EGYPT, Claudius II, 268-70 AD, tetradrachm


EGYPT, Claudius II, 268-70 AD, tetradrachm, year 2 (269 AD), Alexandria mint, Obverse: laureate bust R, AUT KLAUDIOS SEB, Reverse: eagle standing L, head turned R, wreath in beak, LB, billon, 20mm, 9.22g, E3879, VF

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“Ancient Coins” includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.

The Romans, as they were building their empire, preferred to let the local coinage arrangements remain in place. As they developed their political system into the Cult of Personality that was the Empire, they started putting imperial portraits on the local coins. Later, as the Empire began to shrink, they preferred to centralize their coinage operations, eliminating local control. There were also allied and client states, some of which, at times, issued coins celebrating the alliance or subservience.

During the earlier centuries of the Roman Empire Egypt was considered the personal property of the Emperor, who could do what he wanted with it.