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Home>Catalog>CollectingThemes>Military

Military, Combat & Arms on Ancient Coins


Nerva, 18 September 96 - 25 January 98 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In late October 97 A.D. Nerva adopted Trajan as his son and heir of the Empire. The previous emperor Domitian was a friend of the army and gave no consideration to the Senate, while Nerva was a very old senator. Trajan was perhaps the most popular and successful general of the time. The adoption reversed growing military opposition and brought concord with the army.
RB68481. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC II 81, BMCRE III 122, Cohen 32, gVF, weight 14.365 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 90o, Rome mint, 97 A.D.; obverse IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P COS III P P, radiate head right; reverse CONCORDIA EXERCITVVM S C, clasped hands holding a legionary eagle set on a prow; $570.00 (€427.50)

The Sileraioi, Sicily, c. 357 - 330 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Sileraioi was not a city. The Sileraians were Campanian mercenaries who took their name from their proximity to the river Silaros. These rare coins have been found at the site of their settlement, Cozzo Mususino, a natural strong-hold in north central Sicily. The coins are often overstruck on coins from Syracuse minted c. 375 - 345 B.C.
SH68704. Bronze Calciati p. 301, 2; HGC 2 1243 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Mόnchen -; SNG Morcom -, VF/F, reverse rough, weight 7.521 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 90o, Sileraian mint, c. 340 - 330 B.C.; obverse ΣI−ΛEPAIΩ−N (retrograde counterclockwise from 3:00), man-faced bull forepart charging right; reverse SIL (retrograde, upward behind), warrior advancing right, spear in right hand, shield in left; rare; $450.00 (€337.50)

Vetranio, 1 March - 25 December 350 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 312 A.D., Constantine the Great dreamed he saw a Christogram in the sky and heard the words IN HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, meaning in Latin, "In this sign you will be the victor." He ordered the sign of Christ on his legions standards and shields. He won a great victory and later became the first Christian Roman Emperor.
SH59948. Bronze centenionalis, RIC VIII Siscia 287, SRCV 4042, Cohen 4 (25 Fr.), gVF, weight 4.543 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, obverse D N VETRANIO P F AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, A behind, star in front; reverse HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, Vetranio standing left in military dress, labarum (Christogram standard) in right, scepter in left, crowned by Victory behind, A left, •BSIS• in ex; scarce; $240.00 (€180.00)

Vetranio, 1 March - 25 December 350 A.D.
Click for a larger photo This reverse is much scarcer than Vetranio's usual HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS and CONCORDIA MILITVM types.
SH66576. Bronze AE 2, RIC VIII Siscia 296, VF, weight 1.684 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 350 A.D.; obverse D N VETRANIO P F AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGVSTORVM, emperor, standing right, holding spear and globe, at feet seated captive, ΓSIS in ex; scarce; $220.00 (€165.00)

Vetranio, 1 March - 25 December 350 A.D.
Click for a larger photo  
SH59946. Bronze AE 2, RIC VIII Thessalonica 132, VF, weight 5.546 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse D N VETRAN-IO P F AVG, diademed draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA MILITVM, emperor holding two standards decorated with Chi-Rho, star above, A in left field, B in right, •TSA• in ex; scarce; $200.00 (€150.00)

Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D.
Click for a larger photo
In 77 or 78 A.D., Gnaeus Julius Agricola was made governor of Roman Britain, a post he occupied until 84. In his first year, Agricola subdued the Ordovices in Wales and pursued the remnants of the tribe to Anglesey, the holy island of the Druids. According to Tacitus, he exterminated the whole tribe. The Ordovices do completely disappear from the historical record, but considering the mountainous terrain, it is unlikely killed the entire population. Another tribe, the Silures, was either also militarily defeated or simply agreed to terms. Tacitus wrote of the Silures: non atrocitate, non clementia mutabatur - the tribe "was changed neither by cruelty nor by clemency." A Roman squadron, sent by Agricola, explored the north of Scotland for the first time, discovering the Orkney and Shetland Islands.Pre-Roman Wales
RS70179. Silver denarius, RIC II, part 1, Vespasian 957; RSC II 49; BMCRE II 234; BnF III 207; SRCV I 2638, VF, superb portrait, toned, weight 3.303 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, as caesar, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS, laureate head right; reverse COS V, helmeted rider on rearing horse right; $200.00 (€150.00)

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.
Click for a larger photo 'Courage' is depicted as a helmeted soldier, often a female, in armor holding a spear, parazonium, victory or a shield. Virtus and Mars can be distinguished since Mars is usually shown nude and Virtus is always shown clothed.
SH48399. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 273a, Cohen 384, aVF, weight 15.272 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 240 A.D; obverse IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVG S C, Virtus standing half left, helmeted and in military dress, head left, resting right hand on shield set on ground, inverted spear in left; beautiful light green patina; $165.00 (€123.75)

Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In Roman religion every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Roman people, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIVS EXERC ILLVRICIANI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the army in Illyria (western Balkans).

Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RS90372. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 16, RSC IV 49, SRCV III 9374, VF, weight 3.252 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 249 - 251 AD.; obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse GENIVS EXERC ILLVRICIANI, Genius standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, patera in right, cornucopia in left, standard right; $145.00 (€108.75)

Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Trajan was a brilliant soldier and administrator. He restored the Senate to its full status, started a welfare program to feed and care for poor children, directed an extensive building program across the empire, annexed Dacia and invaded Arabia. Under Trajan, Rome reached its greatest extent. And he managed to do all this without a deficit or increasing taxes.
RB63728. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC II 658, BMCRE III 1019, aF, weight 23.403 g, maximum diameter 33.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 115 - 116 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NER TRAIANO OPTIMO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS VI P P, laureate and draped bust right; reverse IMPERATOR VIIII / S C in exergue, Trajan seated right on platform, placed on left, accompanied by two officers and addressing five soldiers; rare; $140.00 (€105.00)

Crispus, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 326 A.D.
Click for a larger photo On 1 March 317, Constantine the Great and co-emperor Licinius elevated their sons Crispus, Constantine II (still an baby) and Licinius II to Caesars. After this arrangement Constantine ruled the dioceses Pannonia and Macedonia, and established his residence at Sirmium, from where he prepared a campaign against the Goths and Sarmatians.
RL66602. Bronze AE 3, RIC VII Arles 132, VF, weight 3.169 g, maximum diameter 17.22 mm, die axis 180o, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, 317 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAESAR, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINCIPIA IVVENTVTIS, soldier standing right, spear vertical behind in right, shield on ground in left, R - S across fields, QARL in ex; rare; $140.00 (€105.00)

Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 280, Julius Saturninus, the governor of Syria, was made emperor by his troops. Probus besiege him at Apamea, where he was captured and executed. Proculus started a rebellion at Lugdunum (Lyon, France) and he proclaimed himself emperor. Before the end of the year, Probus suppressed the revolt and Proculus was executed.
RA70606. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V 887; Cohen 926; Pink VI/1, P. 45, aEF, well centered, weight 4.023 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 0o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 276 - 282 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F AVG, radiate, helmeted and cuirassed bust left holding spear and shield; reverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG, emperor riding left, raising hand, captive at foot before horse, KA•Γ (A appearing as H) in ex; ex Pecunem & Gitbud & Naumann, auction 11, lot 666; $140.00 (€105.00)

Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 257, Valerian's persecution of Christians began. His edict ordered bishops and priests to sacrifice according to the pagan rituals, and prohibited Christians, under penalty of death, from meeting at the tombs of their deceased.
RS67084. Silver antoninianus, Gφbl MIR 870f, RIC V J22 (Lugdunum), RSC IV 397 (Lugdunum), SRCV III 10246, VF, full circles strike, grainy, weight 4.421 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 45o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 257 A.D.; obverse IMP GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI VICTORI, Jupiter standing slightly left on cippus inscribed IMP C E S (Imperator cum exercitu suo - the Emperor with his army), Victory in right, long scepter vertical behind in left; $135.00 (€101.25)

Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D., Struck by Aureolus
Click for a larger photo This coin was struck in the name of Postumus by Aureolus (one of the so-called Thirty Tyrants) while Gallienus held him under siege in Milan. Ancient sources which refer to Aureolus are limited contradictory. He may have made his own bid for the Purple after Gallienus was murdered and Postumus failed to take advantage of the turmoil in Italy. The new emperor Claudius soon brought his rebellion to an end.
RS68404. Billon antoninianus, Mairat 209, Schulzki AGK 18c, RIC V 378 var (no cuirass), RSC IV 60 var (same), SRCV III 10938, VF, superb portrait, tight flan, weight 2.847 g, maximum diameter 18.91 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, struck under Aureolus, 3rd emission, 268 A.D.; obverse IMP POSTVMVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FIDES EQVIT, Aequitas seated left, patera in right, vexillum behind in left, P in ex; $135.00 (€101.25)

Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D.
Click for a larger photo This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RS68506. Silver denarius, RSC III 38a, RIC IV 73, BMCRE V 38, SRCV II 7512, gVF, centered, toned, weight 3.332 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 219 A.D.; obverse IMP ANTONINVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing facing, head right, vexillum in right, standard in left; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $125.00 (€93.75)

The Mamertini, Sicily, 208 - 200 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Mamertini or "Children of Mars" were a band of Campanian (or Samnite) mercenaries who, about 289 B.C., seized Messana at the north-east corner of Sicily, after having been hired by Agathocles to defend it. The Mamertines held Messana for over 20 years, converting it from a town of farmers and traders to a raiding base for pirates on land and sea. In 265 B.C., after Hiero of Syracuse had defeated them and besieged Messana, the Mamertines appealed to Carthage for aid. Soon after they appealed to Rome to rid them of the Carthaginians. The Mamertini then disappear from history, except even centuries later the inhabitants of Messana were called Mamertines. "Mamertine wine" from the vineyards of north-eastern tip of Sicily was the favorite of Julius Caesar and he made it popular after serving it at a feast to celebrate his third consulship.
RR69298. Bronze pentachalkia, Calciati p, 103, 26; SNG Cop 449; SNG ANS 431; SNG Mόnchen 705; BMC Sicily p. 112, 36; HGC 2 850 (R1), F, centered, weight 10.205 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 225o, Mamertine mint, 208 - 200 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo left, long hair, kithara behind; reverse warrior standing facing, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, sword in sheath with strap in right, inverted spear vertical in left, round grounded shield leaning against spear, Π (mark of value) right; $125.00 (€93.75)

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 241 Timesitheus was appointed the head of the Praetorian Guard, Gordian married his daughter Tranquillina, and she received the honorific title of Augusta. The marriage indicates Gordian correctly understood that Timesitheus was indispensable. Timesitheus died under suspicious circumstances in 243. Not long after losing his protector, Gordian was murdered by mutinous soldiers in February 244.
RB60655. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 306a, VF, weight 16.643 g, maximum diameter 32.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 241 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P IIII COS II P P S C, Gordian standing right, wearing military garb, spear in right hand, globe in left; nice portrait and reverse style; $115.00 (€86.25)

Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Emesa was famous for its Temple of the Sun, the center of worship for the Syrian sun god El-Gebal (or Elagabal), worshipped in the form of a conical black stone. In 187, Septimius Severus married Julia Domna, age 17, the youngest daughter of the high-priest Julius Bassianus and a Syrian princess from the Royal House of Emesa.
RS68055. Silver denarius, RIC IV 431, Cohen 771, VF, lamination flaws and corrosion on reverse, weight 2.189 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 315o, Emesa (Homs) mint, 194 - 195 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE L SEP SEV PERT AVG COS II, laureate head right; reverse VIRTVTE AVG, Virtus advancing right, wearing military garb, inverted spear in right hand, parazonium in left; scarce; $110.00 (€82.50)

Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.
Click for a larger photo This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RB46814. Silvered antoninianus, Bastien IX 57, RIC V 27, Choice VF, weight 3.748 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, early 276 A.D.; obverse IMP CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing left, holding two standards, BA in exergue; excellent centering; $100.00 (€75.00)

Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.
Click for a larger photo 'Courage' is depicted as a helmeted soldier, often a female, in armor holding a spear, parazonium, victory or a shield. Virtus and Mars can usually be distinguished since Mars is usually shown nude and Virtus is always shown clothed.
RB38043. Bronze antoninianus, RIC V 437 var (bust type), VF, weight 3.509 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 180o, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 276 A.D.; obverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG, radiate nude heroic bust left, aegis across shoulder and spear in right hand; reverse VIRTVS AVG, Virtus standing left holding Victory, spear and shield, QXXT in ex; very rare; $95.00 (€71.25)

Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 277, Probus entered Rome to have his position as Emperor ratified by the Senate.
RB29519. Bronze antoninianus, RIC V 351 var (bust type), aVF, weight 3.197 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 0o, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 277 A.D.; obverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG, radiate nude heroic bust left, aegis across shoulder and spear in right hand; reverse CONSERVAT AVG, Sol standing slightly right, radiate, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left, TXXT in exergue; very rare; $90.00 (€67.50)

Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.
Click for a larger photo This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RB52323. Bronze antoninianus, RIC V 87 var (bust type), VF, weight 3.381 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 275 - 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate bare-chest bust right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing left, holding two standards, XXIS in exergue; rare; $90.00 (€67.50)

Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 277 A.D., Probus began his campaign in Gaul, clearing the Goths and Germanic tribes from the province.
RB48410. Bronze antoninianus, RIC V 366, VF, weight 3.894 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 277 A.D.; obverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG, radiate, helmeted and cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield decorated with florets and stars; reverse FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing left, standard in each hand, VIXXT in ex; rare with this shield decoration; $80.00 (€60.00)

Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus III the Great, 223 - 187 B.C.
Click for a larger photo In 213 B.C., after a two year siege, allied with Attalus I of Pergamum, Antiochus III captured the rebel capitol Sardes and executed the rebel king Achaeus. Houghton and Lorber explain that this that this larger denomination "A" does not fit Sardian tradition but the type is attributed to Sardes based on excavation finds. The type, overstruck on Antioch bronzes, was likely issued to support Antiochus' troops during the siege. Perhaps Antiochus' hoped larger coins would impress the troops and the local population.
GB63181. Bronze AE 25, Houghton-Lorber I 971, Newell WSM 1187, Hoover Syrian 468 (R2), F, overstruck on an Antioch mint coin, weight 12.983 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 315o, military mint near Sardes(?) mint, c. 215 - 213 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, short hair with longer locks on the back of the neck, some undertype effects; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY, tripod lebes, no control symbols, undertype: Apollo standing left, examining arrow in right hand, resting left on grounded bow behind; very rare; $80.00 (€60.00)

Procopius, 28 September 365 - 27 May 366 A.D.
Click for a larger photo The variant with a branch in the left field is considerably scarcer than the usual "indeteminate object" or blank field.
RL59961. Bronze AE 3, RIC IX 17b, aF, weight 1.771 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 28 Sep 365 - 27 May 366 A.D.; obverse D N PROCO-PIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust left; reverse REPARATI-O FEL TEMP, Procopius standing facing, head right, labarum in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, branch lower left, Christogram above right, CONS[?] in ex; very rare; $70.00 (€52.50)

Procopius, 28 September 365 - 27 May 366 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Procopius was a general under Julian II. After the accession of Valens, Procopius led a rebellion at Constantinopolis while the emperor was in Syria. Procopius' forces were quickly defeated and he was executed shortly after.
RL26676. Bronze AE 3, RIC IX Heraclea 8 or similar, VF, weight 1.375 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, obverse D N PROCOPIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse REPARATIO FEL TEMP, Procopius standing facing, head right, labarum in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield; good portrait, scarcer right facing portrait; scarce; $65.00 (€48.75)

Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.
Click for a larger photo On 1 March 317, Constantine and Licinius elevated their sons Crispus, Constantine II (still a baby) and Licinius II to Caesars. After this arrangement Constantine ruled the dioceses Pannonia and Macedonia, and established his residence at Sirmium, from where he prepared a campaign against the Goths and Sarmatians.
RL43300. Bronze AE 3, RIC VII Trier 173, EF, hair struck a bit soft, weight 3.495 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 317 - 318 A.D.; obverse FL CL CONSTANTINVS IVN N C, bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS, Constantine II standing right holding transverse spear in right and globe in left, F left, T right, BTR in ex; $60.00 (€45.00)

The Mamertini, Sicily, c. 220 - 200 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Mamertini or "children of Mars," was the name taken by a band of Campanian (or Samnite) freebooters who about 289 B.C. seized the Greek colony of Messana at the north-east corner of Sicily, after having been hired by Agathocles to defend it (Polyb. 1. 7. 2). - 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
GB66277. Bronze pentonkion, cf. Calciati I p. 101, 25; BMC Sicily p. 112, 32; SNG ANS 423; SNG Cop 446, F, green patina, weight 10.481 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, Messana mint, c. 220 - 200 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Ares left; reverse MAMEPTINΩN, warrior walking left, with right holding head and leading horse behind, transverse spear in left, Π left; $60.00 (€45.00)

Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.
Click for a larger photo This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RB49569. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V 25, VF, weight 3.757 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, early 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing left, holding two flanking standards, BA in exergue; $55.00 (€41.25)

Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In Roman religion every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Roman people, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIVS EXERC ILLVRICIANI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the army in Illyria (western Balkans).

Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RS68522. Silver antoninianus, RIC IV 16(c), RSC IV 49, SRCV III 9374, aVF, weight 3.832 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 225o, Rome mint, obverse IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse GENIVS EXERC ILLVRICIANI, Genius standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, patera in right, cornucopia in left, standard right; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $55.00 (€41.25)

Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.
Click for a larger photo This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RB46827. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V 169 corr., VF, weight 3.418 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 281 A.D.; obverse IMP PROBVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing left, flanked by two standards, one in each hand, R thunderbolt E in ex; extensive silvering; $50.00 (€37.50)

Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 244 A.D. Philip negotiated peace with the Persian invaders in order to deal with the troubles on the Rhine and Danube border.
RS57656. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8974, RIC IV 52, RSC IV 239, VF, toned, weight 4.128 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 75o, Rome mint, 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VIRTVS AVG, Virtus standing left, helmeted, in military garb, branch in right hand, inverted spear behind in left, right foot on helmet; full circles strike; $50.00 (€37.50)

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 241 Timesitheus was appointed the head of the Praetorian Guard, Gordian married his daughter Tranquillina, and she received the honorific title of Augusta. The marriage indicates Gordian correctly understood that Timesitheus was indispensable. Timesitheus died under suspicious circumstances in 243. Not long after losing his protector, Gordian was murdered by mutinous soldiers in February 244.
RS60451. Silver antoninianus, SRCV III 8646, RIC IV 92, RSC IV 253, VF, weight 4.504 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 241 - 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P IIII COS II P P, Gordian standing right, wearing military garb, spear in right hand, globe in left; uneven toning, full circles centering; $50.00 (€37.50)

Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Marking coins with numbers in ink was once a common practice for museums and collectors. It has been out of fashion for many decades. Unfortunately the origin of the number is not known.
RA41941. Billon antoninianus, Gφbl MIR 570a, RIC V S236, RSC IV 617a, SRCV III 10288 (264 - 266), VF, weight 3.751 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 8th emission, 256 - 257 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; reverse MARTI PACIFERO, Mars standing half left, olive branch raised in right hand, resting left on grounded shield, spear behind, A in left field, old ink museum number (34) lower left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $40.00 (€30.00)

Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt
Click for a larger photo In 282, Carus appointed his oldest son Marcus Aurelius Carinus, Caesar and co-emperor of the western Roman Empire.
RX42534. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4679, Dattari 5578, Curtis 1913, Geissen 3169, SNG Cop 951, Kampmann 115.1, Emmett 4005, gVF, unusually thick flan, weight 8.338 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, as caesar, 29 Aug 282 - first half 283 A.D.; obverse A K M A KAPINOC K, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse eagle standing left between two vexilla, wings open, head turned back right, wreath in beak, LA (year 1) above; nice portrait; $40.00 (€30.00)

Aurelian, August or September 270 - October or November 275 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Aurelian's concord with the military apparently came undone; he fell victim to a conspiracy of his chief officers and was assassinated at Caenophrurium in Thrace.
BB50391. Silvered antoninianus, RIC V 192, aVF, pitting, much silvering, weight 2.914 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 270 - 272 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA MILI, Concordia standing half left, holding two flanking standards, T (3rd officina) right; $40.00 (€30.00)

Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Virtus is the personification of valor and courage. Valor was, of course, essential for the success of a Roman emperor and Virtus was one of the embodiments of virtues that were part of the Imperial cult. During his joint reign with his father, Gallienus proved his courage in battle; but his failure to liberate his father from Persian captivity was perceived as cowardice and a disgrace to the Emperor and Empire. It was not, however, actually fear that prevented a rescue. While others mourned Valerian's fate, Gallienus rejoiced in his new sovereignty.
RA64614. Billon antoninianus, Gφbl MIR 1147m, RIC V S534, RSC IV 1236, SRCV III -, VF, toned, weight 4.023 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 0o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, c. 263 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG, Virtus standing left, wearing crested helmet and military garb, right resting hand on grounded shield, spear vertical behind in left; scarce; $37.00 (€27.75)

Licinius Junior, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 18 September 324 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 320, Licinius reneged on the religious freedom promised by the Edict of Milan, and began a new persecution of Christians in the Eastern Roman Empire. He destroyed churches, imprisoned Christians and confiscated their property.
RL59928. Bronze AE 3, RIC VII Trier 272, aVF, weight 2.704 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 320 A.D.; obverse LICINIVS - IVN NOB C, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS EXERCIT, Vexillum inscribed VOT / XX flanked by a captive on each side, STR in exergue; scarce (RIC R3); $36.00 (€27.00)

Julian II "the Apostate," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.
Click for a larger photo The first officinan letter "A" sometimes resembles H on this type.
RL60022. Bronze AE 3, RIC VIII Sirmium 81, VF, nice patina, weight 1.852 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 180o, Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) mint, as caesar, 6 Nov 355 - 3 Nov 361 A.D.; obverse D N IVLIA-NVS NOB C, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES REI-PVBLICE, emperor standing slightly left, head left, globe extended in right, inverted spear behind in left, ASIRM in ex; $36.00 (€27.00)

Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 384, an edict of Theodosius I closed the pagan temples in the Nile Valley, Egypt.
RL90650. Bronze AE 2, RIC IX Heraclea 24a(2), Cohen 57, aVF, green patina with earthen fill, light scratches, weight 4.555 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 25 Aug 383 - 28 Aug 388 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINI-ANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS E-XERCITI, emperor standing right standard in right and globe in left, left foot on kneeling captive, star in left field, •SMHB in ex; scarce; $35.00 (€26.25)

Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 348, the Goth bishop Wulfila escaped religious persecution by the Gothic chieftain Athanaric and obtained permission from Constantius II to migrate with his flock of converts to Moesia and settle near Nicopolis ad Istrum (Bulgaria).
BB54582. Bronze AE 2, RIC VIII Aquileia 103, LRBC 88, VF, turquoise patina, weight 2.945 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Aquileia mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTA-NS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust left, globe in right; reverse FEL TEMP REPAR-ATIO, helmeted soldier, leading barbarian with right hand from hut under tree, spear in left, AQT• in ex; $32.00 (€24.00)

Julian II "the Apostate," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. On coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Julian II, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the future hope of the Roman "Republic."
BB62132. Bronze AE 3, RIC VIII Sirmium 81, VF, weight 2.445 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) mint, as caesar, 6 Nov 355 - Feb 360; obverse D N IVLIA-NVS NOB C, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES REI-PVBLICE, emperor standing slightly left, head left, globe extended in right, inverted spear behind in left, BSIRM in ex; $30.00 (€22.50)

Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.
Click for a larger photo This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RB90623. Bronze antoninianus, RIC V 36, gVF/F, weight 4.778 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, obverse IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse FIDES EXERCI, Fides standing left, vertical standard in right, transverse standard in left; $26.00 (€19.50)

Galerius, 1 March 305 - 5 May 311 A.D.
Click for a larger photo RIC incorrectly describes this reverse as Virtus, it is Mars. Virtus is never shown nude.
BB51470. Bronze follis, RIC VI 37a corr., F, weight 6.641 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 308 - 310 A.D.; obverse GAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse VIRTVTI EXERCITVS, Mars advancing right, transverse spear in right hand, trophy over shoulder in left, star left, B right, •SM•TS• in ex; $25.00 (€18.75)

Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.
Click for a larger photo  
RB47104. Bronze antoninianus, RIC V 227, gF, weight 4.518 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Viminacium (near Stari Kostolac, Serbia) mint, 256 A.D.; obverse IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG, Virtus standing left, resting right hand on grounded shield, inverted spear in left; scarce; $24.00 (€18.00)

Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.
Click for a larger photo The reverse may advertise the resettlement and protection of Christian Goths in 348. Persecuted by the Gothic chieftain Athanaric, Wulfila, a Gothic bishop, obtained permission from Constantius II to migrate with his flock of converts to Moesia. They settled near Nicopolis ad Istrum.
BB69491. Bronze AE 2, RIC VIII Thessalonica 117, LRBC 1365, Voetter 13, aVF, weight 3.695 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust left, globe in right; reverse FEL TEMP REPAR-ATIO, soldier advancing right, looking back, pulling barbarian out of hut beneath tree with right, transverse spear with point downward between the figures, TESA in ex; from the old stock of a retiring Ohio dealer; scarce; $24.00 (€18.00)

Julian II "the Apostate," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.
Click for a larger photo On 5 November 355 Emperor Constantius II in Mediolanum (Italy) raised his cousin Julian to the rank of Caesar. Julian married Constantius' sister, Helena, and took command of the western provinces.
BB62114. Bronze AE 3, RIC VIII Constantinople 150, aVF, light cleaning scratches, weight 1.839 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 6 Nov 355 - 3 Nov 361 A.D.; obverse D N CL IVLIANVS NOB CAES, bare headed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES REI-PVBLICAE, emperor standing left, helmeted, in military dress, globe in right hand, spear in left, CONSS in ex; very scarce; $23.00 (€17.25)

Honorius, 23 January 393 - 15 August 423 A.D.
Click for a larger photo In 395, Alaric the Visigothic, renounced Roman fealty and was declared king. The Visigoths, ending a 16-year period of peace with the Romans, devastated Thrace and Macedonia, imposed a tribute on Athens, and then turned their sights on the West. At the same time, the Huns invaded Armenia, Cappadocia and Syria.
BB59883. Bronze AE 3, RIC X 62, LRBC 757, SRCV 4256, aVF, weight 2.361 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 0o, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 395 - 400 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl diademed and draped bust right; reverse VIRTVS EXERCITI, emperor standing facing, holding spear in right and resting left hand on shield, Victory behind holding palm frond in left and crowing him with wreath in right, SMNB in ex; $22.00 (€16.50)

Julian II "the Apostate," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Spes was the Roman personification of Hope. In art Spes is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, while the left is raising a fold of her dress. She was also named "ultima dea" - for Hope is the last resort of men. On this coin, the Caesar, Julian, the designated successor of the emperor, is identified as the hope for the future of the Roman people.
BB60484. Bronze AE 3, RIC VIII Siscia 394, aVF, weight 2.222 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 0o, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, as caesar, 6 Nov 355 - 3 Nov 361 A.D.; obverse D N IVLIAN-VS NOB C, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES REI-PVBLICE, emperor standing left in military garb, globe in right hand, spear in left, ∆SIS• in ex; scarce; $21.00 (€15.75)


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