Coins of Roman Egypt
Greek Dates



R.S. Poole

Introduction to the catalog of the British Museum

I. chronology

Dates on coins.

The imperial coins of Egypt, as a rule, bear the year of the reign of the Emperor in which they were struck. The year is the Alexandrian. * There are difficulties as to the date of the official introduction of the Alexandrian year, which have been treated by Lepsius in his essay Ueber einige Berührungspunkte der ägyptischen griechischen und römischen Chronologie. His conclusions are as follows: *

1. The Alexandrian Era was dated B.C. 30.

2. The epoch of the Alexandrian Calendar was B.C. 26. In other words, the New Calendar was dated from that year, in which the Egyptian Vague or civil year first presented the characters of the Alexandrian year.

3. The introduction of the Calendar does not date before B.C. 8, and with the highest degree of probability not before A.D. 5.* The first of these dates, B.C. 8, is that of the decree of Augustus for the rectification of the Calendar of Julius; the second, A.D. 5, is that of the introduction at Rome of the Calendar of Augustus.

Its Characters.

The Alexandrian year began 29, 30 Aug. of the ordinary Julian year of the chronologers. The ordinary day of commencement was 29 Aug., but in the year following its leap-year, which fell A.D. 6, and every fourth year after, therefore in A.D. 7, 11, 15, &c., it began one day later, 30 Aug.*

Regnal years.

The reign of each Emperor is thus dated on the coins:—The first year is the part, however small, of the Alexandrian year, in which the Emperor began to reign over the Alexandrians. The years following, exclusive of the last, must be complete Alexandrian years. The consequences of those conditions, some of which must be next discussed, are easily to be inferred from the datoes at the head of each Emperor's coins in the Catalogue. In order to find the first Alexandrian year of an Emperor, it is necessary to note whether he came to the throne before or after the date of the beginning, of the Alexandrian year Aug. 29, 30 marking the years when the commencement was shifted to Aug. 30. Thus, Elagabalus came to the throne A.D. 218, June 8, and died 222, cir. Feb. 1, having reigned 3 years, 7 months 24 days? he has, therefore, the following five Alexandrian years:

1. A.D. 218 June 8 - Aug 29
2. A.D. 219 Aug. 30 - Aug 28
3. A.D. 220 Aug. 29 - Aug 28
4. A.D. 221 Aug. 29 - Aug 28
5. A.D. 222 Aug. 29 - Feb 1?

In the case of Augustus, his years are complete Egyptian Vague years until the introduction of the Alexandrian years.

Symbol L for year.

The date, except on the earliest dated coins of Augustus, is uniformly preceded by the symbol L for “year,” but ΕΤΟΥC occasionally takes its place. The symbol is of uncertain origin. It first appears on coins which I have attributed to Ptolemy IV., Philopator, struck in Cyprus, &c. (Cat. Ptol. pp. 62, 63.) Under Ptolemy VIII., Euergetes II., it became almost universal for all dated coins, and, except on some coins of Augustus, so until the Reform of Diocletian. Probably the symbol is a conventional form of the Egyptian sign for year in the demotic character.

Difficulties in Imperial Dates.


The coinage of the reign of Augustus is the only group in the Alexandrian series which is not dated throughout. Being in bronze only, it forms a continuation of the bronze money of the Ptolemies, which is generally undated, and always so at the close of its period.

Dates on coins.

The letter Κ, which appears upon an altar (p. 3, no. 19) and in the field, where the type is a prow (no. 23), can only be the numeral 20*, as on other coins we find LΚΗ upon the altar (no. 20). These coins with Κ are the only ones in the series of Egypt under the Emperors which do not bear the symbol L before the numeral of the date. The coins of the year 28, just cited, thus begin the regular dated series in bronze. The issue was, however, evidently irregular. The dates known are 39, 40, 41 of Augustus, 39, 40, 41, 42,* of Livia with the years of Augustus. The coins of Tiberius and of Livia with the years of Tiberius begin with 4, 6, no later being known of Livia. There is, therefore, a want of continuity between Augustus and his successor, the wanting years being 42, 43, 44 Aug. and 1, 2, 3 Tib. Dr. Friedländer published a coin in the Berlin Cabinet similar to those described under pp. 2, 3, nos. 13 sqq., bearing the date 46, LΜς. He infers, on this and other evidence, that some chronological starting-point is used anterior to B.C. 30, and suggests the date of the triumvirate B.C. 43.* It seems a much simpler theory to suppose that the coinage of Augustus was at first considered as dating from an Era, the Era of Alexandria, and thus was continued after his death until superseded by that of Tiberius. According to this view, there is but a slight gap in the continuity of years, whereas on Dr. Friedländer's hypothesis there would be 23 years unrepresented after B.C. 43. It cannot be determined what years are intended by these on the coins of Augustus. It must, however, be remembered that the characters of the Egyptian Vague year and of the Alexandrian year were so similar at this time, that the matter is not likely to cause any difficulty.

The regular billon series of Alexandria begins with the coins of Tiberius bearing on the reverse the head of Augustus as deified. They Continue the coinage of the Ptolemies.


The bronze coins of Tiberius with his bare head, since they have low dates, can only be of his reign.


Under the Emperor Galba we find a different style in the first and second years, ΛΟΥΚ ΛΙΒ ΣΟΥΛΠ ΓΑΛΒΑ ΚΑΙΣ ΣΕΒ ΑΥΤ being replaced by ΣΕΠΟΥΙ ΓΑΛΒΑ ΑΥΤΟ ΚΑΙΣ ΣΕΒΑ. The accession of Galba cannot have been known at Alexandria until near the close of the Alexandrian year:* the coinage of his first year was thus hastily issued with a style which had to be changed afterwards.

Vespasian, First Coinage.

The coins with the inscription ΑΥΤ ΤΙΤ ΦΛΑΥΙ ΟΥΕΣΠΑΣΙΑΝ ΚΑΙΣ have hitherto been classed to Titus. This inscription occurs on the obverse of tho billon coins of year 1 with a head on either side, and the reverse inscription ΦΛΑΥΙ ΟΥΕΣΠΑΣΙΑΝΟΣ ΚΑΙΣ (Pl. xxxii. 221). The billon coins of year 2 differ only from those of year 1 in having the regular obverse inscription of Vespasian, ΑΥΤΟΚ ΚΑΙΣ ΣΕΒΑ ΟΥΕΣΠΑΝΟΥ of year 2 the addition of the praenomen Τ (Titus, id. 223). It is thus evident that the inscription ΑΥΤ ΤΙΤ ΦΛΑΥΙ ΟΥΕΣΡΑΣΙΑΝ ΚΑΙΣ applies to the same person as the inscription ΑΥΤΟΚ ΚΑΙΣ ΣΕΒΑ ΟΥΕΣΠΑΣΙΑΝΟΥ, in other words that both are of Vespasian (cf. for portraits, id. 222, 225). If we compare the other billon coins of the same dates, with a head on the obverse only, and the bronze coins of the same group, we find the same two inscriptions and once in the case of the bronze both inscriptions on two coins of year 1 (nos. 216, 247). It may be remarked that the second of these two coins (no. 247) would, if we limited the ΑΥΤΟΚ inscription &c. to the coins of Vespasian, be the only coin of that Emperor's first year in the British Museum.

The evidence of the heads on the obverses of the coins in billon and bronze of years 1 and 2 is the same as that of the inscriptions, and points to the same solution of the difficulty. The characteristic portrait of year 1 is similar to that of Vitellius, the immediate predecessor of Vespasian, and the characteristic portrait of year 2 is the typical head of Vespasian. It is, however, remarkable that only one coin of year 1, and that the exceptional bronze with the regular inscription of Vespasian, has his typical head.

Though the reverse of the billon coins with the two heads bears the inscription ΦΛΑΥΙ ΟΥΕΣΠΑΣΙΑΝΟΣ ΚΑΙΣΦΛΑΥΙ ΟΥΕΣΠΑΣΙΑΝΟΣ ΚΑΙΣ in year 1, and in year 2 first the same inscription and then Τ ΦΛΑΥΙ ΟΥΕΣΠΑΣΙΑΝΟΣ ΚΑΙΣ, practically identical save for the omission of ΑΥΤ with the obverse inscription of year 1 in the same class, yet the head is always the same on the reverse, and it is a thoroughly characteristic portrait of Titus, which it is hard to see how any one could have doubted to be his.

How is this to be explained? It has been already noticed that the style of Galba changes in his second year. In the case of Vespasian the same evidently occurred. His proclamation at Alexandria took place July 1, A.D. 69, and he was not accepted by the senate until after the death of Vitellius, about Dec. 21 in the same year (Fasti Rom. i. pp. 54, 56). Consequently he was not Emperor de jure in his first year at Alexandria. Hence the first style without the title Augustus. This style, as is proved by the solitary bronze coin of year 1 with his regular inscription, was speedily changed for the second style with Augustus, though there may have been some hesitation in the general introduction. Titus was at first distinguished from his father as Flavius Vespasianus Caesar. After his father's change of style, but not immediately, he assumed his praenomen on the coins, and then his inscription is the same as his father's first one omitting ΑΥΤ. It may be added that on coins of years 8 and 9 of Vespasian, with two heads, Titus has the style ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΩΡ ΤΙΤΟΣ ΚΑΙΣΑΡ in the genitive on bronze of year 9. Titus first received the title Imperator on Roman coins of the third consulate of Vespasian, A.D. 71, that Emperor's year 3-4 at Alexandria.*

The historical result of the inquiry is this, that Vespasian and Titus were first proclaimed at Alexandria, the one as Emperor but not Augustus, the other as Caesar, with styles which they did not continue to bear. It must not be forgotten that there is no fact new to history in these styles; each was Titus Flavius Vespasianus. There is therefore no difficulty beyond the want of precedent in Vespasian being called Imperator Titus Flavius Vespasianus, and Titus being called Flavius Vespasianus Caesar or Titus Flavius Vespasianus Caesar. We have however to find, if possible, a reason for the change to the ordinary style in the case of Vespasian. The conditions of his accession were exceptional. Vespasian was first proclaimed by Tiberius Alexander, the Praefect of Egypt, before he was set up by the troops in Palestine. Consequently the coins were probably struck by the Praefect at first without authority. Certainly the engravers of most of the earlier dies had no authentic portrait of Vespasian. The arrival of Vespasian at Alexandria, where he heard of the death of Vitellius, which happened about Dec. 21, A.D. 69 (Fasti Rom. pp. 54, 56), was probably after the beginning of his second Egyptian year, 30 Aug. in this year.* This coming to Alexandria would account for the change of style, were it not that the coins show from one instance that it had already taken effect in year 1. If any further argument is needed to account for the anomaly which has been discussed, the parallel case of the two styles of Galba may be cited.

Dates Of Faustina Marci

The next chronological difficulty is presented by the coins of the younger Faustina. Like Marcus Aurelius, the dates on her coins are first of the reign of Antoninus, and then of that of Marcus Aurelius, who struck first as Caesar and then as Emperor. It will be seen from the chronology of Faustina that there are some years in both reigns which are common, and which can only be discriminated by considerations apart from the numerals. The chronology is as follows:—

Faustina Pii dies, and Faustina, her daughter, survives as heiress of Antoninus Pius, after the beginning of the Alex. year, Ant. 5* A.D. 141
M. Aurelius marries Faustina, Alex. year, Ant. 10-11 A.D. 147
Faustina Marci dies Alex. year, Marci, 16*A.D. 175

Consequenently we may have Alexandrian coins of Faustina, under Antoninus 5-24 and Aurelius 1-16, the doubtful dates which could be of either reign being 5-16.

The evidence of the coins is now to be stated.

There are two inscriptions and two portraits on the coins of Faustina Marci. The ordinary inscription ΦΑΥCΤΙΝΑ CΕΒΑCΤΗ, and the exceptional ΦΑΥCΤΙΝΑ CΕΒ CΕΒ ΕΥCΕΒ ΘΥΓ or ΦΑΥCΤΙΝΑ CΕΒ ΘΥΓ CΕΒ ΕΥCΕΒ are found with dates which might be of Antoninus or of Aurelius. The second style is however, so far as I know, not found with dates which cannot be of Antoninus, the father of Faustina. The portraits are of two distinct types, a young bust, the hair plaited and falling in curls over the forehead, and a mature bust with wavy hair. The mature portrait is found with some dates which can only be of Aurelius, and always with the inscription ΦΑΥCΤΙΝΑ CΕΒΑCΤΗ. The coins with the young portrait would therefore naturally fall to the reign of the Ernpress's father, which would account for the use on them of the style with "daughter." It may, however, be asked why this style should be used together with the less appropriate ΦΑΥCΤΙΝΑ CΕΒΑCΤΗ. It will be seen on examining the coins that those in billon almost invariably bear the shorter inscription which is always used on the smaller bronze, whereas the bronze of the largest size has almost invariably the longer inscription. The natural inference is that the size of the coin Dictated either a full or an abbreviated inscription, the abbreviated inscription becoming on Faustina's accession her full style.

Chronology of Commodus

The chronology of the reign of Commodus is important in reference to his coins. The dates are the following:

Commodus, named Caesar, 12 Oct. 166* Alex. year, Aur. 7
Commodus named Assoc. Aug. 177* Alex. year, Aur. 17
Commodus Sole Emp.17 Mar. 180* Alex. year, Aur. 20
Commodus dies 31 Dec. 192* Alex. year, Aur. 33

Dates on coins.

Upon the Alexandrian coins Commodus uses the years of his father Aurelius. As Caesar and as associate in the empire, he would naturally do so, and it would be convenient to continue the reckoning after he had become sole Emperor, instead of beginning a new reckoning, either from his association, or which would have been illogical, from his accession as sole Emperor. I do not believe in the occurrence of dates of his own reign, whatever that was, on these coins. It is easy to read Α for Λ and to read units of lost tens as substantive dates, and the desire to make a new series is always an incentive for unusual readings.

Dates of “Caracalla”.

The reign of Antoninus II. "Caracalla " was in its chronology similar to that of Commodus. He was first Caesar, then Augustus associated with his father and afterwards with Geta also, then with Geta only and ultimately sole Emperor. Naturally he uses the years of his father's reign.

Geta, Julia Domna.

Julia Domna and Geta follow the same reckoning. A principle is thus established. The coin of Geta, no. 1481, with obverse ΑΥΤ Κ•ΡΟΥ CΕΠ ΓΕΤΑC Κ CΕΒ? reverse, ΝΕΙΚΗ ΚΑΙ ΒΡΕΤΑΝ (ΝΕΙΚΗ ΚΑΙCΑΡΟC ΒΡΕΤΑΝΝΙΚΟΥ) is not of dies of two different periods, but both belong to the time when Geta was Augustus, yet the formula of the obverse inscription may have led the engraver to adopt the formula of the reverse. Geta was appointed Augustus A.D. 209. The coin is dated year 19 (reckoning of Severus)= A.D. 211, 212.

Dates of Wives of Elagabalus

Dr. von Sallet has shown that the coins confirm the statement of Dion that Elagabalus divorced Paula and married Severa, that he then divorced her and married three others, but again took Severa back.* The coins of the Roman series mention three wives of Elagabalus, Julia Paula, Aquilia Severa, and Annia Faustina. These are found in the Alexandrian series, Paula with years 2, 3, and 4, Severa with 4 and 6, and Faustina with the same years. Dr. von Sallet has remarked on the agreement of the dates with Dion's statement. It is evident that Elagabalus divorced Paula in his 4th Alexandrian year, married Severa and divorced her in the same year, and still in the same year married Faustina whom he divorced in the 5th year and took back Severa.*

Dates of Severus Alexander

Severus Alexander as Caesar uses the year of Elagabalus, as Augustus he dates from his first year in that dignity. He was not a colleague-Emperor before his sole reign.

Coins with palm.

A very interesting class of coins has its origin in the 10th year of Severus Alexander, those with the palm in the field of the reverse. The palm referred to is not always a simple palm-branch,* but sometimes is adorned with a fillet. It is a symbol of victory in war or in the games. Originally Nike was the goddess of peaceful success and, consequently, her appearance on coins marks victory in the great Games. In course of time Nike was diverted to war and denotes on coins what is now called Victory. This is in later Greek times and throughout fhe Roman rule. In both capacities Nike bears the wreath and palm. The province of the wreath and palm is similarly divided. There is, however, this important difference: whereas Nike was altogether diverted from her original function, her wreath and palm were associated by the Romans with success in the games as well as with victory in war. In consequence of the wide diffusion of imitations of the great Games throughout the Greek world, as well as of new and local games proper to various cities, the wreath and the palm are frequently found as coin types.

Both wreath and palm have sometimes a chronological reference. The Greeks and Romans marked time by the recurrence of the games. Consequently agonistic symbols could be used to note any periods commemorated by games. At first the games noted time, in the sequel eras were signalized by games, while the old method still went on. Thus the Olympic Gamcs afforded a reckoning of time, and before their disuse in this function, the Emperors commemoratod their decennalia by games.

The Decennalia of Commodus.

The first decennalia which are commemorated on the Alexandrian coins are those of Commodus, in whose 10th year as emperor we find the following billon coin reverse,—
Within laurel-wreath,


in ex., L ΚΖ (Pl. xxxi., 1442 )

The year at Rome was the 10th, but the Alexandrian year then began seven months earlier than the Roman regnal year.* We may regard this difference as accidental. The decennalia were no doubt kept at Alexandria at the time fixed for the Roman commemoration.

Decennalia of Severus Alexander.

The decennalia of Severus Alexander are more markedly recorded on his Alexandrian coinage. On the billon coins of his 10th year in his own series and that of Julia Mamaea the following reverse occurs:
Within laurel-wreath,


in ex., palm. Sev. Alex. (Pl. xxxi., 1703) Mamaea (cf. 1762). On all coins of year 10 of this reign the palm occurs, and still more remarkably on all coins of later years, with the heads of Severus or of Mamaea. Besides the commemorations just noticed the decennalia also gave rise to the reissue of bronze coins of the largest size of Severus and also of Mamaea, all dated year 10, and having the palm on the reverse as a symbol.

Eckhel has noticed that on the Alexandrian coins the palm, with one exception, refers to the decennalia, the exception being on the coins of Domitianus II.* No doubt he was unaware of the recurrence of the symbol on the large bronze coins of Philip I, Otacilia Severa, and Philip II in the 6th year.

Ludi Saeculares of Phillip I.

This issue of large bronze coins by Philip was ordered to commemorate the Ludi Saeculares which marked the thousandth year of the building of the City. The Museum has a single coin of this class of Philip I., year 5, which is without the palm (no. 2001.) *

The Saecular Games were celebrated by Philip I at Rome in the year A.D. 248, in which his 5th Roman regnal year began from March.* The time of the Games was about July at Rome;* Philip's 5th Alexandrian year was then about to end. Probably the Games were kept at Alexandria at the beginning of the 6th year.* The case is not parallel to that of the decennalia of Commodus which have been supposed above to have been kept at the same time at Rome and at Alexandria: the Saecular Games were far more important, would require a longer preparation, and from their chronological importance would preferably have been kept at the beginning of the Egyptian year. The palm occurs on no coins but the bronze of the 6th year.

Chronology of Decius.

It is necessary here to leave the decennalia, to observe that Trajanus Decius reckoned his reign from two commencements, in A.D. 248, on his proclamation by the troops, and most usually in A.D. 249, autumn, when he defeated the Philips.* Clearly the reckoning from A.D. 249 is the Alexandrian, as no coins are known of any years but 1, 2 of Decius and his family. Decius was slain early in his third Alexandrian year.

Chronology Of Hostilianus.

Hostilian, younger son of Decius, was Caesar with Herennius in A.D. 250.* Probably he was appointed Caesar with his brother as Herennius was at once sent to Illyricum.

Interregnum after Aurelian.

It is known that the death of Aurelian was followed by an interregnum of six months. During this time the coins of Aurelian and of Severina dated in the seventh year must have been struck. There are no coins without imperial heads that can be assigned to this period.

Deccenalia of Gallienus.

To return to tbe decennalia, the first Emperor after Severus Alexander who reached the 10th year of his reign was Gallienus. His decennalia are commemorated on the reverse of the billon coinage:
Within laurel-wreath,


in ex. LI (Pl. xxxi., 2240.) The palm is general but not constant on the coins of Gallienus and of Salonina from year 10 onwards. If we admit into the class with the palm those types in which the symbol is part of the type, the exceptions are greatly reduced.

Deccenalia of Diocletian.

Diocletian was the next Emperor who reached his 10th year. Accordingly, we find on his billon or only coinage of that year the following reverse:—
Within laurel-wreath,


Beneath, palm. [Kennard Coll.] The palm appears even more irregularly on the coins of the 10th and following years than in the case of Gallienus.

It is to be noted that there are no Alexandrian coins of Maximian I as Caesar, A.D, 285, nor does he, as Augustus, date from that year.

There is no clear case of reference to decennalia under Maximian I. The palm occurs on a coin of year 11. [Kennard Coll.] The coin of the 9th year with the date in a laurel-wreath, (no 2601) might be supposed to be commemorative of the decennalia of the colleague of this Emperor, Diocletian, inasmuch as this year was coincident with the 10th of that colleague, but the same reverse is found on a coin of the same date of Diocletian, year 9 (no. 2841.)

The occurrence of the palm on coins attributed in this Catalogue to Domitius Domitianus, is unexplained.

There is a solitary case of a possible commemoration of Quinquennalia in the coins of Aurelian, having as reverse-type a laurel wreath and within either ΕΤΟΥC Ε or LΕ. (nos. 2372, 2873.) The case of the 9th year of Diocletian, just cited, forbids us to draw any inference.

Dates of Constantius and Gal. Maximian Caesars.

The last Caesars who appear in the coinage, Constantius and Gal. Maximianus, use their own dates. This must have been due to the inconsistency of the dates of Diocletian and Maximian. The palm occurs on a coin of year 4 of Constantius. (no. 2608.)

Difficulties of Attribution.

M.I. Aemilianus.

There are two Emperors in the series of Alexandria who bear the name of Aemilian, the legitimate Emperor, whose name was M. Aemilius Aemilianus,* and another Emperor, called on his coin M. I[ulius] Aemilianus. (Pl. xxxii. 2806.) The coins of Aemilius are all of year 2, the only one of I[ulius] is of year 1. The legitimate Emperor Aemilian was proclaimed about May A.D. 258, in Moesia; after the death of the Galli he was acknowledged by the Senate, and reigned thereafter about three months till about May 254.* There are many coins of the Glali of their 3rd year at Alexandria, which began Aug. 258. Therefore they must have reigned over Egypt some time in this year. As it was the second year of Aemilian, we cannot expect to find any coins of his first year. It is therefore right to discriminate the other Aemilian who struck in his first year. He could well be the Aemilianus who, as præfect of Egypt, revolted against Gallienus in the year A.D. 262 or 263, and ruled with much vigour until he was taken captive by an officer of Gallienus.* As there is no gap of a year in the Alexandrian coinage of Gallienus, we may suppose that however long Aemilian may have ruled de facto, he did not claim to rule de joure more than part of one or two Egyptian years.

L. Domitius Domitianus

Achilleus, or, as his fullest style on coins informs us, the Emperor Lucius Domitius Domitianus, commonly styling himself Domitianus, rendered himself independent ruler of Egypt in the reign of Diocletian and Maximian I. He was taken prisoner and slain by Diocletian on the capture of Alexandria, after a siege of about eight months, in A.D. 297. The length of the independence of Achilleus or Domitianus can be shown by the dates of the coins of Diocletian and his colleagues. The coins of Diocletian bear the dates years 1-12, those of Maximian I, years 1-11, those of the two Caesars, Constantius I and Maximian II, years 1-4, no date being wanting in the four sequences. The 12th year of Diocletian and the 11th of Maximian I began in Egypt 30th Aug., 295. The 4th year of the two Caesars began 29th Aug., 294.* Thus the coinage of the Caesars ceased in the year before that of the Augusti ended. Farther, the coins of A.D. 295 struck by the Augusti are scanty. Consequently, it is evident that the capital was lost to the empire early in the Egyptian year, which began in 295, thus in the late autumn of 295. Alexandria was taken by Diocletian after about eight months' siege in A.D. 297.* Diocletian arrived in Egypt in A.D. 296.* It is unlikely that any city besides Alexandria offered a prolonged resistance. Consequently, the war had almost certainly ended before the Egyptian year began in A.D. 297.

The coinage of Domitianus aids the inquiry. It is of two groups: 1. The Alexandrian, in billon of three sizes. (i.) Double the usual coin, a most remarkable variety. (ii.) the usual coin, large. (iii.) the usual coin of the peried. 2. The follis of the new coinage introduced in the Monetary Reform. All the Coins of the Alexandrian class bear the date year 2.

Obviously, the 2nd year of Domitianus must have been that which began A.D. 296: his money of the reformed coinage must have been issued subsequently to that of the old coinage dated in the 2nd year, and therefore in A.D. 296-7.

A very important consequence of these facts is the fixing of the Monetary Reform to A.D. 296. It cannot be supposed to have taken place in A.D. 295, as the old coinage was struck by the Augusti in Egypt after 30 Aug., 295, and the new must have been current in the empire generally before Domitianus would have struck it; and he must have done so before the siege of Alexandria, which evidently occupied the earlier part of A.D. 297, as the issue of a new coinage, not money of necessity, is unlikely to have occurred during a siege. The year A.D. 296 therefore only remains as that of the Reform.*





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