Italy was influenced by its natural resources, with bronze ore being abundant (the Etruscans were famous metal workers in bronze and iron) and silver ore being scarce. The coinage of the Roman Republic started with a few silver coins apparently devised for trade with the Greek colonies in Southern Italy, and heavy cast bronze pieces for use in Central Italy. During the Second Punic war a flexible system of coins in bronze, silver and (occasionally) gold was created. This system was dominated by the silver denarius, a denomination which remained in circulation for 450 years. The coins of the republic (especially the denarii) are of particular interest because they were produced by "mint magistrates", junior officials who choose the designs and legends. This resulted in the production of coins advertising the official's families for political purposes; many of the messages on these coins can still be understood today.

Before coinage in Ancient Rome:
Before the introduction of coinage in Italy the two important forms of value in the economy were cattle (pecus), from which the Latin word for money (pecunia) is derived, and irregularly-shaped pieces of bronze known as aes rude (rough bronze) which needed to be weighed for each transaction. It is unclear when money became commonly used, but Roman tradition recorded that pay of the army began during the siege of Veii in 406 B.C. and it appears that Aes rude was the currency well before this. Toward the end of the 4th century BC bronze began to be cast in flat bars which are known today, without any historical authority, as aes signatum (signed bronze). These bars were heavily leaded, of varying weights although generally on the order of five Roman pounds, and usually had a design on one and later both sides. The actual function of aes signatum has been variously interpreted; although a form of currency they were not coins since they did not adhere to a weight standard. Rome produced its own aes signatum around 300 BC which are distinguished by the inscription "ROMANOM" (of the Romans) and production continued to about the end of the first Punic war in 240 BC, overlapping some of the developments described below. According to the Pomponius, a lawyer who lived during the second century AD, the position of tresviri monetalis was established in 289 BC, signing coins with "III. VIR. AAAFF" = "triumviri aere argento auro flando feriundo" = "the three are responsible for melting and striking bronze, silver and gold". According to Suidas, the mint was located in the temple of Juno Moneta on the Capitoline Hill. By this time Rome was familiar with coinage, as it had been introduced to Italy in the Greek colonies of Metapontum, Croton, and Sybaris before 500 B.C. and Neapolis ca 450 B.C.[2] Rome had conquered a large portion of central Italy, giving it large quantities of bronze, but little silver. A system of heavy cast leaded bronze coinage was introduced; these issues are known as aes grave (heavy bronze) by numismatists. Stylistically the coins were distinctly Roman and, due to both their size and their being cast rather than struck, crude compared to the coinage elsewhere around the Mediterranean at the time. The bronze coinage was initially a fiduciary currency rather than a token currency, based on "libral standard" where the as weighed one Roman pound (libra) with fractions in units of Roman ounces (unciae), with 12 unciae in a libra. The "uncia" was thus also both a weight and a coin of the weight. This changed when the weight of the aes grave was decreased. By the time of the semi-libral standard, the smaller denominations such as the uncia and semuncia were struck rather than cast. A variety of less common denominations were minted over time; those found in Crawford (1974) are listed here.

Introduction of Greek-style silver coinage in Ancient Rome:
Greek-style struck bronze coins were produced in small quantity around 300 BC. Only a handful of examples exist today. They are believed to have been produced on behalf of Rome by Neapolis, based on the similar style and weight with Neapolis' own coinage, and used to facilitate trade in the wake of the construction of the Appian Way, started in 312 B.C. Rome entered into a war against Tarentum in 281 B.C.; the Tarentines enlisted the support of Pyrrhus of Epirus. It was in this context that Rome produced its first Greek-style silver didrachm (Crawford 13/1) with the head of Mars wearing a Corinthian helmet on one side and the head of a horse with the inscription ROMANO (worn off on the example shown) and a grain ear behind. O: Diademed head Hercules right, club on shoulder. R: Wolf suckling twins, ROMANO in. ex. The first Roman silver coin minted at Rome, 269 BC. Crawford 20/1 A number of different coins were minted in increasing volumes over the next few years, but the first silver coin now thought to have been minted in Rome itself is the Hercules/She-wolf didrachm (Crawford 20/1). The date of this issue is likely 269 BC, as the devices on this coin refer to that year's consuls Q. Ogulnius L.f A.n. Gallus and C. Fabius C.f. M.n. Pictor. Hercules, shown on the obverse with the lion skin tied around is neck and his club (shown undersized above his shoulder), was the divine patron of the Fabii.[9] Quintus and his brother Cnaeus Ogulnius had, as curule aediles, prosecuted moneylenders; part of the proceeds were used to set up near the Ficus Ruminalis a statue of Romulus and Remus being suckled by the she-wolf as shown on the reverse.[10] Some historians believe that these coins were valued at 10 asses making them denarii, this assertion is based on the account of Pliny in the 1st century AD, where he states that the denarius was introduced in 269 BC. Most historians today, however, do not see this as a denarius, but another didrachm. This last and most other roman coins were produced in small numbers until the introduction of the didrachm we refer to as the quadrigatus. The quadrigatus, produced in large quantity starting around 235 BC, was named after the reverse image of Victory driving a quadriga and was produced for about 2 decades, becoming more and more debased (to as little as 30% silver) during the second Punic war.

Evolution: weights and fineness in Ancient Rome:
Over the next 40 years, the denarius slowly lost weight. The reason for this is unclear, but in the early days it may have been the ongoing pressure of the second punic war. Afterwards the roman state had a debt equivalent to 25 years direct taxation on roman citizens (~1 million denarii); these were not fully repaid until Cn Manlius Vulso returned with the spoils of Asia after the Treaty of Apamea, (188 B.C.). The weight was officially changed changed from 72 to the pound (6 scruples) to 84 to the pound at that time; it remained relatively stable thereafter. The silver content during republican times remained well above 90%, usually above 95% with the exception of Marcus Antonius's later coinage, especially the massive "legionary" issue of coinage of 32-31 B.C. just prior to the battle of Actium (an example is shown on the right), rumored to be silver from Egypt provided by Cleopatra.

Evolution: silver vs bronze in Ancient Rome:
By about 140 BC (the exact date is unclear) the denarius was retariffed to 16 asses, indicated by XVI on the obverse of the denarius. This appears first on the coinage marked L.IVLI (Crawford 224/1), commonly dated to 141 BC. The clear marking with the number XVI was soon again replaced with an X, but often now with a horizontal bar through the centre as shown in the second example on the left (Crawford 243/1); this is often read as a monogram of XVI with all the letters superimposed. The re-tariffing is thought to have been a recognition of a relationship that had developed because of decreased as weights, both due to wear of old asses and to decreasing mint weights of newer ones. This meant that the quinarius was worth eight asses, and the sestertius four asses. The new denarius-to-as ratio lasted for hundreds of years. At about the same time the unit of account changed from asses to sestertii (HS). The victoriatus continued to circulate well into the 2nd century BC. Victoriati were later popular in places such as Cisalpine Gaul where they circulated alongside drachmae of Massalia (Marseille).

Evolution: gold in Ancient Rome:
The gold 60, 40, and 20 as coins were only minted for only a few years; gold in general appears to have been used only as an emergency coinage. Gold coins reappeared in 82 B.C. when Sulla was gathering funds for the war against Mithridates VI of Pontus immediately after the financial strains of the Social war. Those coins are commonly considered the first aureus. Aureii were minted in large numbers by Julius Caesar in preparation for a proposed war against the Parthia and usage of the aureus continued to increase after the fall of the republic.

Coinage and political messages in Ancient Rome:
Eventually a new reverse appeared, first Luna driving a biga (two horse chariot) in 194-190 B.C., and then Victory driving a biga in 157 B.C. - thought to refer to the final defeat of Perseus of Macedon at the battle of Pydna by Lucius Aemilius Paulus in 168 B.C. These Victory "bigati" became the most common type of denarius. Denarii were marked with special symbols (such as a star or an anchor) from very shortly after their introduction and soon monograms indicating the tresviri monetales (mint masters, often called moneyers, that were responsible for the issue) were on the coins. In some cases the symbols are "punning". Families who had already had members in the Senate were more likely to have further family members elected to political office (and thus become senators). This was so much more likely that only a few consular novi homines (new men) are known to history. Advertising on coins was thus often about the moneyer's family.

Sources of evidence:
Sometimes particular coins can be linked to a well defined event in history, eg. the "dict perpet" denarii of Caesar can be dated very closely to his assassination, but this is rarely the case. Much dating of the coinage is based on evidence from coin hoards. The hoarding of coins, especially by burial, was a "banking system" often used in ancient times, particularly in times of crisis; hoarding during the civil war between Caesar and Pompey was so extensive that it resulted in a liquidity crisis. Hoards can present evidence in several ways:
The location of the hoard can speak to where the coins in question circulated. The archaeological context of a coin hoard can set an approximate date for the production of the coinage. As an example, excavations of the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus uncovered coins beneath the temple; the date the temple was built is known and so a terminus ante quem for the period of their production can be deduced. The differential wear of coins in a hoard can be used to establish a relative chronology. Coins that had circulated longer prior to burial should show more wear. The composition of the hoard in terms of coin types can speak to what sorts of coins circulated in the same place at the same time and their relative abundance. From this, relative chronologies can sometimes be extracted. Comparison of multiple coin hoards can help to establish relative chronologies; if a series of coins is well represented in one large coin hoard and some are missing from a second large hoard, it is likely that they were minted after that hoard was buried. Despite all of this, the evidence remains unclear. In this case, numismatic scholars attempt to make their best estimate of the absolute and relative chronology.

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