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Two examples of Roman coins dated using the Anno Urbis Conditae (AUC), or “year of urban founding” of Rome, a dating system invented in 50BC by Marcus Varro. At left, the coin of Hadrian, reads: 'ANN ÐCCCLXXIIII NAT VRB P CIR CON' - Games celebrating the 874th birthday of Rome (or 121 AD in Dionysius calendar years).[1] At right, the coin of Pacatianus, ROMAE AETER[NAE] AN[NO] MIL[LESIMO] ET PRIMO, or "To eternal Rome, in its one thousand and first year."[2]

In dating systems, AUC (LH:5), the acronym of: Anno Urbis Conditae, meaning “year of city founding”, refers to the dating of years to the founding of the city of Rome, a calendar system, aka "Varronian calendar", devised in 50BC by Marcus Varro.


In 50BC, Marcus Varro devised the AUC dating system.

In 100 to 300AD, coins, such as shown adjacent, were being printed using the Varronian calendar dates.

Dionysian calendar

In 525AD, Dionysius Exiguus invented the AD/BC dating system, aka Dionysian calendar system, dating years to the myth of the birth of Jesus Christ.

AD dated coins

In 1234AD (1987 AUC), Bishop of Roskilde, Denmark, issued the world’s first coin with an "AD date", specifically a silver penny, with a bishop’s hat and the AD date MCCXXXIIII (1234) on the reverse, and a crown and the legends +ANNO DOMINI on the obverse.[3] This 1234 Denmark coin is shown below:[4]

1234 coin.png

The reason for dating this coin on this particular year, was that the series of numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, in respect to the year 1234 Anno Domini, were though magical.[4] The next time a coin was minted with an AD date, was 1372AD coin. There are seven of these "1234AD coins" extant in the world, in various museums; other images are available.[5] The following is another coin image, with caption by coin historian Robert Levinson:

1234 coin (Levinson, 2007).png

Levinson comments on this:

“The decision to begin dating coins to an Anno Domini standard was hardly a trend-setter: 138 years passed until the next European coins were dated in 1372.”
— Robert Levinson (2007), The Earliest Dated Coins of Europe 1234-1500 (pg. 9)[6]

The first collectable dated coin is normally considered as being the 1374 Groschen from Aachen.[4]

Thimsian calendar

In 2020AD, Libb Thims invented the BE/AE dating system, aka Thimsian calendar system. Given the above trends, we should project that in about 2300AD, coins will not be minted using "AD dates", but rather will be dated according to universal system, e.g. Thimsian calendar dates, or some other astronomical scheme, not yet invented.

End matter


  1. Harney, Gareth. (2020). “Coin of Hadrain”, Twitter, Apr 7.
  2. Coin of Pacatianus – Wikimedia Commons.
  3. History of Dates on Coins (2018) –
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 1234 Denmark coin –
  5. Early dated coins of Europe (1166-1430) –
  6. Levinson, Robert. (2007). The Earliest Dated Coins of Europe 1234-1500: An illustrated Catalogue an Guide to Dated Medieval Coinage (pg. 9). Coin & Currency Institute.

External links

Theta Delta ics T2.jpg