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date: 01 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article encapsulates the main themes of the coinage of the Gallic period: debasement, problems of counterfeiting, and a rapid turnover of rulers. Traditionally, numismatic scholarship has regarded this period as one of decline. The article traces the collapse of the currency system established first by Augustus and refined by his successors such as Nero. This is characterized as: a trimetallic coinage with fixed relationships between coinages in gold, silver, and bronze; coinage in “Roman” denominations produced mainly at the mint of Rome; and an extensive series of provincial silver and civic bronze coinages produced to local standards. At the same time, there were profound changes in the iconography of the coinage: the tradition of naturalistic ruler portraiture with a varied series of reverse designs, reflecting the tastes of the individual emperor, to represent an idealized view of the ruler, and standardized reverse designs that only rarely refer to current events.

Keywords: Gallic period, currency system, collapse, trimetallic coinage, iconography

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