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date: 19 June 2019

(p. 667) Glossary

(p. 667) Glossary

(p. 668) (p. 669)

Adjunct

An independent addition to the image, usually appearing in the field.

Æ2, Æ3, Æ4

Fourth- and fifth-century copper-based denominations in descending order of size.

Aes

Lit. “bronze”; used to describe any copper-based alloy used for subsidiary coinage.

Anvil

A fixed base in which a die is imbedded; thus, anvil die.

Antoninianus

A radiate silver piece named after the emperor Caracalla; tariffed at 2 denarii, though only 1 1/2 times its weight.

As

The unit of Roman copper coinage.

Attribute

Something held by or attached to the principal image.

Aurelianus

A reformed radiate of Aurelian and after, tariffed at 5(?) denarii.

Aureus

The standard Roman gold coin, tariffed at 25 denarii. Originally 1/40 libra; declined in stages to 1/60.

Axis (die)

The orientation of obverse and reverse, expressed as hours on the face of a clock or in degrees.

Billon

A base silver alloy (less than 50% silver).

Centenionalis

A billon coin, perhaps the reduced Diocletianic nummus.

Countermark

A small marking, usually a punch, struck on the surface of a coin after its issue.

Daric

A pure gold coin of the Persians, attributed to Darius I (522-486 B.C.), originally struck at 8.4 g.

Denarius

A silver coin of weight declining from 4.5 g, tariffed originally at 10, then at 16 asses.

Didrachm

A 2-drachm piece.

Die

The matrix in which images were incised, to be read in relief on the coin.

Die link

The sharing of one die, or both, by two or more coins. Used as a tool to establish common time and place of striking.

Drachm

1/6,000 of a talent, of varying weight.

Dupondius

A coin, first of copper, then of orichalcum, equal to 2 asses.

Electrum

A natural or artificial alloy of gold and silver.

Exergue

The bottom portion of the field, often set off by a ground line.

Fabric

The relation of a coin to its shape.

Field

The background on which types and legends appeared.

Flan

The blank on which a coin is struck.

Follis

A term, used in older literature but no longer current, to describe the Diocletianic nummus.

Hemidrachm

Half-drachm.

Hoard

A group of coins concealed with the intent of recovery.

Imitation

A derivative coin, usually contemporary with its model, used in place of coin (usually in time of shortage).

Legend

The writing on a coin.

Libra

A Roman pound, calculated at c. 327 g but for convenience often treated as 324 g or 325 g.

Medallion

A Roman imperial piece of unusually heavy weight or denomination or both; occasionally, a smaller piece of high style.

Miliarensis (-es)

A silver coin of heavy (1/60 libra) or light (1/72 libra) standard.

Minimus (-i)

Tiny bronze coins imitating fourth- and fifth-century nummi.

Nummus (-i)

A generic term for copper-based coins of unknown name; also, the small copper coins of the fourth to fifth centuries.

Obol

1/6 drachm.

Obverse

The face of the coin struck by the anvil (fixed) die.

Officina

A workshop or a team of workers responsible for striking a part of an issue or for part of its production.

Orichalcum

An alloy of copper and zinc of yellowish appearance.

Overstriking

Employment of an older coin as a blank for a new coin; the new coin is called an overstrike.

Punch

A die held in the hand.

Quinarius

Half denarius; with reference to gold, a half aureus.

Radiate

A crown of rays derived from that of Sol, the Sun, worn by the emperor. It functioned as a mark of doubled denomination (as/dupondius, denarius/antoninianus). By extension, a coin bearing a radiate crown.

Reverse

The face of the coin struck by the handheld die, or the die itself.

Semissis (or semis)

Half solidus; with reference to bronze coinage, half an as; also in the Republic and early empire, half an as.

Sestertius

The Roman unit of account; a coin, first of silver, then of orichalcum, tariffed first at 2 1/2, then 4, asses; a quarter denarius.

Siglos

A pure silver coin of about 5.4 g introduced with the daric.

Siliqua

A silver coin of the fourth to fifth century, first c. 3.4 g, then c. 2 g.

Solidus

A pure gold coin of 1/72 pound (c. 4.5 g).

Stater

A 2-drachm piece.

Talent

A large unit of a weight that varied locally (50–60 lb/20–25 kg).

Tetradrachm

A 4-drachm piece.

Tremissis (or triens)

One-third solidus.

Type

The principal image of the coin.

Wappenmünzen

“Heraldic coins” of Athens, sixth century B.C.