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From Latin officīna.


officina (plural officinae or officinas)

  1. A monetary office that issues coins.
    • 1826 February 13, The Parliamentary Debates, volume XIV, column 257:
      There ought to be only one officina for the issuing of currency; there ought to be only one officina for the control of that issue.
    • 1908, Percy H. Webb, The Reign and Coinage of Carausius, page 55:
      [] there may have been variations in method of describing an officina used to distinguish different series issued therefrom.
    • 1915, The Chemical Trade Journal and Chemical Engineer, volume 57, page 441, column 1:
      One officina resumed work in April and another in June, and a third is expected to restart shortly. The £8.831. written off in last year’s accounts for dishonoured bills has been recovered.
    • 1920, Edward Theodore Newell, Myriandros, Alexandria Kat’isson, page 39:
      Judging by the style, only one die cutter was employed in the manufacture of all the obverse dies in the two officinas, but different die cutters produced the reverse dies nos. 26 to 41 and the contemporary nos. 55 to 60.
    • 1921, The Numismatic Chronicle and Journal of the Royal Numismatic Society, page 256:
      There is evidence that the number of officinae rose to four and perhaps five before the end of the reign, but the great majority of the coins were issued by the first and second officinae.
    • 1928, Inventory of the Historical Monuments in London (Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England)), page 188:
      The coins offer no evidence of the existence of more than one officina during this period.
    • 1928, Joscelyn Plunket Bushe-Fox, Report on the Excavation of the Roman Fort at Richborough, Kent, volume 2, J. Johnson, page 116:
      I have suggested elsewhere (Num. Chron., 1927, 118) that there was a progressive southward retirement of the Gallic mint organization, and a gradual withdrawal of the coinage of bronze to Arles, first at the expense of Trèves and then of Lyon, which struck in two officinae from Valentinian I to Gratian, and was reduced to one officina as early as 388.
    • 1933, Harold Mattingly, Edward A. Sydenham, editors, The Roman Imperial Coinage, Spink, page 3:
      Sometimes a single reverse may be used in every officina of a mint throughout one series in combination with various obverses, some of which are common to all the officinae, while some are used only in one or more of them.
    • 1949, Commemorative Studies in Honor of Theodore Leslie Shear, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, page 27:
      This makes it probable that the issue should be put where I place it, at the head of the group with one officina, though it is not impossible that it should be in one of the two succeeding positions.
    • 1949, The Excavations at Dura-Europos, Yale University Press, page 123:
      This coin from Hoard 10 is the first instance of the use of dots on the obverse to distinguish the officinae. Letters had been so used on Philip’s first series (Nos. 386–391), but in the intervening years no distinction was made, unless certain portraits were assigned to certain officinae, which we cannot now prove.
    • 1953, Patrick Bruun, The Constantinian Coinage of Arelate, page 26:
      Because of the scarcity of material definite conclusions cannot be arrived at, but it seems likely that all four officinae struck SOLI INVICTO COMITI, stg 1 (although no specimen of off. Γ is known so far), while off. Α and Γ struck the same type, stg r. Constantine thus employs the same officinae as during the previous, pre-Caesarian period.
    • 1954, Numismatic Circular List of Coins, Medals, War Medals, Books, Etc. Offered for Sale, page 59:
      The London mint worked in one officina throughout.
    • 1962, Collection Latomus, volume 58, page 1455:
      The first reformed aes of Treveri shows, as elsewhere, a simple mark, with no suggestion of more than one officina.
    • 1962, Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow: Pertinax to Aemilian, University of Glasgow, →ISBN, page xlv:
      Meanwhile caution advises against categorical statements that, at this period, one rev. type was the product of one officina only, or even that the use of one obv. die was restricted to one officina.
    • 1963, The Numismatist, volume 76, American Numismatic Association, page 163, column 2:
      From this we may assume that Nicomedia had only one officina for bronze in its earlier years.
    • 1966, C. H. V. Sutherland, The Roman Imperial Coinage: Constantine and Licinius, A.D. 313-337, →ISBN, page 670:
      It is possible that coins of Constantine were struck in all seven officinae in the first mark (A-S only recorded), and in all eight officinae in the second mark (off. A-Γ and Ⲉ-S only recorded).
    • 1968, Berytus, volumes 17–18, American University of Beirut, page 126:
      Although ten reverse types are allocated to this issue, they could well have been accommodated in seven officinae; the two varieties of Victoria were probably produced by one officina; []
    • 1969, Michael Metcalf, The Origins of the Anastasian Currency Reforms, Adolf M. Hakkert, page 6:
      The special character of the fifth officina of the Constantinople mint is plain to see; and the coins without officina-numeral make up a closely analogous group. But what is the general significance of these two “extra” officinae? There are hints (in the number of die-cutters they employed, and in the quantities of coins they struck) that both were peripatetic or field-officinae, while the first four officinae, which operated as a single unit, were not.
    • 1970, Philip V. Hill, The Dating and Arrangement of the Undated Coins of Rome, A.D. 98-148, →ISBN, page 3:
      Trajan kept all the officinae in his own hands, as did Hadrian until 133, when the new obverse formula on Sabina’s gold and silver seems to betoken her acquisition of one officina.
    • 1972, Collection de l’École française de Rome, volume 77, page 126:
      The moneta publica (if indeed it was separate from the moneta auri) consisted of only one officina.
    • 1972, Michael F. Hendy, The Economy, Fiscal Administration and Coinage of Byzantium, Variorum Reprints, published 1989, →ISBN:
      Certainly the governmental clipping of coin and perhaps the simultaneous issue of coins of the same denomination, but different standards, by the various officinae of the metropolitan mint, can be paralleled in the coinage of the twelfth century.
    • 1973, Philip D. Whitting, Byzantine Coins, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, →ISBN, page 68, column 2:
      Normally one officina (Γ) was at work for copper but five are found and in Maurice’s reign there is a sixth (S), perhaps due to heavy demands stemming from military and political considerations relating to Persia.
    • 1973, Philip Grierson, Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, volumes 3 (Leo III to Nicephorus III, 717–1081), Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, →ISBN, page 81:
      To treat it as an officina mark, however, seems to me difficult, since an officina pattern implies some degree of permanence and in earlier times had been characterized by the use of identical or nearly identical officina letters carried on from one issue to the next, a feature absent from most eleventh-century “privy marks.”
    • 1973, Aleksander Jeločnik, The Čentur Hoard: Folles of Maxentius and of the Tetrarchy, National Museum of Slovenia, page 113:
      The plain signature is of course no guarantee of the use of only one officina. The analysis of the unsigned silver coins from the Ticinum mint in the Sisak hoard has shown on the basis of die-identities that one officina is striking for Diocletian and Galerius, and the other for Maximian and Constantius; []
    • 1979, David William MacDowall, The Western Coinages of Nero, →ISBN, page 117:
      During TRP VIIII one officina ceased to strike in precious metals.
    • 1980, Alfonz Lengyel, George T. Radan, editors, The Archaeology of Roman Pannonia, University Press of Kentucky, →ISBN, page 345:
      When the seventh officina was organized under Probus, there may have been workmen in Siscia from the mint in Serdica, since that was the only mint in Europe using the Greek ΚΑ which in a short time appeared in Siscia. Three officinas worked for Carus.
    • 1986, Revue numismatique, Société française de numismatique, page 132:
      Taking into account the quantities in which the different varieties survive, one might then go on to suggest that the coins were produced by three officinas of a single mint, but that the third officina was needed only rarely.
    • 1987, M. S. Nagaraja Rao, edited by D. V. Devaraj, Nāgachandrikā: A Compendium of Writings of Dr. M. S. Nagaraja Rao, Directorate of Archaeology & Museum, published 1996, page 706:
      Even if these coins are replicas, no less than six rulers are represented by them; and for each king more than one officina is noticed in these pieces.
    • 1993, Actes du XIe Congrès international de numismatique, page 170:
      The Thracian Chersonesus’ hemidrachms were probably minted in another (separate) officina of the same mint, otherwise the hybrid coins would have been quite numerous. If these assumptions are correct, then we must speak about dies-carrying not from Thracian Chersonesus to Parium, but from one officina to another, which is within the range of the mint in Parium.
    • 1994, John Kent, editor, The Roman Imperial Coinage, →ISBN, page 70:
      Both officinae of Nicomedia struck for Eudoxia, but issues from Cyzicus were from the first workshop only. All four officinae of Antioch remained active and their decisive evidence for the date of this coinage has been discussed above.
    • 1998, Numismatic Digest, volume 20, Numismatic Society of Bombay, page 35:
      There is evidence, in the form of private marks on the coins (e.g. a heart symbol, see ill. 2) that more than one officina was at work (different members of the family?) and amongst the final 'unnamed' issues appears a rosette (see ill. 3, 4) that becomes the symbol on Indravasu's coins.
    • 2019, Roger Bland, Edward Besly, Andrew Burnett, The Cunetio and Normanby Hoards, →ISBN, page 57:
      At the principal mint, the disparity in numbers between PAX AVG P|  and ORIENS AVG P|  might suggest unequal production in the officinae but as with PAX AVG  |  in series V, it is possible that PAX AVG P|  continued to be struck as a stock type in one officina, while the type was changed in the other.
    • 2021, Rachel Mairs, editor, The Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek World, Routledge, →ISBN:
      We consider the hypothesis of officinae’s marks to be rather unlikely, as one must thus ponder that the dies would need to be moved from one officina to the other, which would be counter-productive to the goal of distributing the monetary production.



Borrowed from Latin officīna. Doublet of fucina, which was inherited.


  • IPA(key): /of.fiˈt͡ʃ
  • Rhymes: -ina
  • Hyphenation: of‧fi‧cì‧na


officina f (plural officine)

  1. workshop
  2. (pharmacology) laboratory

Derived terms[edit]


Alternative forms[edit]


From opifex (laborer, worker) +‎ -īna, with vowel syncope followed by assimilation of /pf/ to /ff/. Compare opificium, officium (action of working).



officīna f (genitive officīnae); first declension

  1. workshop, manufactory
  2. a poultry house, henhouse
  3. (New Latin, especially botany) an apothecary's, a pharmacy

Usage notes[edit]

An officīna is a shop where goods are manufactured. A taberna can be a shop where goods are sold. It is possible for a single shop to be both a taberna and an officīna. In scientific names, it and its derivatives (officinarum, officinalis, &c.) usually indicates use in producing medicines.


First-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative officīna officīnae
Genitive officīnae officīnārum
Dative officīnae officīnīs
Accusative officīnam officīnās
Ablative officīnā officīnīs
Vocative officīna officīnae

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



  • officina”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • officina”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • officina in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • officina”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • officina in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[1], pre-publication website, 2005-2016
  • Walther von Wartburg (1928–2002), “ŏffĭcīna”, in Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch (in German), volume 7: N–Pas, page 334



officina f (plural officinas)

  1. Obsolete spelling of oficina