One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally (in plural): †coinage issued by one or more of the Antonine Roman emperors (obsolete). Later: a name given to a Roman coin of the third century having a bust of the emperor wearing a radiate crown on the obverse, with an original face value of two denarii.
Mid 18th century. From post-classical Latin Antoninianus, denoting a coin, use as noun of masculine of Antoninianus (adjective) of or relating to one of the Antonine emperors (3rd cent.) from classical Latin Antōnīnus, a cognomen of several Roman emperors + -iānus.
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