Within approximately 200 years the city state of Rome expanded militarily to become the dominant power on the peninsula of Italy; in the following 200 years the same military establishment rose to assume authority over the entire Mediterranean world. The success of Roman armies was recognized by contemporaries and marveled at by modern historians. In this chapter we will briefly identify the unique traits of Roman military society that enabled it to transform itself into a Mediterranean-wide empire.
While official coins were minted under the control of the so called moneyers, a junior official position usually early in the career path of the Roman senatorial career ladder, it became more and more common practice for imperators to coin their own money to pay their troops and for propaganda purposes. While the period shows thus a mixture of the old moneyer tradition and the new imperatorial rule, it is generally refered to as the Roman Imperatorial Coinage. These coins were issued by Pompeius, Caesar, Caesar's Murderers, Caesar's Party and Actium.