Roman vota coinage issued on the occasion of imperial anniversaries is known primarily as a phenomenon of the fourth century. Numismatists who study late ancient coinage are sooner or later bound to stumble upon the typology of vota legends (e.g., VOT X MVLT XX) within a wreath, a feature which is typical for these coins. However, coin types explicitly naming imperial anniversaries first appeared under Antoninus Pius, and continue to be issued almost without a break by Roman emperors in the 3rd century. In my dissertation I examine these special coins from this period to develop a fundamental understanding of their typology, origins, and development before their peak in the fourth century.
In this paper I will present the preliminary results of this project, focusing on typology, its significance, and changes in meaning. Another question addressed is whether this coinage can serve as dating tools for the actual anniversary festivities.