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I have a Constantine I, 310-311 AD with Sol reverse. RIC VI Treveri 899. The mintmark is PTR. The TR is obviously Treveri(Trier), but what does the P signify?

Sorry if it is a basic question, but still pretty new to this.

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Prima, for first oficina. Quite often mintmarks end with a P or an S, but sometimes it goes in front. Whether PTR is systematically different to TRP or just the whim of the engraver is a whole other discussion...

Edited by John Conduitt
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8 minutes ago, John Conduitt said:

Prima, for first oficina. Quite often mintmarks end with a P or an S, but sometimes it goes in front. Whether PTR is systematically different to TRP or just the whim of the engraver is a whole other discussion...

Thank you for your prompt response. Normally I look on Ocre and they list the MM's and officinas but for this coin just the Mint is stated.

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This coin dates to c.310 AD when the Trier mint was only using a single officina, so I doubt it was meant as a number (no reason since there was only one). It more likely means Pecunia (coinage [of Trier]) or Percussa (struck [at Trier]).

Later Trier did expand to two officinas, and then we do see a variety of numbered officina schemes (PTR + A/B in field, A/BTR, P/STR).

 

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For the reconstruction of the mint, the staff of at least one, but probably even two officines were withdrawn from the Gallic mint of Lyon. In the short period until the coinage reform of Diocletian in 294, one gold and three Antoninian issues could still take place. In contrast to the coins of the Gallic emperors struck earlier in Trier, however, these issues already bore the first Trier mint marks.

Specifically, these were PTR (PERCVSSUM TREVERIS), C-PTR (1st Offizin – CAPITALIS ?) and D-PTR (2nd Offizin – DVO ?).

Peter N. Schulten* uses the mint mark PTR for the 15th issue of 310/312 AD for Solidi and 1/2 Solidi. Folles, in his opinion, are minted in two offices, namely A/S-PTR and B/S-PTR, i.e. 1st and 2nd officin. 1/2 Folles, on the other hand, only with PTR.

* Peter N. Schulten, Die römische Münzstätte Trier von der Wiederaufnahme ihrer Tätigkeit bis zum Ende der Folles-Prägung, Frankfurt a. M. 1974, S. 24.

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16 hours ago, justus said:

Specifically, these were PTR (PERCVSSUM TREVERIS), C-PTR (1st Offizin – CAPITALIS ?) and D-PTR (2nd Offizin – DVO ?).

What's the argument for interpreting the C and D markings as officinas ? There's a half dozen different reverse types for each marking, with no overlap between them, and my understanding is that these groups were both 1st emission, followed by "PTR" (2nd) and "PT" (3rd). These 2nd and 3rd emissions had no C/D markings and would seem to reflect a single officina in use at that point.

One might also suggest other meanings for C and D such as C(onstantius) - who controlled the Trier mint at that time, and D(iocleatianus) whose coinage reform and decennalia are being reflected here.

In any case, the number of officinas in use at Trier had varied from period to period, additionally having been 3 (A/B/C) and 2 (I/II) before reverting back to one (PTR) by the time Constantine I came to power, and issued these fractions (OP's SOI INVICTO) c.310 AD

 

Edited by Heliodromus
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One might also suggest other meanings for C and D such as C(onstantius) - who controlled the Trier mint at that time, and D(iocleatianus) whose coinage reform and decennalia are being reflected here.

In my opinion, a reference to the ruler in whose name the coins were issued would be unusual, since the markings "C" and "D" are on the reverse in the field to the left of the portrait, where later often emission marks may be found. According to Gilles, "C" and "D" are on the 1st emission of Trier antoniniani from 293/294 AD, thus before the coin reform.

The former director of the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Trier, Karl-Josef Gilles, also refers to PT, PTR, C- and D-PTR as the first mint marks for Trier before the reform of Diocletianus in 294 AD. *

In the case of the bronze coinage, Gilles considers two galleries to be documented for the period from 297-303, and only one from 303-315. **

  • * Karl-Josef Gilles, Das Münzkabinett im Rheinische Landesmuseum Trier – Ein Überblick zur trierischen Münzgeschichte, in: Schriftenreihe des Rheinischen Landesmuseums Trier Nr. 13, Trier 1996, S. 26.

  • ** ebd. S. 33.

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17 minutes ago, justus said:

The former director of the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Trier, Karl-Josef Gilles, also refers to PT, PTR, C- and D-PTR as the first mint marks for Trier before the reform of Diocletianus in 294 AD. *

It seems the Trier mint was created to support Diocletian's reform, so it's hard to see much separation between the two, especially as this series has the mint-designating PTR mintmark (not XXI), which is one of the hallmarks of post-reform coinage. It seems the 1st issue was from 293 (celebrating combination of new mint, newly appointed caesars, and Diocletian's decennalia), then 2nd and 3rd from 294 since they include consular busts for the caesars.

Of course the first nummi from Trier have a different TR mark, so presumably came slightly later, but given the circumstances of the new mint and post-reform style PTR mintmark, it seems more logical to regards these as post reform, although admittedly they could have been "pre-reform mint warm up issue".

There's also an in-depth paper by Estiot and Zanchi on this series, from Rev. Num. 171 (2014) :

"De Lyon à Trèves. L’ouverture de l’atelier de Trèves à l’époque tétrarchique et ses premières émissions"

 

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There's also an in-depth paper by Estiot and Zanchi on this series, from Rev. Num. 171 (2014) :

"De Lyon à Trèves. L’ouverture de l’atelier de Trèves à l’époque tétrarchique et ses premières émissions"

 

Thanks for the information.

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A very big thank you folks for such detailed info. Very interesting and something I can read up on. And I thought it was a basic question. This hobby is fascinating for me and I applaud all the knowledge you have acquired.

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