Some Old Emporer

Our cleanup proceeds apace though recently we have stalled a bit.  Now we are into the dinky stuff.  I wander around from here to there, pick up stuff, and put it in a pile with similar stuff that needs to be sorted through.  For example, a pile of manuals for different sorts of software we have acquired over the years.  So now we are starting to build up rather all over the place, on this book shelf, or that part of the floor, little anthills of junk for further sorting.





While investigating an anthill of junk that had fallen out of a shoebox, I came across this Roman coin (featured here pictorially) or more precisely this coin from Roman times.  I have had this coin for 30 plus years.  I was in downtown San Diego for some reason and while walking where ever it was that I was going I walked past this coin store and stared into the window.  Over in one corner was a little pile of coins labeled “Roman” or something to that effect.

I remember being startled to think that Roman coins were out there for sale.  I figured Roman coins were in museums or something.  But no, here was a pile of Roman coins apparently for sale to John Q. Public.  So I went in.  The coins seemed to be priced by their size and also by their possible historical significance.  They were sort of like baseball cards.  The more important the guy on the coin the more the coin was worth.  There were some pretty important guys on those coins.  I remember a Tiberius, the guy that came after Augustus, and a real pervert.  He went for quite a bit.

 I got this one for three dollars.  Remember this was 1973 or something, so three dollars was worth a lot more.  But I wanted a Roman coin, so I got this one.  Unfortunately I appear to have lost the little information card that came with the coin.  But the guy featured on this coin was a pretty nobody emperor.  He was from around 200 AD and didn’t last long as emperor.  He warranted a couple of lines in the Britannica and was described, I think, as “sickly.”

But while my emperor is not very significant, I have done a pretty good job over the years of not losing the coin.  That would be easy to do.  It’s about a half inch across and wafer thin.  Much lighter than a dime.  I have no idea what it was worth in Roman terms and adjusted for inflation.  I figure maybe you could have bought an orange with it.  But that is absolutely speculative.  Maybe part of an orange.





Any how, I am glad I found the coin. I could too easily have thrown it out.  Eventually I would have missed it had I done so and gotten perturbed.  But there it is.  I just find it interesting to hold between my fingers something that is pretty close to 2000 years old.  Now I have to stick it some place where I make sure I don’t lose it.


The first picture shows the sickly emperor and the second shows the symbolic stuff on the back of the coin.

A quick web search indicates that there are a huge number of Roman coins out there that one might purchase. 

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