Miliarensis

The Miliarensis was a type of coin used in the late Roman Empire. It was first introduced during the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great (306–337 AD) and continued to be minted by subsequent emperors until the early 5th century AD. The Miliarensis was a relatively large, silver coin with a standardized weight and fineness.

Here are some key characteristics of the Miliarensis:

Size and Composition: The Miliarensis was larger and heavier than earlier Roman silver coins like the denarius. It typically had a diameter of around 23-25 millimeters and weighed approximately 4.5 grams. The coin was made of silver, though the purity varied over time.

Design: The obverse (front) of the Miliarensis typically featured a portrait of the reigning emperor, often shown wearing a diadem or crown. The reverse (back) of the coin usually depicted various symbolic or military-themed motifs, such as a standing figure of the emperor holding a spear or a standard, sometimes accompanied by captive figures or other symbols of victory.

Inscription: The inscriptions on Miliarensis coins typically included the emperor's name and titles, along with messages of loyalty or military victories. The legends on the coins varied depending on the issuing emperor and any specific events or campaigns they wished to commemorate.

Value and Circulation: The Miliarensis was introduced as a higher denomination coin than the denarius, intended to facilitate larger transactions within the empire. It circulated alongside other denominations, including the smaller silver coins like the siliqua and the bronze coins like the follis.

Decline: Over time, the purity and weight of the Miliarensis gradually declined as the Roman Empire faced economic and political challenges. By the 5th century AD, the Miliarensis had largely been replaced by smaller, lower-value coins, and the use of silver coinage became less common as barter and trade-based economies became more prevalent.

The Miliarensis provides valuable insights into the economic, political, and artistic developments of the late Roman Empire. Today, Miliarensis coins are sought after by collectors of ancient coins for their historical significance and artistic beauty. They offer a tangible connection to one of the most fascinating periods in world history.

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