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Friday, 27 September 2013

Antoninianus Displaces Denarius More About Roman Coins During The Reign Of Philip The Arab

The reign of Philip in many ways marks the beginning of a new stage in the Roman monetary production, visible in two changes of great significance: The final displacement denarius as the centerpiece of Roman naming system and introduction of the officinae brands in the mint of Rome.

Although during the reign of Philip still occasionally coined denarii, it is clear that this term left by the years definitely a regular part of the monetary system. The antoninianus, a double denarius whose value was stated by the bust of the emperor with radiated crown on the front, thus, became the main currency in the Roman world and coined it in huge quantities and with very low quality, marking a significant increase in nominal value of currency without a rise of parallel metal value.

The minting of gold coins during the reign of Philip is much rarer than as compared to his predecessor Gordian III, but sesterces were issued in large quantities. In my opinion, this indicates that, despite the expansion of the money supply and the deterioration in the metal content of antoninianus, inflation was still too high. By contrast, the successor of Philip, Decius, he would have to introduce a double sestertius to react to the rising prices.

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During the reign of Philip, Rome remained the main center of the production of coins, but rising antoniniani minting volumes represented an enormous challenge to the Roman state and necessitated the assistance of some provincial mints in the task. It is likely that one of these mints were Viminacijum in the Danube region and other East Antioch. There were two areas in which, by the concentration of troops, the state should make large outlays, so it was convenient to have the local production of coins to meet them.

An important fact in this context is the appearance from the year 248 AD marks antoniniani officinae minted in Rome, which demonstrates that the mint had six separate workshops each minted its own specific reverse types within of each series. It is the first sign of a change that would increase the future and reflect the need for a more effective organization of production to meet the sharp increase in the monetary production represented by the minting of antoniniani increasingly depreciated.

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