Roman Imperial Coinage

This article is about a learned numismatic catalogue. For a history of Roman coinage, see Roman currency § Empire.

Roman Imperial Coinage, abbreviated RIC, is a British catalogue of Roman Imperial currency, from the time of the Battle of Actium (31 BC) to the Late Antiquity in 491 AD. It is the result of several decades of work, from 1923 to 1994, and a successor to the previous 8-volume catalogue compiled by the numismatist Henry Cohen in the 19th Century.[1] It is the standard work for numismatic identification of coinage struck by authorisation of Roman emperors.


The production of a chronological catalogue of Roman Imperial coinage was started in 1923 by Harold Mattingly, a numismatist at the British Museum, assisted by Edward Allen Sydenham. Their catalogue differed from its predecessor, produced by Henry Cohen in the 19th Century. Although Cohen had classified the coins by emperor, and then alphabetically by the legend (text) on them. Mattingly broke down the classification further into which foundry, and in which series, each coin came from. Mattingly and Sydenham were joined by C. H. V. Sutherland in producing volumes IVb (1938) and IVc (1949), and by Percy H. Webb for volumes Va (1927) and Vb (1933). After 1930, the editorship of each of the final volumes was given to a specialist of the period.[2] After Mattingly's death in 1964, Sutherland and R. A. G. Carson jointly took over editorship of the work.[3]

In 1984, Sutherland published an expanded edition of the first volume of 1923, which was not as detailed as those that followed.[4]


The RIC comprises 13 volumes:

Each emperor is given a detailed history of the coinage of his reign, with a classification of the type of money, and within each type a registration, from its inscription.

For each coin listed, there is a description of both the obverse and reverse sides of the coin ("heads and tails"), and a notation depending on the rarity of known examples:

In the endpapers of each volume is a table of the coins that have reproductions.



  1. Cohen, Henry (1859–1868, 2nd ed. 18801890). Description historique des Monnaies frappées sous l'Empire romain, communément appelées Médailles impériales [Historical description of coins struck under the Roman Empire, commonly called Imperial Medals]. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. Zehnacker 1986, p. 202
  3. Zehnacker 1986, p. 203
  4. Zehnacker 1986, p. 204

See also

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/25/2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.