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APPENDIX 1 - A Summary of Articles pertaining to the Mint at Ostia

Maurice J. 1908. "L'Atelier Monétaire d'Ostia Pendant la Période Constantinienne Sous les Règnes de Maxence et de Constantin. Numismatique Constantinienne, Book 1, 262 ff. Paris.

Maurice describes the mint being opened at the end of 309 AD by Maxentius, who moved it to Ostia from Carthage which was too near to the enemy frontiers. Coins were first produced (the first emission) between the end of 309 and the 28th October 312 AD, the date of the defeat of Maxentius by Constantine. Two periods have been identified during the 'first emission', a) up until the death of Licinius on the 5th May 311 AD and b) from this date until Constantine entered Rome. The 'second emission' runs from the entry of Constantine into Rome (29th October 312 AD) to the month of May or June 313 AD.

The early officinae designated were A to D, followed by P to Q. Bronze coins of the first part of this period measured 24 to 25 mm in diameter and weighed between 5.50 and 7.59g. Commemoratives for Romulus were minted from the start of the first period. During the second period, several coin types from the first period continued to be produced and smaller folles were also minted measuring 17 to 24 mm in diameter and weighing 2 to 4g. The only officinae recorded at this time were P to Q.

At this point, Maurice produces a long 'catalogue' of issues. An attempt to simplify this list has been made and can be seen below. After the list had been completed, Maurice describes some of the features of coins minted between the 29th October 312 and May/June 313 AD, the second emission.

Folles measuring 21 mm in diameter were minted weighing between 3.0 and 4.5g (exceptionally 5.5g), all with the mintmarks P to Q. On gold coins, POST was the usual mintmark although POSTS has been recorded. On silver coins, POSTA to POSTD (See app. 2), MOSTP to MOSTQ and MOSTA to MOSTD have all been found

Between 309 and 312 AD, the aureus was struck at 60 to the pound, continuing the system of Diocletian. The solidus was struck at 72 to the pound by Constantine between 312 and 313 AD. The argentius had been struck at 96 to the pound during the reign of Maxentius. What follows is a summary of the information found in the catalogue.

Table 11: Reverse inscriptions
1
AETERNAE MEMORIAE
14
MARTI VICTORI AVG N
2
AETERNA MEMORIA
15
VICTOR OMNIVM GENTIVM (See App. 2)
3
AETERNITAS AVG N
16
SOLI INVICTO COMITI
4
AETERNA FELICITAS AVG N (See App. 2)
17
AX ASTERN AV. N
5
SAECVLI FELICITAS AVG N
18
GENIO POP ROM
6
SAECVLI FELIC AVG N
19
GENIO AVGVSTI (See App. 2)
7
MARTI COMITI AVG N
20
HERCVLI VICTORI
8
VICTORIA AETERNA AVG N
21
MARTI CONSERVATORI
9
VICTOR OMNIVM GENTIVM AVG
22
SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI
10
ADLOCVTIO AVG
23
RESTITVTOR ROMAE
11
VOT OPTATA ROMAE FEL
24
PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS
12
MARTI PROPAGATOR AVG N
25
FIDES MILITVM AVG N
13
TEMPORVM FELICITAS AVG N
26
MARTI PROPAG IMP AVG N

Table 12: Obverse inscriptions
30
DIVO ROMVLO N V BIS COM
41
DIVO MAXIMIANO SOCERO MAXENTIVS AVG
31
IMP MAXENTIVS DIVO ROMVLO N V FILIO
42
IMP MAXENTIVS DIVO MAXIMIANO SOCERO
32
DIVI ROMVLO N V FILIO MAXENTIVS AVG
43
DIVO CONSTANTIO COGN MAXENTIVS AVG
33
DIVO MAXIMIAMO PATRI MAXENTIVS AVG
44
IMP MAXENTIVS DIVO CONSTANTIO COGN
34
DIVO MAXIMIANO SEN AVG
45
IMP MAXIMINVS P F AVG
35
IMP MAXENTIVS DIVO MAXIMIAMO PATRI
46
DIVO ROMVLO BIS C
36
IMP MAXENTIVS DIVO CONSTANTIO ADFINI
47
IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG
37
IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG
48
IMP LICINIVS P F AVG
38
IMP MAXENTIVS P F AVG
49
MAXIMINVS P F AVG
39
MAXENTIVS P F AVG
50
CONSTANTINVS P F AVG
40
MAXENTIVS P F INV AVG
51
IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG

Table 13: Reverse images
60
Temple without columns, a round dome ,the right door partly open, surmounted by an eagle.
61
Hexastyle temple with a round dome, right door partly open, surmounted by an eagle.
62
The Dioscuri facing each other, leaning on a sceptre and holding horses by their reins. Naked apart from a coat (chlamys) over their shoulder. Above each head is a star.
63
As 62, but between the Dioscuri is the she-wolf feeding Romulus and Remus.
64
The she-wolf alone feeding the twins, the body facing right.
65
As 64 but the body of the she-wolf facing left.
66
Fidelity stood facing left, holding two military ensigns.
67
Mars helmeted, marching left, holding a branch in his right hand, a shield and spear in his left hand.
68
Mars helmeted, in military dress, marching right and holding a spear and a shield.
69
As 68 but Mars is holding a shield, a spear and a trophy.
70
Victory advancing left, holding a wreath and a palm leaf.
71
As 70, but Victory is advancing to the right.
72
Victory advancing to the right, holding a palm leaf and dragging a captive by the hair.
73
Victory standing 'full face', holding a wreath and palm leaf, between six captives who are kneeling on the ground with their hands tied behind their backs.
74
Maxentius in military dress facing right, a spear in his right hand, receiving a globe surmounted by a Victory that he is presenting to Mars who is holding a trophy. Between them is a prostrate figure at the feet of the Emperor.
75
Maxentius in military dress, standing on a platform haranguing some soldiers. A soldier leads a naked captive in front of the platform.
76
Victory on the right, writing on a shield which she is holding on a stone, her left foot also resting on the stone.
77
Mars in military dress, facing right, holding the hand of a draped standing lady. Between them is the she-wolf suckling the twins Romulus and Remus.
78
Mars, facing right, in military dress leaning on a shield, presenting a globe surmounted by a Victory to Maxentius. Maxentius is wearing military dress and a cloak, and is holding a sceptre.
79
Mars, facing right, leaning on a shield, presenting a globe surmounted by a Victory to Maxentius. Maxentius is wearing military dress and holding a sceptre.
80
Victory, partly clothed and facing right, resting a shield on a stone on which she is writing VOT V. To the left is a captive seated on the ground with his arms tied behind his back.
81
Victory facing right, presenting a globe to Maxentius who is in military dress. At his side, on the ground can be seen a helmet, cuirass and shield.
82
Sol, partly clothed and in full face, looking to the left and raising his right hand in which there is a globe.
83
Victory, facing right, writing VOT X on a shield that she is holding on a stone on which she she has also rested her left foot. Behind her is a seated captive.
84
Victory, partly clothed, facing right and holding a shield on a stone. VOT X is being written on the shield and behind her a captive is sat on the ground.
85
Maxentius, bare headed, wearing an imperial robe and looking left is stood infront of a helmeted soldier who is resting a shield on the ground and raising his hand to the emperor. Rome is presenting a wreath to to the emperor and Africa is also present wearing a hat surmounted by an elephant's trunk.
86
A genius, half clothed and facing left, is holding a dish and a cornucopiae.
87
As 86, but the Genius is pouring liquid into the dish.
88
Hercules, unclothed and head looking left is holding a Victory on a globe and has a lion skin over his right arm. He is carrying a club in his left hand.
89
Mars in military dress, his coat loose, walking to the left. He is holding a laurel branch and shield.
90
Radiant Sol, partly clothed and full face, is looking to the left. He is raising his right hand and holding a globe.
91
Rome seated to the left on a shield, holding a sceptre and offering a globe to the emperor.
92
Three military ensigns bearing a) a hand, b) an eagle on a lightning flash and c) a crown.
93
Licinius in military dress, facing right, holding a globe and a spear horizontally.
94
As 93, but Licinius is wearing a laurel wreath.
95
Constantine, bare headed and facing right, holding a spear horizontally and a globe.

Table 14: Portraits of the Emperors
A
Facing, head bare, draped
B
Facing, head bare, draped & cuirassed.
C
Right, laureate
D
Left, helmeted, cuirassed.
E
Left, helmeted, cuirassed, holding spear in right hand, shield in left.
F
Right, laureate, in imperial mantle. Right holding eagle-tipped sceptre, left Victory on globe
G
Left, laureate, in imperial mantle. Right holding eagle-tipped sceptre.
H
Left, laureate, cuirassed. Right holding spear over shoulder, left a shield.
I
Left, laureate, helmeted, cuirassed. Right holding spear over shoulder, left a shield.
J
Right, bare headed.
K
Right, veiled.
L
Right, laureate, draped & cuirassed.
M
Right, laureate,draped, seen from rear.
N
Right, laureate, cuirassed.
O
Right, laureate, draped, cuirassed, seen from rear.
P
Left, helmeted, cuirassed. On helmet, Victory in a bige.
Q
Left, wearing toga.
R
Left, laureate.
S
Left, laureate, draped and cuirassed.
T
Right, laureate and draped.    

In the table below, (R) refers to Romulus, (C) to Constantine, (M) to Maximinus, (L) to Licinius, (G) to Galerius and (CC) to Constantius Chlorus. Where there is no letter in brackets in the column headed "Obverse image", the image is that of Maxentius. Unless otherwise stated, the mintmark is MOST followed by the letter of the officina.

Table 15: Description of the coins listed by Maurice.
Maurice's Number
Reverse Inscription
Reverse Image
Obverse Inscription
Obverse Image
Mintmark
FIRST 'EMISSION'
I
1
60
30
J
PSTQ
II-1
2
61
31
J(R)
PSTQ
II-2
2
61
32
J(R)
PSTQ
II-3
2
61
33
K(M)
PSTQ
II-4
2
61
34
K(M)
S
II-5
2
61
35
K(M)
S
II-6
2
61
36
K
P
III-1
3
62
37
C
ABPSTQ
III-2
3
62
37
G
PST
III-3
3
62
37
E
ABCDPSTQ
IV-1
3
63
37
C
ABCDPSTQ
IV-2
3
63
37
H
A
IV-3
3
63
37
G
C
V-1
3
64
37
C
PTQ
V-2
3
64
37
H
S
VI-1
3
65
37
C
T
VI-2
3
65
37
G
A
VII
3
66
37
C
ST
VIII
25
66
37
C
CPSTQ
IX
4
64
37
C
PS
X
5
64
37
C
S
XI
6
64
37
C
TQ
XII
7
67
37
C
T
XIII
7
68
37
C
T
XIV
7
69
37
C
T
XV
8
70
37
C
PSTQ
XVI
8
71
37
C
T
XVII
8
72
37
C
T
XVIII
8
73
37
C
T
XIX
9
74
37
C
Q
XX
10
75
37
C
T
XXI
11
76
37
C
ABCDPSTQ
XXII
26
77
39
C
ABCDPTSQ
XXIII
12
78
39
C
D
XXIV
13
64
39
C
ABC
XXV
13
64
39
A
POST
XXVI
13
65
39
A
POST
XXVII
14
79
39
B
POST
XXVIII
8
80
39
E
POST
XXIX
8
84
39
A
POST
XXX
8
81
40
P
POST
XXXI
15
74
39
C
POST
XXXII
13
65
39
A
POST
XXXIII
13
64
39
A
POST
XXXIV
1
60
30
Q
POST
I-1
2
61
41
K(G)
PSQ
I-2
2
61
42
K(G)
P
I-3
2
61
43
K(CC)
T
I-4
2
61
44
K(CC)
?
I-5
2
61
36
K(CC)
PSTQ
II
16
81
45
D(M)
ST
III-1
1
60
46
J(R)
PSTQ
III-2
1
60
46
A(R)
Q
III-3
1
60
46
A(R)
STQ
IV-1
8
83
39
R
PQ
IV-2
8
83
39
E
PST
V-1
8
95
39
R
PSTQ
V-2
8
95
39
E
ST
VI
8
83
39
B
POST
VII
17
85
39
A
POST
SECOND 'EMISSION'
I-1
18
86
45
N(M)
T
I-2
18
86
45
S(M)
T
I-3
18
86
47
N(C)
PST
I-4
18
86
47
T(C)
PT
I-5
18
86
47
L(C)
PQ
I-6
18
86
48
N(L)
Q
I-7
18
86
48
L(L)
S
II
18
87
48
T(L)
Q
III
19
86
47
N(C)
P
IV
20
88
47
N(C)
P
V
21
89
47
T(C)
T
VI-1
16
82
47
N(C)
PSTQ
VI-2
16
82
47
T(C)
PS
VI-3
16
82
47
L(C)
PSTQ
VI-4
16
82
45
N(M)
STQ
VI-5
16
82
45
T(M)
T
VI-6
16
82
45
L(M)
T
VI-7
16
82
48
N(L)
PQ
VI-8
16
82
48
L(L)
PQ
VII-1
22
91
47
N(C)
T
VII-2
22
91
47
N(C)
T
VII-3
22
91
47
T(C)
PSTQ
VII-4
22
91
47
L(C)
PSTQ
VII-5
22
91
45
N(M)
ST
VII-6
22
91
45
T(M)
T
VII-7
22
91
45
L(M)
T
VII-8
22
91
48
N(L)
STQ
VII-9
22
91
48
L(L)
Q
VIII
23
90
49
N(M)
S
IX
22
91
50
C(C)
POSTS
X
24
92
49
C(M)
POSTS
XI
24
93
48
L(L)
POSTS
XII
24
94
51
L(C)
POSTS

Laffranchi L. 1922. "La Translation de la monnaie d'Ostia a Arles", RBN pp. 7-15

Laffranchi's article is mainly about the transference of the mint from Ostia to Arles and the coin types that were struck at the mint in Gaul. He describes the fact that the coins minted at Arles were very similar to those produced in the latter days of the Ostia mint prior to its closure in 313 AD. Similarly, the coins that had been minted at Ostia were very much like those minted at Carthage prior to Maxentius closing the mint and transferring mint workers from Rome to Ostia.

Maxentian coins minted at Ostia from the whole of the period 311-312 AD showed his awareness of the forthcoming battle with Constantine. (Three Mars and two Victory types look forward to Saeculi Felicitas when Constantine had been conquered. Virtus Aug N predicts the manner of the victory with Maxentius galloping over his defeated enemies, and Vot Optata Romae Fel proclaims the official vows to the forthcoming victory.)

Maxentius closed the mints at Ticinum and Aquileia, concentrating on Rome and Ostia, producing a series of complimentary commemoratives (in small numbers) alongside the more common AETERNITAS AVG N. The remainder of the article is concerned with the mint at Arles.

King C.E. 1959. "The Maxentian Mints", NC, pp. 47-78

In the section on the mint at Ostia, King states that Ostia did not have a mint at the start of the Third Tetrarchy, seeming to have opened either in late 308 or early 309 AD.

The first coins minted weighed approximately 6.5g and only Maxentius was represented on the obverse face. Reverse types consisted of AETERNITAS AVG N, FIDES MILITVM AVG N and VICTORIA AETERNA AVG N (in two variants).

King places MOSTA before MOSTP for two reasons :
1. In the MOSTP group of half folles, the reverse shows a Victory inscribing VOT X on a shield. It would seem unlikely that vota coins would be produced for the quinquennalia of Maxentius before 310-311 AD.
2. Of those remembered on the commemorative issues, Romulus was the first to die in late 309 AD and Galerius the last in 311 AD. The commemorative series must, therefore, have lasted until 311 AD and there is evidence that MOSTP also is found well into 311 AD. It is highly unlikely that MOSTA would appear again after MOSTP as in 312 AD, MOSTP was again in use.

MOSTA reverses were repeated in MOSTP which in addition included the inscriptions ADLOCVTIO AVG N, AETERNA FELICITAS AVG N, MARTI COMITI AVG N, SAECVLI FELICITAS AVG N, VICTOR OMNIVM GENTIVM AVG N and VIRTVS AVG N. All these reverses either anticipate victory in the forthcoming battle with Constantine or actual victory over Constantine.

( AETERNA FELICITAS AVG N is not recorded in the "Roman Imperial Coinage" ).

The mint appears to have issued coins in great variety but has only emphasized a few quantitatively. After the defeat of Maxentius, Constantine took over the mint and the weight of the folles was reduced to around 4.25g. Most issues had an image of Constantine on the obverse but Licinius and Maximianus also appeared. A whole new range of reverse images and inscriptions were introduced and coins are now classified as varying from common to rare, although the majority of types are said to range from scarce to rare. Minting of coins ceased with the death of Maximianus in mid 313 AD.

Table 16: Weight frequencies at the Ostia mint
Weight (g)
MOSTA
MOSTP
MOSTP fractions
MOSTP Constantine
7.50
 
1
   
7.25
1
2
   
7.00
1
6
   
6.75
2
5
   
6.50
3
15
   
6.25
1
8
   
6.00
2
10
 
1
5.75
1
9
   
5.50
1
7
   
5.25
2
4
 
1
5.00
 
2
 
2
4.75
     
2
4.50
     
8
4.25
     
14
4.00
     
8
3.75
     
6
3.50
   
2
7
3.25
   
5
 
3.00
   
9
 
2.75
   
2
 
2.50
   
2
 
2.25
   
3
 

Fendri M. 1964. "Inventaire preliminaire du tresor et presentation des differents types de monnaies". Les Cahiers de Tunisie 45-46 pp. 59-67.

This hoard from the Thermes des Mois at Thina in Tunisia covers the period from 297/298 AD up until the closing of the mint at Ostia in 313 AD. The number of coins described in the article is 320 of which 101 were minted at Ostia. 291 bore the image of Maxentius (91%). The remainder of the coins were minted at Rome (185), Aquileia (14), Ticinum (14) and at Carthage (9).

In the article, a list of 34 of the main types of coins found in the hoard is displayed together with photographs of each type described. Inscriptions and images are described together with the relevant mint and a date. Those referring to Ostia are as follows:

No 3 Obv. IMP MAXENTIVS DIVO MAXIMIANO PATRI
Rev. AETERNA MEMORIA
Eagle with wings spread on domed hexastyle temple.
310-311 AD (RIC 26)

No 9 Obv. IMP MAXENTIVS DIVO CONSTANTIO AD FINI
REV. AETERNA MEMORIA
Eagle with wings spread on domed hexastyle temple.
307? To 311 AD (RIC 29)

No 21 Obv. IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG
Rev. AETERNITAS AVG N
The Dioscuri with the she-wolf and twins in between.
308-311 AD (RIC 16)

No 22 Obv. IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG
Rev. AETERNITAS AVG N
The Dioscuri without the she-wolf and twins.
308-311 AD (RIC 35)

No 23 Obv. IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG
Rev. AETERNITAS AVG N
The Dioscuri without the she-wolf and twins.
308-311 AD (RIC 38)

No 24 Obv. IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG
Rev. FIDES MILITVM AVG N
Fides holding a standard in each hand.
308-311 AD (RIC 45)

No 25 Obv. IMP C MAXENTIVS P F AVG
Rev. VICTORIA AETERNA AVG N
Victory advancing left, holding a wreath and a palm.
308-311 AD (RIC 54)

No 30 Obv. DIVO ROMVLO N V BIS CONS
Rev. AETERNAE MEMORIAE
Eagle with wings spread on domed temple (no columns)
309-311 AD (RIC 34)

No 31 Obv. IMP MAXENTIVS DIVO ROMVLO N V FILIO
Rev. AETERNA MEMORIA
Eagle with wings spread on domed hexastyle temple.
309-311 AD (RIC 33)

Picozzi V. 1964. "Un ripostiglio di folles di Massenzio". Numismatica 5

Picozzi starts his article by describing how hoards of Roman coins frequently come up for sale in Trieste. He tells of one such hoard that he was allowed to examine and illustrate and describes how subsequently some of the coins have gone astray. The hoard examined by Picozzi consisted of 695 coins in total of which 43 had been minted at Ostia. 510 came from Aquileia, 85 had been minted at Rome, 57 at Ticinum, but the Carthage mint was not represented.

All the Ostian coins were minted under Maxentius and all bore the reverse inscription IMP C MAXENTIVS PF AVG. The image was the head of Maxentius wearing a laurel leaf, facing to the right. The shorter of the two ribbons at the back of the wreath hung vertically downwards behind the nape of the neck, whereas the longer ribbon hung obliquely over the right shoulder.

Three different reverse images were found :

a) with the inscription AETERNITAS AVG N. The unclothed Dioscuri stand facing each other, holding a spear in one hand and the bridle of a horse in the other. Between them are the she-wolf and the twins Romulus and Remus.
b) with the same inscription, the Dioscuri but not the she-wolf and twins.
c) with the inscription FIDES MILITVM AVG N. Fides is standing facing forward, her head facing left and is holding two military ensigns.

The spacing of the letters in the reverse inscriptions is described as varying and can be seen in Table 7 (see below)

Picozzi concludes by giving information about the mints represented in the hoard and the dating of the coins described. He states that the Ostia mint opened at some date after April 308 AD and that the personnel and equipment used had been transferred from Carthage which had closed at the end of the preceding year. The first coins minted at Ostia bore the mintmarks MOSTA to MOSTD although only MOSTA and MOSTB were represented in this particular hoard. The remaining 41 coins had the mintmarks MOSTP to MOSTQ in their exergues. As to dating, Picozzi says that it is possible to date MOSTA and MOSTB to somewhere between April 308 AD and the end of that same year. MOSTP to MOSTQ were minted between 309 and the middle of 310 AD.

Table 17: Coins minted at Ostia from the hoard examined by Picozzi.
Number
Reverse Inscription
Mintmark
Weight (g)
86
AETE/RNITAS/AVGN (1)
MOSTA
6.35
87
AETE/RNITAS/AVGN (1)
MOSTB
6.02
88-95
AETE/RNITAS/AVGN (2)
MOSTP
7.55, 6.91, 6.52, 6.50, 6.40, 6.37, 6.26, 5.27
96
AET/ERNITAS/AVGN (2)
MOSTP
6.76
97-100
AET/ERNITASA/VGN (2)
MOSTP
7.56, 7.17, 6.86, 5.40
101-108
AETE/RNITAS/AVGN (2)
MOSTS
7.70, 7.10, 6.73, 6.66, 6.41, 6.30, 5.95, 5.34
109-110
AETE/RNITAS/AVGN (2)
MOSTT
6.61, 6.60
111-115
AETE/RNITASA/VGN (2)
MOSTT
7.27, 7.09, 6.76, 6.60, 5.85
116
AET/ERNITAS/AVGN (2)
MOSTT
6.75
117
AET/ERNITASA/VGN (2)
MOSTT
6.30
118-124
AETE/RNITAS/AVGN (2)
MOSTQ
8.05, 7.29, 7.14, 6.99, 6.37, 6.09, 5.16
125
AETE/RNITASA/VGN (2)
MOSTQ
6.83
126
FIDESM/IL/IT/VMAVGN
MOSTS
6.88
127
FIDESMI/LI/T/VMAVGN
MOSTS
5.64
128
FIDESM/IL/IT/VMAVGN
MOSTQ
6.28

N.B. In column 2, the Reverse Inscriptions, (1) refers to coins showing the she-wolf and twins with the Dioscuri, whereas (2) refers to the Dioscuri without the presence of the she-wolf and twins.

Huvelin H. 1980. "Le Trésor de Saint-Colombier-en- Sarzeau." Tresors Monetaires 2, pp 59-102.

In the course of building a housing development at Saint-Colombier-en-Sarzeau in February 1976, some workers found a vase containing Roman coins about 90 cm below ground level. The first 'lot' of 1706 coins was sent to the Cabinet Des Medailles in March 1976 for examination. By December 1976, the number studied had risen to a total of 6,427 and 163 of these coins had been minted at Ostia. Only 20 had been minted during the reign of Maxentius, the remainder when Constantine had been in control.

All the coins studied are listed along with a brief description of:
a) the obverse inscription,
b) the obverse image
c) the reverse inscription
d) the weight
e) the RIC number.

The coins are grouped under the officinae which are numbered 1 to 4. The following table lists the RIC number of the coins found and shows the numbers of coins that had been produced by each officina. The second number number in each of the cells on the table have been extracted from the ANS database for comparison purposes.

Table 18: Coin production in the four officinae at Ostia
 
P
S
T
Q
Maxentius
RIC 25
0 + 1
0 + 1
0 + 0
1 + 1
29
0 + 0
0 + 0
0 + 0
1 + 0
31
1 + 0
0 + 0
0 + 0
0 + 0
34
1 + 1
0 + 0
0 + 1
0 + 0
35
5 + 7
3 + 7
1 + 6
2 + 9
54
0 + 2
2 + 1
2 + 5
1 + 3
Totals
7 + 11
5 + 9
3 + 12
5 + 13
Constantine
RIC 74
4 + 0
4 + 1
0 + 0
1 + 0
76
0 + 0
0 + 0
1 + 0
0 + 0
78
1 + 1
0 + 0
0 + 1
1 + 0
83
7 + 4
8 + 1
3 + 2
3 + 0
85
0 + 0
3 + 2
1 + 0
1 + 0
87
1 + 0
0 + 1
1 + 0
2 + 0
89
10 + 2
0 + 0
0 + 0
1 + 0
91
1 + 0
0 + 0
0 + 0
3 + 0
94
0 + 0
9 + 0
0 + 1
1 + 0
95b
0 + 0
1 + 0
0 + 0
5 + 4
96
4 + 0
1 + 0
1 + 1
2 + 0
Totals
28 +7
26 + 5
7 + 5
20 + 4
Maximianus
RIC 75a
0 + 0
0 + 0
6 + 1
0 + 0
77a
0 + 0
0 + 0
1 + 0
0 + 0
84a
0 + 0
0 + 0
10 + 2
0 + 0
86a
0 + 0
0 + 0
1 + 1
0 + 0
90a
0 + 0
0 + 0
3 + 0
0 + 0
92a
0 + 0
0 + 0
4 + 1
0 + 0
95a
0 + 0
0 + 0
8 + 1
0 + 0
97a
0 + 0
0 + 0
2 + 0
0 + 0
99
0 + 0
0 + 0
2 + 0
0 + 0
Totals
0 + 0
0 + 0
37 + 6
0 + 0
Licinius
RIC 75b
0 + 0
0 + 0
0 + 0
5 + 1
77b
2 + 0
0 + 0
0 + 0
0 + 0
84b
0 + 0
0 + 0
0 + 0
7 + 2
86b
0 + 0
0 + 0
0 + 0
1 + 3
90b
0 + 0
0 + 1
0 + 0
4 + 0
97b
0 + 0
0 + 0
0 + 0
1 + 0
Totals
2 + 0
0 + 1
0 + 0
18 + 6
         
Unknown RIC
1
1
0
3

The numbers on the above table for the Saint-Colombier hoard and the ANS database would seem to confirm the following:

1. Maxentius and Constantine produced coins in all four officinae, P to Q.
2. Officina T was the only workshop used for minting the coins of Maximianus.
3. Officina Q was largely reserved for Licinius.

Details provided about the coins include the fact that the 20 coins minted for Maxentius were produced at 48 to the pound. After the death of Maxentius the weight was reduced to 72 to the pound.

Albertson F.C. 1985. "Maxentian Hoards and the Mint at Ostia". ANSMN. 119 ff.

In 309 AD Maxentius opened a new mint at Ostia. The fact that this mint was so geographically close to the existing mint at Rome has raised questions as to what was the purpose of this new mint at Ostia.

R.A.G. Carson and J.P.C. Kent claim that the mint at Ostia was manned by the personnel from the mint at Carthage which closed in mid to late 307 AD. This is not borne out by the style of the coins produced in several points of detail, and in fact the Ostian struck coins are far more like those produced by the mint at Rome.

A.Jelocnik argues that the mint at Ostia was created to supply coins to fund the invasion of Africa where there was a great deal of unrest at the time involving Domitius Alexander. However the invasion force was probably only a small scale one and may have consisted of not much more than the Praetorian Guard.

J. Maurice links the formation of the mint at Ostia with the revolt in Africa but also adds that coinage was needed for the purchase of wheat from Egypt. From 309-311 AD, Egypt was however under the control of Galerius so the purchase of wheat from Egypt was considered to be extremely unlikely.

M. Fulford sees Ostia as part of a series of mints in the port cities and M. Hendy believes that the Rome mint supplied coins for the mainland whilst Ostia's coinage was disseminated to Sicily, Sardinia and Africa after its recapture.

These suggestions are not backed up by the analysis of the Maxentian hoards. Albertson concludes that the establishment of the Ostia mint was part of the overall plan of Maxentius to centralise coin production near Rome and at the same time to carry on the production of gold and silver coinage in a more stable environment than that of the turbulent capital. The date of formation of the mint at Ostia is taken to be somewhere between the date of the closing of the mint at Carthage in 307 AD and the closing of the mints at Ticinum and Aquileia in 310 AD. Albertson concludes that early to mid 309 AD is the most likely date for the opening of the Maxentian mint at Ostia.

The first coins to be produced were in gold and silver and all the gold coins bore the mintmark POST. The early silver coins were produced in four officinae and the silver argentii initially bore the mintmarks POSTA, POSTB, POSTC or POSTD. At some later date, the mintmarks were changed to MOSTA, MOSTB, MOSTC or MOSTD. The first strikings of bronze folles also bear the mintmarks MOSTA-D, but these are soon replaced by the Latin letters P-Q. Commemorative coins to Divus Romulus who died in 309 AD appear to carry the Latin letters, but not the Greek. Dating the various issues is difficult, although various clues do help. For example, MOSTP-Q commemoratives of Divus Romulus would probably have been in circulation by late 309 or early 310 AD. Similarly, MOSTA-D issues were likely to be short-lived as they are scarce in Italian and Centur hoards known to be closed in 310 AD.

Albertson goes on to describe a number of hoards of Maxentian coins. A summary of the findings shows that Ostian coins never dominate the circulation in a particular region. In addition, the numbers of coins from the Rome mint are in most cases equal to or greater than those of Ostia. A table of 'significant hoards of Maxentian folles' is produced by Albertson showing the breakdown of coins found relating to the Rome mint [by date], the Ostia mint and the mints of Ticinum, Aquileia and Carthage. Table 19 is an abbreviated form of Albertson's table which concentrates on findings from an Ostian point of view - so all the Rome dates are added together, as are the coins from the Tetrarchic mints. Albertson arrives at two conclusions from the hoard data. Firstly, the mint at Ostia was not a regional mint whose coinage was disseminated to a particular area. Secondly, the hoards show that Ostian coins follow the same pattern of distribution as their counterparts from Rome.

In conclusion, one of the functions of the Ostia mint was to supplement the production of folles at the Rome mint. When Ostia began striking aurei and argentii, the Roman mint discontinued these denominations and for the remainder of the reign of Maxentius only produced folles - i.e. in 309 AD, Ostia became the single centre for the production of gold and silver coins. The last datable issue in either gold or silver that was produced in Rome commemorates the first consulship of Maxentius of 20th April 308 AD. Evidence provided by the design of the coins, shows that the chief die engraver was transferred from Rome to Ostia when Rome stopped producing gold and silver coins.

Albertson's article closes by stating that preparations for the transfer of the mint from Ostia to Arles began around March 313 AD. The entire workforce, with the exception of the chief die engraver, was moved to Arles with the mint. Under Constantine, Ticinum took over from Trier as the major supplier of gold coins in the west. Both Albertson and Andreas Alföldi suggest that the chief die engraver at work in Ticinum is one and the same person who worked previously in Ostia and prior to that in Rome. Much additional detail is provided about the working of the Rome mint, its issues and mintmarks, together with details of events taking place at the beginning of the 4th Century AD. This article can be found in ANSMN 30 [1985] - the Journal of The American Numismatic Society.

Table 19: Details of the folles found in Maxentian hoards [based on a similar table in Albertson's article]
Hoard
Closure
% Roman Mint
% Ostia Mint
% Tetrachic Mints
Site
Greek
Unknown
Latin
Italian
Early 310
69
1.5
 
11
7
IS
Centur A
Summer 310
12
1
 
5
72
IA
Centur B
Summer 310
11
0.7
 
5
79
IA
Istria
 
12
0.3
 
5.9
82
IA
Malta
Late 310
31
5.6
 
6.3
41
A
Mangub A
311
54
 
40
 
5.7
A
Mangub B
311
43
 
26
 
21
A
Thina
311
58
 
32
 
10
A
Domquer
312
1
 
0.8
 
1
G
St Vincent de Mercuze
312-313
6
 
5
 
5.5
G
Wettolsheim
313
0.9
0.2
 
0.4
7
G
Delos
316
3
0.1
 
2
0.75
IS
St Colombier en Sarzeau
318
0.3
0
 
0.3
0.6
V

Key:
Tetrarchic mints - Ticinum, Aquileia, and Carthage.
IS - Italia Suburbicaria.
IA - Italia Annonaria.
A - Africa.
G - Gallia.
V - Viennensis.

King C.E. and Northover J.P. 1991. "Fractional Coins at Rome, Ostia and Trier AD 310-313". QuadTic 20, pp. 227-236.

Between 310 and 313 AD, fractional coins were minted at Ostia and Rome by Maxentius and at Trier under Constantine. Thirty years ago, the alloy content of the 4th Century follis (or nummus) was established by Cope, but it was not until 1991 that King and Northover produced their paper on fractional coins.

The definition of these fractional denominations is based on Sutherland's classification and on the metallurgical studies of Wiggs. It is accepted that a follis weighs approximately 6g, a half about 3g and a third around 2g. In late 312 or early 313 AD the weight standard of the folles minted at Rome and Ostia was reduced to 96 to the pound giving a theoretical weight of 3.38g for the follis. From this it can be seen that the fractions were minted before this reduction took place.

King and Northover set out to determine :

1. the alloy content of coins minted at Rome, Ostia and Trier.
2. whether mint practice was the same at Rome and Ostia.
3. how similar mint behaviour was at Trier and the central mints.
4. whether practices changed after the central mints passed into the hands of Constantine as fractions only continued to be minted at Rome and Trier.

(From this point on, this summary will concentrate on information pertaining to Ostia.)

Maxentius minted fractions in two denominations at Rome and at Ostia, a half and what has been called a third. The half minted at Ostia carries the inscription VICTORIA AETERNA AVG N and the mintmark MOSTP. AETERNAE MEMORIAE is found on the reverse of thirds of Romulus, again with the mintmark MOSTP.

Alloy Content of Ostia Fractions

a) Table 20. Halves inscribed VICTORIA AETERNA AVG N
RIC
Silver (%)
Tin (%)
Lead (%)
Copper (%)
61
1.16
5.91
8.46
83.98
61
1.26
7.56
8.01
82.52
61
1.30
5.74
12.34
79.62

(RIC refers to the classification system used in "The Roman Imperial Coinage" edited by C.H.V.Sutherland and R. A. Carson , Volume VI 1967. The coins produced at each mint are numbered from RIC 1 and in the case of Ostia, the numbers go up to RIC 100)

b) Table 21. Thirds inscribed AETERNAE MEMORIAE
RIC
Silver (%)
Tin (%)
Lead (%)
Copper (%)
58
0.64
4.8
11.28
82.46
58
0.88
6.03
5.04
87.28
58
1.01
6.84
4.86
85.71

The Ostia halves were found to have had a similar silver content to the folles analysed by Cope, ranging from 1.16% to 1.3%. Lead content varied between 8.01% and 12.34% and tin between 5.74% and 7.56%.

Thirds that were minted at Rome and at Ostia had a silver content significantly lower than contemporary folles. Coins minted at Ostia had a silver content ranging from only 0.64% to 1.01%.

King and Northover came to the following conclusions in their article on fractional coins :

1. The thirds produced at Ostia and Rome had a significantly lower silver content than folles produced at the same time.
2. The VICTORIAE AETERNAE halves have a similar silver content to contemporary folles.
3. Between 310 and 312 AD lead content was higher in coins minted at Ostia than in those produced at Trier but tin content was not dissimilar.
4. Fractions and folles produced at all three mints were leaded-tin bronzes with a small but deliberate addition of silver.

The authors acknowledge that the analyses were carried out on a small number of fractions. (Three halves and three thirds in the case of Ostia). They close by saying that they hope to be in a position to extend their study of the alloy content of fractions in the near future.

Calabria P. 2001. "La Monnaie d'Ostie" "Ostia, Port et Porte de la Rome Antique" (pp. 137-140) sous la direction de Jean-Paul Descoeudres.

Calabria suggests several reasons why the mint at Ostia was opened by Maxentius between the Spring of 308 and the start of 309 AD. One factor was the activity of Lucius Domitius Alexander in Africa, which would make it more convenient to produce coins for Maxentius at a mint closer to Rome. Maxentius was also concerned with the fact that he had little control over Ticinum and Aquileia in the north and also in the frontier zone.

The bronze and silver coins produced at Ostia were quite similar to those that had been minted at Carthage prior to its closure. What was rare about the gold coins produced was the use of a "en face" (frontal) image of Maxentius on the obverse surface. When the output of gold coins went down at Rome, production increased at Ostia which became the main centre for the minting of gold in Central Italy.

At the outset the mint was subject to oriental influences, hence the use of A to D as the officina marks. These marks were soon replaced by P to Q. All the coins that were minted at Ostia were widely circulated around the Mediterranean and beyond.

Calabria indicates that "The Roman Imperial Coinage" should be consulted for a detailed description of the coin issues produced at Ostia. She goes on to give standard descriptions of several gold, silver and bronze issues, describing inscriptions and mintmarks of coins produced by Maxentius in the early period and Constantine, Licinius and Maximianus in the later period. Mention is made of the "demis" and "triers", the fractions referred to in the article by King and Northover and of POSTT.

After the death of Maxentius, Constantine, Licinius and Maximianus continued to use the mint at Ostia for a short period along with Rome and Aquileia, and the coins produced became more and more like those minted at Rome. Constantine closed the mint at Ostia after the death of Maximianus around mid 313 AD and transferred it to Arles in Gaul.


[et - 7-May-2005]