Roman Imperial Coinage

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Roman Imperial Coinage, abbreviated RIC, is a British catalogue of Roman Imperial currency, from the time of the Battle of Actium (31 BC) to Late Antiquity in 491 AD. It is the result of many decades of work, from 1923 to 1994, and a successor to the previous 8-volume catalogue compiled by the numismatist Henry Cohen in the 19th Century.[1] [2]

It is the standard work for numismatic identification of coinage struck by authorisation of the Roman emperors.

Production[edit]

The production of a chronological catalogue of Roman Imperial coinage was started in 1923 by Harold Mattingly, a numismatist at the British Museum, assisted by Edward Allen Sydenham. Their catalogue differed from its predecessor, produced by Henry Cohen in the 19th Century. Although Cohen had classified the coins by emperor, and then alphabetically by the legend (text) on them. Mattingly broke down the classification further into which foundry, and in which series, each coin came from. Mattingly and Sydenham were joined by C. H. V. Sutherland in producing volumes IVb (1938) and IVc (1949), and by Percy H. Webb for volumes Va (1927) and Vb (1933). After 1930, the editorship of each of the final volumes was given to a specialist of the period.[3] After Mattingly's death in 1964, Sutherland and R. A. G. Carson jointly took over editorship of the work.[4]

In 1984, Sutherland published an expanded edition of the first volume of 1923, which was not as detailed as those that followed.[5]

Contents[edit]

The RIC comprises 13 volumes:

Each emperor is given a detailed history of the coinage of his reign, with a classification of the type of money, and within each type a registration, from its inscription.

For each coin listed, there is a description of both the obverse and reverse sides of the coin ("heads and tails"), and a notation depending on the rarity of known examples:

  • C: common
  • R1: rare, only twenty or so known
  • R2: between five and fifteen known
  • R3: four or five known
  • R4: two or three known
  • R5: only one known, unique

In the endpapers of each volume is a table of the coins that have reproductions.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cohen, Henry; Gaidoschik, R; Feuardent, Gaston L; Probszt, G (1955) [1880–1892]. Description historique des monnaies frappees sous l'empire romain communement appelees medailles imperiales: 2e ed [Historical description of coins struck under the Roman Empire commonly called imperial medals: 2nd ed.] (in French). 1–9. Graz, Autriche: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt.
  2. ^ "VirtualCohen.com". www.virtualcohen.com. Retrieved 2017-06-23. Welcome to VirtualCohen.com, the online version of the legendary catalog of Roman coins by H. Cohen. The "Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain", 120 years after its publication, is still regarded as an important and useful reference for the Roman Imperial coinage. This site contains over 4,000 pages of the original book...
  3. ^ Zehnacker 1986, p. 202
  4. ^ Zehnacker 1986, p. 203
  5. ^ Zehnacker 1986, p. 204

Sources[edit]