Roman coin dating
One solution was to reduce the weight and or the metal content of coins and so increase the possible money supply.Nero did this in 64 CE (reducing gold content by 4.5% and silver by 11%) as did Commodus, Septimius Severus and Caracalla, who produced the antoninianus which perhaps had the face value of two denarii whilst only really being worth nearer one and a half.Coins also had a function as a vehicle to spread the imagery of the ruling class as coinage was the mass media of the day and often carried likenesses of emperors and famous imperial monuments which would be the nearest most Romans ever got to see of them.. Despite their heaviness this type continued to be produced up to c. As the Romans expanded over central Italy war booty meant coins could be produced using precious metals - gold, silver, and bronze.These units were quite large as one unit was the equivalent of 324 g. The first Roman coins were probably the small bronze ones of low value produced at Neapolis from 326 BCE and carried the legend PΩMAIΩN.It is also worth noting that in the east local varieties persisted, especially low value bronze coinage.Following the Severan emperors coin production began to proliferate throughout the empire.dupondii), and the and the even smaller quadran (quarter) were now made from copper instead of bronze.
There is even evidence in the later empire that low-content silver coins were deliberately given a finer silver surface to make them appear more valuable than they were.
Coins were continuously minted as taxation only met 80% of the imperial budget and the shortfall was met by putting more coins into circulation, the source coming from freshly mined metal.
This also meant that extravagant emperors could get themselves into serious financial trouble.
Coins were largely struck in Rome but a significant exception was the Lugdunum mint which started production (mostly gold and silver coins) in 16 BCE and dominated until the mid 1st century CE.
Other notable mints, albeit with sporadic production, were in Lyon in Gaul and the cities of Antioch, Alexandria and Caesarea, amongst others.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.