Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

Quite the father?! Resemblances of emperor portraits after the inauguration of a new Roman emperor

Sep 14, 2022, 9:20 AM
Auditorium Maximum - Hall B

Auditorium Maximum - Hall B


Simone Killen (Kommission für Alte Geschichte und Epigraphik, München)


Immediately after the acclamation of a Roman emperor, the mint of Rome issued coins in the name of the new princeps. Within these first issues, coin portraits were sometimes minted which resembled more closely the portrait of the deceased emperor than that of the new one.
This resemblance can be explained by the fact that those in charge at the mint were not yet familiar with the portrait of the new emperor. It seems that the rapid minting of "new" coins was more important than the correct reproduction of physiognomic characteristics of the new emperor. Using selected examples from the first two centuries AD, the conditions and mechanisms of the continuation/changes of imperial portraits in this transition period will be examined. Additionally, an attempt will be made to draw conclusions from these observations about the organisation of the mint of Rome and responsibilities with regard to coin designs.

Primary author

Simone Killen (Kommission für Alte Geschichte und Epigraphik, München)

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