Getting Started with Roman Coins - Further Reading

Back to
Thoughts on Collecting Roman Coins
This is the last page of the article
Getting Started with Roman Coins


If you want an easy to digest book about Roman money, then I can heartily recommend “The Monetary System of the Romans” by Ian J. Sellars. It costs almost nothing but is by far-and-away the easiest to use source I found when writing this article. I only wished I had found it at the start rather than when I was doing some last minute fact checking! You can see a preview here.

Eight Hundred Years of Roman Coinage” by David Sear is an entertaining overview of Roman history and their coins. It’s not as detailed as “The Monetary System of the Romans”, but it’s shorter and free.

David Sear is also the author of the excellent “Roman Coins and their Values” series of books (Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). These are relatively cheap compared to the main references (see below) but probably not detailed enough for the serious collector. They are well illustrated and give values for all coins, although you would still need to check online sources for up-to-date coin prices.

Roman Republican and Imperatorial

Roman Republican Coinage” by Michael Crawford is the main reference for republican coins, and I can best describe it as “impenetrable”. It’s a must for serious collectors. If all you want to do is translate RRC references into pictures of coins, then head over to “Coinage of the Roman Republic Online” and just search for what you need. Andrew McCabe’s site is detailed but can appear a bit overwhelming at first.

Roman Imperial

The “Roman Imperial Coinage” is essential reading for the serious collector of Roman Imperial coins:

  1. “Roman Imperial Coinage Volume I: Augustus to Vitellius”
  2. “Roman Imperial Coinage Volume II: Vespasian to Hadrian”
  3. “Roman Imperial Coinage Volume III: Antoninus Pius To Commodus”
  4. “Roman Imperial Coinage Volume IV (Part A): Pertinax to Geta VII and Caracalla”
  5. “Roman Imperial Coinage Volume IV (Part B): Macrinus to Pupienus”
  6. “Roman Imperial Coinage Volume IV (Part C): Gordian III to Uranius Antoninus”
  7. “Roman Imperial Coinage Volume V (Part A): Valerian to Florian”
  8. “Roman Imperial Coinage Volume V (Part B) Marcus Aurelius Probus to Maximian”
  9. “Roman Imperial Coinage Volume VI: The Diocletian Reform - Maximinus II”
  10. “Roman Imperial Coinage Volume VII: Constantine I to Licinius”
  11. “Roman Imperial Coinage Volume VIII: The Family of Constantine I”
  12. “Roman Imperial Coinage Volume IX: Valentinian I - Theodosius I”
  13. “Roman Imperial Coinage Volume X: Flavius Honorius to Romulus Augustus; Flavius Arcadius to Zeno”

The books aren’t cheap and a full set requires some serious shelf space, so it pays to specialise on just one emperor or time frame.

If all you want to do is translate RIC references into pictures of coins, then head over to “Online Coins of the Roman Empire” and just search for what you need.

One of the most useful resources I found for working out what denominations were available when was this timeline. I wasn’t able to determine the author but they have created one of the most useful documents I know of for Roman coins.

And finally, anything written by Doug Smith is worth reading twice. His article on Roman Imperial Coin Denominations is highly recommended.

Article Navigation

Back to
Thoughts on Collecting Roman Coins
Up to
Getting Started with Roman Coins
Please complete the required fields.