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Museum of Countermarks on Roman Coins

Countermarks on Coins of Augustus & Tiberius, left and right "countermasses" from Moesia

Three ways to visit this Museum:

Brief Introduction to Roman Countermarks:

Countermarks on official Roman coins are mainly found on AE coinage of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. These are often linked to the Roman legions based along the northern and eastern frontiers. Germania Inferior and Superior, Pannonia and Moesia, Syria and Judea are the major sources of these types of countermarks that likely enlarged the area of acceptance of these often very worn coins. One hypothesis sees them as donations of the emperor or his generals to the troops.
Other countermarks e.g. on Spanish, Gallic, or Greek provincial coins are not necessary linked to the Roman legions, but rather have a municipal character.
Attributions of countermarks to regions and emperors are highly speculative, the field is moving rapidly and today's knowledge may be quite outdated tomorrow.

We look forward to discussions with interested visitors of these pages and appreciate scans of Roman countermarks to be added to the museum.

Please contact Andreas Pangerl under romancoins.info @yahoo.com  (please leave out the blank between our name and the @, this is to discourage spam robots)  if you have any questions or need help with the attribution of countermarks in your collection.

We recommend as Reference Literature:
For Western Countermarks on official Roman coins and their Imitations:
  • Rodolfo Martini, "Nomismata 6: The Pangerl Collection of Julio-Claudian Countermarked Coins ( Augustus-Vespasian)" ca. 310 pages, including 24 plates, reproducing 352 coins, in Italian with extensive English summary, ISBN 88-87235-29-5  -  The first systematic catalogue of Countermarks on official Roman coinage (sold out). A pdf download can be found here: Pangerl-Martini-Download
  • "Roman Provincial Coinage" shows a brief summary of countermarks on Roman Provincial coins including those on Spanish Provincial coins
  • "BMC I (Augustus to Vitellius)" provides valuable information on Roman countermarks to the extent of knowledge in 1923
For Eastern Provincial Countermarks on Greek Provinical Coins:
    For countermarks on Eastern Provincial coins the standard is "Greek Imperial Countermarks" by C. Howgego (out of print for almost 20 years now available as reprint).


Many thanks to the Roman Numismatic Gallery (www.romancoins.info) for hosting the Museum of Roman Countermarks.

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