Roman Coin Legends and Mintmarks

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At first glance many Roman coins legends make no sense at all but with a  bit of training it becomes second nature. I hunted for a guide to all the abbreviations and mintmarks when I started so I thought that now I have a spare hour or two I'd put one up.


AVG = Augustus

C or CAES = Caesar, often used as title by heir

COS = Consul

D N = Dominus Noster, 'Our Lord' (replaces IMP)

DD NN = Dominorum Nostrorum, the plural of Dominus Noster

III VIR/IIII VIR = Triumvir/Quattuorvir, 'One of Three/Four Men'.

PERP or PP = Perpetuus, 'Continuous' often applied to offices, eg. Censor

P F = Pius Felix,'Dutiful & Happy" (Pious + fortunate etc)

P M = Pontifex Maximus

P P = Pater Patriae "Father of the Nation"

S C = Senatus Consulto, 'by Decree of the Senate'

S P Q R = Senatus Populusque Romanus, 'The Roman Senate and People'.

TR P = Tribunicia Potestas, 'Tribunician Power'.


Alexandria: SMALa / ALEa

Antioch: SMANTa / ANa / ANTa

Aquileia: AQp / SMAQp

Arelate / Constantina : pARL / ARLa / pCONST / pCON

Barcino: SMBa

Constantinople: CONSa / CONS

Cyzicue: SMKa

Heraclea: SMHa / TESa / TSa

London: pLN / pLON

Lugdunum: pLG / LVGp

Mediolanum: MD / MDPS / MED

Nicomedia: SMNa / MNa

Ostia: MOSTp

Ravenna RV / RVPS

Rome: Rp / SMRp

Siscia: aSIS / SISC

Smirmium: aSIRM

Thessalonika: SMTSa / TESa / TSa

Ticinum: pT

Treveri: SMTR / pTR / TRp

All small case letters are variable as they denote a particular workshop within a mint.

Hopefully this helps you identify and understand your coins a bit better.

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