Glossary

 

Die: a stamp or punch engraved with the design of the coin, which is impressed on the surface of a blank disc (flan) in the minting of coins.

Die-axis: this is the relationship between the lower anvil die and the upper punch die. A straight alignment between the two would have a die-axis of 12 o’clock. In this period there is a slight preference towards 6 o’clock, but all orientations are found.

Exergue: the area below a horizontal line at the bottom of the coin design (usually on the reverse of the coin).

Flan: the blank metal disc on which a coin is struck.

Forgery: the term is used in this catalogue (under object type) to denote both ancient and more recent coins made with the intention of being mistaken for genuine coins of that type; the catalogue specifies whether the forgery is thought to be ancient or modern. These are most commonly plated or cast copies.

Monogram: a design in which the letters of the name of a king or emperor create an identifying mark.

Mint mark: the inscription on a coin that indicates the mint where it was produced.

Nummus: term used to indicate a coin with low value, mainly emissions from the 5th to 6th century.

Obverse: the side of the coin commonly depicting a head; the other side is known as the reverse.

Rex: Latin word for king.

Semissis (also semis): in this period this term indicates a gold coin half the value of a solidus (in previous centuries it had referred to base metal denominations).

Senate: a council consisting principally of former magistrates (administrative and executive officials) making up the governing body of the since the Roman Republic.

Siliqua: the main unit of silver coin, with half and quarter siliquae also produced.

Solidus: the main unit of gold coin.

Struck: impressed with a design by hitting the surface of the metal with an engraved die.

Tremissis: gold coin worth one third of a solidus.