Roman Coins and Their Values Vol. V
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values Vol. V. The Christian Empire: The Later Constantinian Dynasty and the Houses of Valentinian and Theodosius and their Successors, Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337-491. London, 2014. 575 pages, b/w illustrations throughout, valuations. Casebound, jacket.
The current revision of this popular work marks a radical departure from the envisioned aims of the original edition. This fifth and final volume of the 'Millennium edition' contains a comprehensive listing of the Roman coinage of the period AD 337-491 together with background information on the history of each reign and the principal characteristics of its coinage.
The catalogue is organized primarily by ruler with the issues then subdivided by denomination and by reverse legend and type. This arrangement combines the alphabetical ease of reference of Cohen's work with the scholarship of RIC and other modern studies, which are normally based on classification by mint.
As the eastern and western halves of the Empire gradually drifted apart politically and militarily in the fifth century, the imperial coinage becomes increasingly complex. There is a tendency for the standard works of reference to be very selective in their coverage of the series as a whole and in this volume an attempt has been made to present the material as clearly and concisely as possible, in order to facilitate ease of use by the collector.
The century and a half covered by this volume, from the death of Constantine the Great to the death of the eastern emperor Zeno, witnessed the initial stages of the Christian Roman Empire in the eastern Mediterranean area and the final death throes of paganism. It also saw the total collapse of Roman authority in the Empire's western provinces and its replacement by a patchwork of barbarian kingdoms. The imperial coinage similarly underwent many fundamental changes during this period and these are chronicled in detail in the text.
For the succeeding coinage of the Eastern Empire, commencing with Anastasius I (AD 491-518), the reader is referred to the companion publication Byzantine Coins and Their Values (second revised edition,1987).