Roman Coinage Featuring Britain

A Gazzeteer of Commemorative Roman Coins

These coins were all minted in Rome - except where otherwise stated - and were issued to commemorate victories or events that happened in Britannia.

Claudius * Hadrian * Antoninus Pius * Commodus * Septimius Severus * Caracalla * Geta

The following abbreviations have been used on this page: AV Aureum Gold; AR Argentum Silver; AE Aes Copper.



Claudius, 41-54AD

Spink 633, RIC 33
(obv, rev)
AV aureus, celebrating the early stages of the Roman conquest of Britain which commenced in A.D. 43.
Obverse: bust of Claudius facing right; TI CLAVD CAESAR AVG P M TR P VI IMP XI, "Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus, high priest, six times holder of tribunician power, hailed Imperator eleven times". Claudius recieved tribunicia potestas for the sixth time on 25th January 46AD.
Reverse: triumphal arch surmounted by Roman general on horseback and architrave bearing the inscription; DE BRITANN, "For Britain".
 
Spink 634, RIC 34 AR denarius, similar to #633.
 
Spink 634a, RIC122 AR didrachm of Caesarea in Cappadocia.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Emperor in triumphal quadriga facing right; DE BRITANNIS, "For Britain".


Hadrian, 117-138AD

Spink 635, RIC 577a
(obv, rev)
AE as, commemorating the restoration of order in the province following a serious uprising (or invasion) in the north, probably early in the governorship of Q. Pompeius Falco (118-122AD).
Obverse: bust of Hadrian facing right; IMP CAESAR TRAIANVS HADRIANVS AVG, "Imperator Caesar Trajanus Hadrianus Augustus".
Reverse: Britanna seated facing on rock; BRITANNIA PONT MAX TR POT COS III S C, "Britain. High Priest, holding tribunician power, consul three times, by order of the senate". Hadrian was consul for the third - and last - time in January 119AD; these coins must have been minted between this time and the emperor's visit to Britain in 122AD.
 
Spink 636, RIC 882 AE sestertius, commemorating Hadrian's visit to the province in 122AD, when he planned and initiated the construction of the northern frontier system which bears his name.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: figures of Emperor and Britannia standing to either side of an altar; ADVENTI AVG BRITANNIAE S C, "The coming of the emperor to Britain; by order of the senate". Hadrian visited Britain in the summer of 122AD.
 
Spink 637, RIC 845
(obv, rev)
AE sestertius.
Obverse: bust of Hadrian facing right; HADRIANVS AVG COS III, "Hadrian Augustus, consul three times".
Reverse: Britannia seated facing, foot resting on rock; BRITANNIA S C, "Britain; by order of the senate". Dated 122AD (see #636).
 
Spink 637a, RIC 846 AE dupondius, or as. Similar to #637.
 
Spink 638, RIC 912 AE sestertius, commemorating Hadrian's attention to the legionary garrison strength of the province, principally his transfer of Legio VI Victrix from Germany in 122AD.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: emperor on horseback facing right, addressing gathering of troops; EXERC BRITANNICVS S C, "For the army of Britain; by order of the senate". Dated 122AD (see above).
 
Spink 638a, RIC 913 AE sestertius.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: emperor Hadrian standing on tribunal facing right, addressing a gathering of troops; EXERC BRITANNICVS S C, "For the army in Britain; by order of the senate". Dated 122AD (see #638).


Antoninus Pius, 138-161AD

Spink 639, RIC 113 AV aureus, commemorating the conquests in Scotland by the governor Q. Lollius Urbicus (138/9-142/3AD) at which time construction of the Antonine Wall was begun.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory standing on a globe facing left; BRITAN IMPERATOR II, "In Britain, hailed Imperator twice". Antoninus was acclaimed Imperator for the second time by the senate in 143AD, following the victories in Britain.
 
Spink 640, RIC 742
(obv, rev)
AE sestertius.
Obverse: bust of Antoninus facing right; ANTONINVS AVG PIVS PP TR P COS III, "Antoninus Augustus Pius, father of his country, holder of tribunician power, consul three times". Antoninus was consul for the third time in 140AD, and for the fourth time in 145; these coins must have been issued between these two dates. In addition, the emperor used a shortened version of his name: Antoninus Augustus Pius Pater Patriae, from 141AD.
Reverse: Britannia seated on rock facing left holding a Roman standard; BRITANNIA S C, "Britain; by order of the senate".
 
Spink 641, RIC 743 AE sestertius.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Britannia helmeted and seated on rock facing left, foot on rock; BRITAN IMPERATOR II S C, "In Britain, hailed Imperator twice, by order of the senate". Dated 143AD (see #639).
 
Spink 642, RIC 744 AE sestertius.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Britannia seated on globe facing right, above waves holding a standard; BRITAN IMPERATOR II S C, "In Britain, hailed Imperator twice, by order of the senate".
 
Spink 643, RIC 719 AE sestertius.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory standing on globe facing left; BRITAN IMPERATOR II S C, "In Britain, hailed Imperator twice, by order of the senate". Dated 143AD (see #639).
 
Spink 643a, RIC 745 AE sestertius.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Britannia seated on rock facing left holding standard; BRITANNIA IMPERATOR II S C, "Britain, hailed Imperator two times, by order of the senate". Dated 143AD (see #639).
 
Spink 644, RIC 732 AE as.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory hovering facing left holding shield inscribed: BRI / TAN IMPERATOR II S C, "In Britain, hailed Imperator twice, by order of the senate". Dated 143AD (see #639).
 
Spink 645, RIC 930 AE dupondius, commemorating the quelling of a serious uprising in the north c.154/5AD, which necessitated the evacuation of the recently constructed Antonine Wall in Scotland.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Britannia seated on rock facing left, shield and vexillum in background; BRITANNIA COS IIII S C, "Britain. Consul four times. By order of the senate". Antoninus was consul for the fourth - and last - time in January 145AD.
 
Spink 646, RIC 934 AE as, similar to #645. Many of this type are carelessly struck on inadequate flans. Moreover, they have been found in significant quantities on Romano-British sites, notably in Copventina's Well at Carrawburgh fort on Hadrian's Wall, raising the interesting possibility that they may have been issued from a temporary mint in Britain. The style of the engraving is quite regular, indicating that even if locally produced these coins would have been struck from normal Roman dies brought to Britain especially for this purpose (Quoted verbatim from Spink Catalogue).


Commodus, 180-192AD

Spink 647, RIC 437 AE sestertius. Commemorating the victories in Scotland of the governor Ulpius Marcellus in 184/5. These were in retribution for a major barbarian invasion several years earlier resulting in serious damage to Hadrian's Wall, which had ben temporarily overrun, and the defeat and death of an unknown governor (Quoted verbatim from Spink Catalogue).
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Britannia standing facing left holding a curved sword and a helmet; BRITT P M TR P VIIII IMP VII COS IIII P P S C, "For Britain, high priest, holding tribunician power nine times, hailed Imperator seven times, consul three times, father of his country, by order of the senate". Commodus held tribunicia potestas for the ninth time in December 184AD and was hailed imperator for the seventh time in that same year, for victories obtained through his legate in Britain.
 
Spink 648, RIC 440/452
(obv, rev)
AE Sestertius.
Obverse: bust of Commodus facing right; M. COMMODVS ANT ON AVG PIVS BRIT, "Marcus Commodus Antoninus Augustus Pius, for Britain".
Reverse: Victory seated facing right, about to inscribe shield; P M TR P VIIII IMP VII COS IIII P P S C, "high priest, holding tribunicianm power for the ninth time, hailed Imperator seven times, consul four times, father of his country, by order of the senate"; under Britannia the words; VICT BRIT, "For victory in Britain". Dated 184AD (see #647).


Septimius Severus, 193-211AD

Spink 649, RIC 334
(obv, rev)
AV Aureus, commemorating the success of the punitive campaigns in Scotland during 209 and 210 culminating in the illness and death of Severus at York in February 211AD.
Obverse: bust of Severus facing right; SEVERVS PIVS AVG BRIT, "Severus Pius Augustus Britannicus". Severus assumed the title Britannicus [Maximus] in 209AD or 210.
Reverse: Victory advancing left; VICTORIAE BRIT, "For victory in Britain".
 
Spink 650, RIC 302 AV Aureus.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory advancing right, leading a child by the hand; VICTORIAE BRIT, "For victory in Britain". Dated 209/210AD.
 
Spink 651, RIC 332 AR Denarius.
Obverse: N/A.
Reverse: Victory advancing right; VICTORIAE BRIT, "For victory in Britain".
 
Spink 651A, RIC 336 AR Denarius.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory standing facing beside palm tree with shield attached; VICTORIAE BRIT, "For victory in Britain".
 
Spink 651B, RIC 333 AR Denarius.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory standing facing left; VICTORIAE BRIT, "For victory in Britain".
 
Spink 651C, RIC 335 AR Denarius.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory seated facing left holding shield; VICTORIAE BRIT, "For victory in Britain".
 
Spink 652, RIC 818
(obv, rev)
AE Sestertius.
Obverse: Bust of Severus facing right; SEPT SEVE RVS PIVS AVG, "Septimius Severus Pius Augustus".
Reverse: Two Victories placing shield on palm tree with captives at base; VICTORIAE BRITTANNICAE S C, "For victory in Britain, by order of the senate".
 
Spink 653, RIC 796 AE Sestertius.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Similar to Spink 652; P M TR P XVII COS III P P S C, "High priest, holding tribunician power for the seventeenth time, consul three times, father of his country, by order of the senate". Severus held tribunicia potestas for the seventeenth time on 10th December 208AD.
 
Spink 654, RIC 809 AE Dupondius.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory standing facing right holding vexillum between two captives; VICT BRIT P M TR P XIX COS III P P S C, "For victory in Britain, high priest, holding tribunician power for the ninteenth time, consul three times, father of his country, by order of the senate". Severus held tribunicia potestas for the ninteenth time on 10th December 210AD; he died at York the following February.
 
Spink 655, RIC 837a AE As.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Similar to Spink 654; VICTORIAE BRITTANNICAE S C, "For victory in Britain, by order of the senate".
 
Spink 656, Milne 2726 Billion Tetradrachm, coined at Alexandria in Egypt. Extremely rare!
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Nike flying to left; ΝΕΙΚΗ ΚΑΤΑ ΒΡΕΤ, "Victory in Britain".


Caracalla

Spink 657, RIC 174 AV Aureus, of Caracalla, commemorating the victories achieved by the Romans in Scotland during the campaigns led jointly by Severus and Caracalla in 209, and by Caracalla alone the following year during his father's illness (Quoted verbatim from Spink Catalogue).
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory seated facing left holding shield; VICTORIAE BRIT, "For victory in Britain".
 
Spink 658, RIC 231
(obv, rev)
AR Denarius of Caracalla.
Obverse: Bust of Caracalla facing right; M ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, "Marcus Antonius Pius Augustus Britannicus.".
Reverse: Victory advancing left; VICTORIAE BRIT, "For victory in Britain".
 
Spink 658A, RIC 231a AR Denarius.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory advancing right holding trophy; VICTORIAE BRIT, "For victory in Britain".
 
Spink 659, RIC 464 AE Sestertius of Caracalla.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory standing facing right erecting trophy, to right of which Britannia stands facing left with a captive at her feet; VICTORIAE BRITTANNICAE S C, "For victory in Britain, by order of the senate".
 
Spink 659A, RIC 483c
(obv, rev)
AE Sestertius of Caracalla; similar to #659.
Obverse: Bust of Caracalla facing right; M. AVREL ANTONI NVS PIVS AVG, "Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius Augustus".
Reverse: as #659; VICT BRIT TR P XIII COS III S C, "Victory in Britain, holding tribunician power thirteen times, consul three times, by order of the senate". Caracalla was consul for the third time in January 208 and held tribunicia potestas for the thirteenth time from December 209.
 
Spink 660, RIC 467 AE Dupondius of Caracalla.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory standing facing right inscribing shield set on palm-tree; VICTORIAE BRITTANNICAE SC, "For victory in Britain, by order of the senate".
 
Spink 661, RIC 490 AE As of Caracalla.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Similar to #660; VICT BRIT TR P XIIII COS III S C, "For victory in Britain, holding tribunician power for the fourteenth time, consul three times, by order of the senate". Caracalla held tribunicia potestas for the fourteenth time from December 210.


Geta, 209-211AD

Spink 662, RIC 92 AR Denarius of Geta. Commemorating the victories of his father Severus and brother Caracalla in Scotland, while he and his mother, Julia Domna, were resident in London.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory standing facing left; VICTORIAE BRIT, "For victory in Britain".
 
Spink 662A, RIC 91 AR Denarius of Geta.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory advancing right; VICTORIAE BRIT, "For victory in Britain".
 
Spink 663, RIC 166
(obv, rev)
AE Sestertius of Geta.
Obverse: Bust of Geta facing right; IMP CAES P. SEPT GETA PIVS AVG, "Imperator Caesar Publius Septimius Geta Pius Augustus". Geta was proclaimed Augustus in February 211AD and was killed by his brother Caracalla in December that same year.
Reverse: Victory seated facing right inscribing shield set on knee; VICTORIAE BRITTANNICAE S C, "For victory in Britain, by order of the senate".
 
Spink 663A, RIC 172b AE Sestertius of Geta.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Similar #663; VICT BRIT TR P III COS II S C, "For victory in Britain, holding tribunician power for the third time, consul twice, by order of the senate". Geta was consul for the second time in January 208AD and received tribunicia potestas for the third time in December 210.
 
Spink 664, RIC 191a AE As of Geta.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Victory seated facing left balancing shield on knee; VICTORIAE BRITTANNICAE S C, "For victory in Britain, by order of the senate".
 
Spink 665,
BMC (Alexandria) 1481
Billion tetradrachm of Geta, from Alexandria in Egypt.
Obverse: N/A
Reverse: Nike advancing left; ΝΕΙΚΗ ΚΑΤΑ ΒΡΕΤΑΝ, "For victory in Britain".


Related RBO Pages

The Principal Roman Coinage
RBO Roman Appendix

The majority of information on this page has been extracted from Coins of England and the United Kingdom - Spink Standard Catalogue of British Coins 37th Edition, SPINK 2002, pp72-76.

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