Ancient Roman Coins

While many collectors routinely visit us for Canadian, American, and British coins, we do have customers coming to see us for coins from around the world. What you may not know is that we also carry several ancient Roman coins, which can be traced back to some of Rome’s most historic figures, and are tied to some very interesting stories:


Crispus

There is debate as to Crispus’ early life; specifically when he was born, and the exact relationship between his mother, and his father Constantine. It is known that he rose to power, was promoted to the rank of Caesar by his father, and was victorious in several military campaigns.

His life ended abruptly in 326 A.D. after Constantine ordered his trial and execution. Soon after, Crispus’ step mother, Fausta, met a similar fate. Historians still debate to this day why Constantine carried out these actions against his own family.


Elagabalus


Also know as Heliogabalus, he was Roman Emperor from 218-222. After the assassination of Emperor Caracalla in 217, Elagabalus’ aunt led a revolt which resulted in the then 14-year old becomining emperor – a reign that would be full of scandals and religious controversies.

Elagabalus showed a strong disregard for traditional Roman religion, forced his government to participate in religious rites which worshipped their new deity Elagabalus (of which he was the high-preist), instead of Jupiter.

His behaviour estranger those around him and his people, and at the age of 18, he was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander.


Postumus

Little is know about his early life. Postumus was a Roman commander who would assume the title and power of emperor in the procinces of Gual, Hispania, Germania and Britannia (and founding what scholars now call the Gallic Empire).

Through some of his coins, Postumus presented himself as Restitutor Galliarum (The restorer of Gaul) and Salus Provinciarum (one who would bring security to the provinces).

After a reign of 9 years, he would be assassinated by his troops.

Commodus


He was born Lucius Aurelius Commodus, and at the time of his death was known as Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus. Commodus was Roman Emperor from 180-192 AD. Commodus also ruled as co-emperor with his father, Marcus Aurelius, from 177 AD, until his father’s death in 180 AD.

His accession as emperor marked the first time a son had succeeded his biological father since Titus succeeded Vespasian in 79. He was also the first emperor to have both a father and grandfather (who had adopted his father) as the two preceding emperors. Commodus was the first (and until 337, the only) emperor “born in the purple”, i.e., during his father’s reign.

Commodus was assassinated in 192, succeeded by Pertinax whose reign did not last long during the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors.

Marcus Aurelius


Marcus Aurelius was Roman Emperor from 161-180 AD. He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161-169 AD (until Verus’ death). The last of the so-called Five Good Emperors, he practiced Stoicism, and his untitled writing, commonly known as the Meditations, is the most significant source of the modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy.

During his reign, the Empire defeated a revitalized Parthian Empire in the East: Aurelius’ general Avidius Cassius sacked the capital Ctesiphon in 164. In central Europe, Aurelius fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians with success during the Marcomannic Wars, although the threat of the Germanic tribes began to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. A revolt in the East led by Avidius Cassius failed to gain momentum and was suppressed immediately.

Aurelius’ Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration.

He was portrayed in the blockbuster film Gladiator by Richard Harris.

Faustina I


Annia Galeria Faustina, sometimes referred to as Faustina I was born on February 16 around 100 AD and died in October or November of 140 AD, was a Roman empress and wife of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius. She died early in the principate of Antoninus Pius, but continued to be prominently commemorated as a diva, posthumously playing a prominent symbolic role in Antoninus Pius’ régime.




Various Ancient Roman Coins

An assortment of Roman Coins that we have in stock.

Phillip II


In 244 this young son of Philip the Arabian was named Caesar by his father in order to try to insure a dynasty for the elder Philip and his noble wife Marcia Otacilia Severa. At age 11 he was elevated to Augustus in AD 247. The young lad joined his father battling Trajan Decius at Verona in 249. Both he and his father were killed during a long, bloody battle and succeded by Jotapian and Trajan Decius all within a single year.

Gordian III


M. Antonius Gordianus Pius was third in a series of Gordians. Born in AD 225, he was named Caesar at age 13 and Augustus the same year. A very mild mannered and un-gifted emperor, he never chose or wished his duties. After a series of unsuccessful campaigns in Mesopotamia, his rule was undermined by his praefect Philipus and although he had no disposition to rule or stop Philip, he was murdered in 244 at the ripe old age of nineteen.