"One of Each Emperor" Roman Collectors - Where do yours end?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Finn235, May 16, 2019.


Who is the last "Roman" emperor before the Byzantines?

  1. Theodosius I

    1 vote(s)
  2. Arcadius / Honorius

    0 vote(s)
  3. Theodosius II

    6 vote(s)
  4. Zeno

    3 vote(s)
  5. Anastasius

    2 vote(s)
  6. Justinian

    2 vote(s)
  7. Other

    10 vote(s)
  1. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    I thought it would be interesting to gather opinions on this:

    For those of us who are working on a "One of Each Emperor" set of the Roman Empire, where is your finish line, so that you do not collect from Augustus to Constantine IX? I'd be curious to know any rationale you may have!

    Top contenders for the title:

    - Theodosius I; last emperor of a united empire
    - Arcadius / Honorius; last emperors to maintain some semblance of real unity - subsequent Eastern emperors did an awful lot of meddling, ultimately even choosing the Western emperor more than once.
    - Theodosius II - Last member of the Theodosian dynasty (and the last one who is easy and cheap to find!)
    - Zeno - Last to rule the East before the West was dissolved into the Gothic kingdoms
    - Anastasius - Last to issue "Roman" coins before his Byzantine reform
    - Justinian - Last emperor who spoke Latin fluently as a first language; even though they were de facto independent, many Gothic kings recognized him as their Emperor.

    Or maybe you have a differing opinion? I'd love to hear it and strike up some discussion!

    Anyway, here is the capstone for my Roman collection for the time being; I eventually hope to expand up to Heraclius and see if that sparks the desire to keep going. I was initially going to stop at Anastasius, but who could pass up a nice big coin of this fellow:

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  3. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Who is the last "Roman" emperor before the Byzantines?

    Constantine XI.

    (I think the question is ill-posed without the edit. ;):D)

    Here's my John VIII. I fear I'll probably never get that last dude.

    Screen Shot 2019-05-16 at 12.06.29 AM.jpg
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  4. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    I don't really qualify as "one of each emperor" collector but for me the last emperor is Constantine I even though I have a few coins of Constantius II
    1. Solidus Constantius II Antioch RIC 168 355-361 A.D.
    2. Light Miliarense Constantius II Thessalonika RIC 160 350-355 A.D.
    conbis10.jpeg conbis11.JPG
  5. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Well-Known Member

    As I concentrate on Sestertii, my continuous one-per-emperor-collection ends with Postumus:

    Bildschirmfoto 2019-05-16 um 09.46.06.png
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  6. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    Zeno - Augustus to Zeno, it seems the right place to stop :)
  7. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    I know some historians consider Diocletian the first Byzantine emperor, but for my collection, I go with the standard convention - Augustus to Zeno, just like akeady.

    Partly, it depends on what you are looking at. If you're looking at coins, A to Z makes sense because of Anastasius' monetary reform.
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  8. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    My goal was as many as I could afford, from Augustus to Zeno, which abbreviates nicely as an "A to Z" collection.

    That set was my first serious foray into ancients, and I had more than a hundred different rulers. My enthusiasm had me going at it hot and heavy (and maybe too fast).

    But I think it was pretty impressive, considering my budgetary constraints and the fact that I built that in barely over a year's time. Unfortunately, I was forced to sell it too soon when I got laid off in the 2008 recession.

    It taught me an awful lot about the history and types of Roman coins, though, and I remember it fondly.
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  9. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    For well over a hundred years numismatists have regarded the coin-reform of Anastasius as the beginning of Byzantine coinage. The solidus denomination didn't change significantly after Constantine for hundreds of years. Silver was hardly issued in the fifth century and later until well into the Byzantine period. So the one significant dividing line is the reform (actually two successive reforms, 498 and 512) of Anastasius, 491-518.

    Coin catalogs from the BMC (1908) to DO (1966) to Sear (1987) use Anastasius. Almost all coin auction firms do the same. This debate and poll may be interesting, but the question has long been decided for numismatists.

    Here are the three copper coins involved in the two coin reforms of Anastasius, to scale. The first is the 1-nummis piece in circulation in the fifth century. Late in the century there was no larger copper denomination, there was almost no silver being minted, and the solidus was of nearly-pure gold and worth about 6000 of the tiny copper pieces. There was no denomination convenient for mid-range use. Anastasius reformed the copper to include a 40-nummia piece (M = 40 in Greek numerals) [the second coin].


    These three are 8-9 mm, 25 mm, and 35 mm. Sear 13, 16, and 19. The first reform (in 498) created a "40" piece (a "follis") that was only about 8-10 times as heavy as the "1" piece. This provoked dissatisfaction and a second reform (in 512) which created a much larger (but still not 40 times as heavy) piece that sufficed. (To distinguish the two sizes, the first is called "small module" and the larger is called "large module.") Also, 20-nummia, 10-nummia, and 5-nummia pieces were issued. Over the following decades the sizes of the denominations decreased gradually until the famous coin reform of Justinian in 538/9 again increased the sizes and introduced the facing-bust (instead of profile-bust) types.

    In many ways the change from "Roman" to "Byzantine" was on a continuum. The fact that the dividing line is worth debating proves there is no obvious dividing line suitable for all purposes. However, for our purposes as numismatists, the emperor who introduced the 40-nummia follis, a most common denomination of Byzantine coins for 500 years, is the first Byzantine emperor.
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  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    I stop around Theodosius II and I am a "coin of each emperor" collector (also including wives, daughters, sons, grandmothers, and usurpers) so I realize I'll probably never get all of them (Regalianus?) but to me TII seems a good place to stop. The tiny AE4's with monograms struck after 450 are not appealing to me. But I see the argument for Anastasius as the terminal end of Roman coins with his reforms.
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  11. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Not sure when it "ends"

    As of April 2018, I have 151 of the Roman Rulers (wives, Caesars, etc. like @ancient coin hunter kinda defines.) They are placeholders, and not really my collecting "focus". Just seemed to have "happened." Not going to kid anyone that they are gorgeous coins, rather they are touchstones to the Roman Ruler timeline.

    Got a lot of the below from @Valentinian (one of my teachers for this late period), and @John Anthony


    RI Theodosius I 379-395 CE AE 18mm Concordia.jpg
    RI Theodosius I 379-395 CE AE 18mm Concordia


    RI Arcadius AR Siliqua 383-408 CE Roma Seated l holding globe with Victory; VIRTVS ROMANORVM RIC 106b


    RI Honorius 393-343 AE3 15mm Arcadius and Honorius Stdg.jpg
    RI Honorius 393-343 AE3 15mm Arcadius and Honorius Stdg


    RI Theodosius II 402-450 CE AE4 11mm Cross in Wreath.jpg
    RI Theodosius II 402-450 CE AE4 11mm Cross in Wreath


    RI Zeno 476-491 CE 2nd reign AE 10mm Monogram.JPG
    RI Zeno 476-491 CE 2nd reign AE 10mm Monogram


    BZ Anastasius I 491-518 AE Post Reform Folles M monogram.jpg
    BZ Anastasius I 491-518 AE Post Reform Folles M monogram


    BZ Justinian I 527-565 CE AE Folles 30mm 17g 40 Nummi M monogram.jpg
    BZ Justinian I 527-565 CE AE Folles 30mm 17g 40 Nummi M monogram

    CONSTANTINE XI (as @Severus Alexander posits)

    Nope! But how 'bout the guy who knocked it all out? Yeah, he got smart, got himself some CANNONS!

    Ottoman Turks Sultan Mahmed II 1451-1481 took Constantinople in 1453 Serez mint AR 1.2g.jpg
    Ottoman Turks Sultan Mahmed II 1451-1481 took Constantinople in 1453 Serez mint AR 1.2g
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  12. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ....i'm in the same school as @Alegandron ...it ends with Mehmed ll for sure.. silver coin of Mehmed ll 001.JPG silver coin of Mehmed ll 002.JPG
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  13. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    I find "a coin per ruler" rather boring and limiting. I collect any Roman coin that strikes my fancy without regards for the emperor. My "one of every ruler" ends in the era of the good emperors, as I have gaps from then on until the end of the empire. Some I'll naturally fill over time, and some never....and I don't care because I'm having fun either way.
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  14. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    I still tend to collect "one of each" but like @Sallent I am all over the place. I collect whatever grabs my attention at the moment & I have the funds for it.

    I was a type collector with U.S. coins before ancients, it was fun when I got back into collecting but got bored quick. Still, enjoy many U.S. coins but I look at other collections shared now.

    Ancients & even Medieval coins are too fun to collect with a "one each" mentality.
  15. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I agree that sticking to "one of each" is too hard and cuts into the fun, but I can get behind "at least one of each." :)

    @Valentinian is of course right about the numismatic stopping point. Which means the last coin on the list should be an Anastasius nummus:
    Screen Shot 2019-05-15 at 7.52.18 PM.jpg

    I'm glad to see there are even more radical proposals than mine, with @Alegandron and @ominus1 going into the Ottomans. I guess that takes us to Mehmet VI then (abdicated 1922)? :D

    (photo from wikimedia commons)
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  16. Suarez

    Suarez Well-Known Member

    There is no uncontroversial way to say where the cutoff is either from a historical or numismatic point of view. That it's typically recognized as having taken place on the "founding" of Constantinople or the death of Theodosius I (historically) and Anastasius I (numismatics) is really nothing more than arbitrary conventions because, the truth is, the transition was very gradual.

    Personally, I find the argument of the introduction of the follis under Anastasius to be pretty weak. If someone were to look for a neat confluence point between both historians and numismatists we could point at the introduction of the solidus, which came just prior to kickoff day at Constantinople, as a convenient time. For those who prefer upon the death of Theodosius the adoption of the facing 3/4 bust on eastern emperors as the predominant type going forward, as opposed to the western guys who kept the profile bust, would be another good choice. Unfortunately, in none of these cases do you get a clean cut off starting with a brand new reign.

    Conventions are communal agreements. Habits, really. They're bound to change over time ;- )
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  17. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Kinda what happened to me. Buncha holes, as time went on, some of those holes were filled. Then, read about some of those people, and got some more holes filled. A few harder-to-gits were fun to chase @John Anthony helped me find. @Mat got me into chasing some of the women, er, Empresses, so lotsa spots began to get filled. But, like I had stated: it is not a focus of mine as I enjoy the Republic and their adversaries or allies. Save for the Imperial Roman Rulers, most of my collection were struck BCE.

    Capua - Defected to Hannibal in 216 BCE after the Battle of Cannae. Hannibal had promised that should Rome be destroyed, Capua would become the capital of Italia. Subsequently, when Rome retook Capua in 211 BCE, they punished the Capuans severely, and destroyed much of their coinage to erase any memory of Hannibal. Coins from Capua from this period are difficult to capture:

    Campania, CAPUA
    2nd Punic War - Hannibal promises Capua as Capital of Italia after Rome destroyed
    Attribution: SNG ANS 210
    Date: 216-211 BC
    Obverse: Bust of Diana right, with bow and quiver over shoulder
    Reverse: Boar right, one pellet above, KAPV (retrograde) in exergue
    Size: 20.72 mm
    Weight: 6.56 grams
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  18. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    I enjoyed the structure of "one per", as I did it 12 years ago in the "Augustus to Zeno" emperor set. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I've often thought about doing it again.

    I learned a lot more about the timeline by sticking to that structure, and I'm glad I did that with my first Roman collection.

    Nowadays, however, I am just as happy with my eclectic, freestyle approach. Even though I've spread out into everything- mostly World coins- and my ancients are but a small subset of that- I'm still in the game, and free to indulge in some Grecophilia as well as exploring some non-classical ancients eventually.
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  19. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    When I first set out to collect Roman coins, I decided to stop with Anastasius, because of the stylistic difference between pre- and post-reform coinage. However, because I have developed interests far beyond "one of each" (basically, the Antonines, Severans, and the barracks emperors of the mid third century), I haven't put much effort into acquiring coins of the late fifth century. My collection "actually" ends with Leo I! :jawdrop:
  20. AussieCollector

    AussieCollector Moderator Moderator


    Fixed :D
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  21. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    I have this Unciae from Capua. I find this coin particularly interesting as it has the same design as the Roman Victoriatus. This coin is dated 216-211 B.C. which means that somebody is copying the designs of their enemy. capua3.jpeg
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