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Coinage and History of the Roman Empire:2 Vol set Hardcover – March 1, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-1579583163 ISBN-10: 1579583164

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1350 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579583164
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579583163
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 3.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,347,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Students of Roman history, as well as beginners, will find much of value.... All in all, these volumes are two of the most impressive works of reference to come along in many a day. In their field they are already on the way to becoming classics.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Trinque VINE VOICE on October 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
David L. Vagi's "Coinage and History of the Roman Empire" is perhaps reminiscent of the god Janus, facing in two directions at once. Volume One is squarely focused on history, Volume Two on coins.
Taking the History section first, this lengthy (over 600 pages) and physically impressive volume contains biographical essays about every person portrayed on a Roman coin (and even a couple who were not), 284 biographies in all. Although a few are limited to a single paragraph because virtually nothing is known of the person except for their appearance on a coin, most are multiple-page essays covering everything from origins to ultimate fate (and in the case of a good many Roman emperors, their fates were anything but happy). The biographies are arranged primarily on a chronological basis, beginning with Sulla who became Dictator in 82 BC and concluding with Leo, Caesar under Zeno in the eastern Empire in AD 477. The essays are grouped into chapters with such titles as "Collapse of the Republic (Imperatorial Period)" and "Civil War and the Severan-Emesan Dynasty", with each chapter prefaced by a separate essay providing a historical survey of events in that period. In all, more than five centuries of Roman history are covered. Many of the individual biographies include a "Numismatic Note" section specifically addressing information about or gleaned from the coin's bearing that subject's image. Volume One might be considered to be a counterpart of historian Michael Grant's "The Roman Emperors: A Biographical Guide to Rulers of Imperial Rome", long a favorite of mine for its handiness as a source for quickly providing basic information (and more) about each emperor.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Trinque VINE VOICE on October 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
David L. Vagi's "Coinage and History of the Roman Empire" is perhaps reminiscent of the god Janus, facing in two directions at once. Volume One is squarely focused on history, Volume Two on coins.
Taking the History section first, this lengthy (over 600 pages) and physically impressive volume contains biographical essays about every person portrayed on a Roman coin (and even a couple who were not), 284 biographies in all. Although a few are limited to a single paragraph because virtually nothing is known of the person except for their appearance on a coin, most are multiple-page essays covering everything from origins to ultimate fate (and in the case of a good many Roman emperors, their fates were anything but happy). The biographies are arranged primarily on a chronological basis, beginning with Sulla who became Dictator in 82 BC and concluding with Leo, Caesar under Zeno in the eastern Empire in AD 477. The essays are grouped into chapters with such titles as "Collapse of the Republic (Imperatorial Period)" and "Civil War and the Severan-Emesan Dynasty", with each chapter prefaced by a separate essay providing a historical survey of events in that period. In all, more than five centuries of Roman history are covered. Many of the individual biographies include a "Numismatic Note" section specifically addressing information about or gleaned from the coin's bearing that subject's image. Volume One might be considered to be a counterpart of historian Michael Grant's "The Roman Emperors: A Biographical Guide to Rulers of Imperial Rome", long a favorite of mine for its handiness as a source for quickly providing basic information (and more) about each emperor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David M. Dougherty VINE VOICE on August 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a monumental work by numismatist Vagi that must be on the shelf of every collector of ancient Roman Coins. The set comes in two volumes, the first one "History" which is a chronological collection of biographies of individuals represented on or who issued coins from the Social War of 91-88 BCE to Julius who last struck coins in the West until 280 CE and Zeno in the East to 491 CE. The second "Coinage" will be strictly of interest to numismatists and covers Roman coinage of the same period.

Both volumes are excellent and essentially unrivaled although there are other coin references such as the five volume set by Seaby or "The Emperors of Rome and Byzantium" by Sear that are also classics in their own right.

Since so much Roman history is contained in or inferred by its coinage, an historian needs to supplement and correct the classical Roman histories from the likes of Dio Cassius or Appian with evidence from coinage. Although Vagi's work is obviously not intended for the general reader, it is an excellent reference for anyone interested in Roman history.

I cannot understand why anyone would give these volumes less than five stars.
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Format: Hardcover
Two very informative books on centuries of Roman coinage and history. As the title of this review says, purchasing a copy would be expensive but worth it. Luckily, my University library carried a copy.

With just a little time and research, even amateur numerologists can get an excellent idea of a coin's history and value. After scouring my university's section on Roman coinage, it was this series that I found to be most informative and easily navigated.
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