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Dating Ancient Roman Empire Coins

Posted by Bruce Raplee on

Many Roman Empire coins from the 1st and 2nd Century CE can be date to a specific year or to +/- one year.  The emperors used titles on their coinage which permits precise dating. The Tribunician Power (TR P or TR POT on coins) was renewed on an annual basis.  Since the Roman calendar did not correspond with the modern calendar we can assign the date for an Emperor's specific Tribunican Power to a two year range.

For example the denarius of Marcus Aurelius shown is dated to 176/177 CE due to the Tribunician Power (TR P XXXI) given on the reverse of the coin.

The Emperor also used the coinage for propaganda to promote their reign and celebrate military victories.

  • Roman Empire denarius issued 176/7 CE, 3.54g, RIC 363 (scarce), Foss 58a.
  • Dated Marcus Aurelius commemorative silver denarius.
  • Historic emission released to celebrate victories over the German Tribes. 
  • Certified by NGC to XF.  
  • Obverse: M ANTONINVS AVG GERM SARM, laureate head right.  
  • Reverse: DE GERM TR P XXXI IMP VIII COS III P P, Pile of weapons.


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