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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Late Empire ▸ HonoriusView Options:  |  |  |     

Honorius, 23 January 393 - 15 August 423 A.D.

Honorius was the son of Theodosius I and upon the latter's death was given the Western provinces to rule as emperor, while his brother Arcadius was given the East. Honorius was a weak incompetent ruler dominated at first by the famed general Stilicho, then by various court favorites. In August 410 A.D. he sat helpless at Ravenna while Rome was sacked by the Goths. He was succeeded by Valentinian III.The Roman Empire 395 AD


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In 1972, a construction worker at Sremska Mitrovica (ancient Sirmium) accidentally broke into an old Roman pot, about 2 meters deep. Inside, in a leather pouch, were 33 Roman gold coins minted at Sirmium. The pot was inside a Roman house wall and probably held the hidden savings of a wealthy Roman family. Ironically, the worker's name was Zlatenko (meaning Golden or Golden Man in Serbian).
SH43076. Gold solidus, RIC IX Sirmium 14d, aVF, holed, wavy, weight 4.370 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, 7th officina, Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) mint, 23 Jan 393 - 17 Jan 395 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG Z (victory of the three emperors, 7th officina), Honorius standing right, holding standard and Victory on globe, treading down captive, S-M across fields, COMOB in exergue; SOLD


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The abbreviation AVGGG indicates three Augusti (emperors). Arcadius minted this type for himself, Honorius, and Theodosius II.
SH11127. Gold solidus, RIC X Arcadius 24 (R2, 4th officina not listed), Depeyrot 56/1, SRCV V 20901, DOCLR 764 - 765 var. (officina), Cohen VIII 6 var. (star in field), VF, graffiti on obverse, weight 4.202 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 402 - c. 403 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, helmeted bust facing, diademed, cuirassed, spear in right over right shoulder behind head, shield decorated with horseman on left arm; reverse CONCORDIA AVGGG ∆ (harmony among our three emperors, 4th officina), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, head right, long scepter vertical in right hand, Victory on globe offering wreath in her left hand, right leg bare and right foot on prow, CONOB in exergue; very rare; SOLD


Germanic Tribes, Pseudo-Imperial Coinage, c. 390 - 420 A.D.

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Part of a very interesting barbarous issue that combined the GLORIA ROMANORVM (Emperor dragging captive) and REPARATIO REIPVB (Emperor raising kneeling woman) reverses into a single one. The style of our coin is remarkable for the issue. Although these were probably minted in the Rhine region, our coin was found in the Middle East!
RL12042. Bronze imitative AE 3, DOCLR 733; for prototype cf. RIC X Honorius 1355 (official, Rome mint), VF, attractive style and nice desert patina, weight 2.71 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rhine frontier Germanic mint, c. 390 - 420 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Emperor standing right, head left, right hand on head of woman, with left dragging captive; rare; SOLD


Honorius, 23 January 393 - 15 August 423 A.D., Ancient Counterfeit

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This is the core of an ancient counterfeit solidus, which lost the gold plating entirely.
RL28691. Fouree gold plated solidus, cf. RIC X Honorius 1321 (official, gold, Ravenna mint, 412 - 422 A.D.), aVF, no gold plating remaining, weight 4.383 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, illegal mint, obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG (victory of the three emperors), Honorius standing right, holding standard and Victory on globe, treading down captive; R-V across fields, COMOB in exergue; rare; SOLD


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In 395, after the death of Theodosius I, the Empire was re-divided into an eastern and a western half. The eastern half, centered in Constantinople, was put under Arcadius, and the western half, centered in Rome, was put under his eleven-year-old brother Honorius.
RL06942. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Nicomedia 46(c)1, DOCLR 706, LRBC II 2424, SRCV V 20987, Cohen VIII 20, Choice aEF, beautiful patina, nicely centered, boldly struck, weight 4.93 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 23 Jan 393 - 17 Jan 395 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Emperor standing facing, diademed, in military dress, head right, standard in right hand, globe in left hand, SMNΓ in exergue; from the Scott Collection; SOLD


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In 395, after the death of Theodosius I, the Empire was re-divided into an eastern and a western half. The eastern half, centered in Constantinople, was under Arcadius, and the western half, centered in Rome, was under his brother Honorius.
BB56320. Bronze centenionalis, DOCLR 760, RIC X Arcadius 68, LRBC II 2581, SRCV V 21030, Cohen VIII 56, gVF, well centered, some flatness on upper reverse, edge cracks, weight 2.529 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 395 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS EXERCITI (courage of the army), Emperor on left standing facing, head right, spear vertical in his right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield, Victory beside him on right, standing left and crowning him with wreath, palm frond in her left, SMKB in exergue; SOLD


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At first, Honorius based his capital in Milan, but when the Visigoths under King Alaric I entered Italy in 401 he moved his capital to the coastal city of Ravenna, which was protected by a ring of marshes and strong fortifications. While the new capital was easier to defend, it was poorly situated to allow Roman forces to protect central Italy from the increasingly regular threat of barbarian incursions. The Emperor's residence remained in Ravenna until the overthrow of the last western Roman Emperor in 476. Recognizing its security, Ravenna was selected as the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom in Italy, and also became the seat of the Byzantine exarchs.
RL12285. Silver siliqua, RIC X Honorius 1228, Ulrich-Bansa Moneta 67, RSC V 59b, SRCV V 20968, gVF, very nicely toned, clipped, weight 1.596 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, c. 397 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS ROMANORVM (courage of the Romans), Roma seated left on cuirass, Victory on globe offering wreath in her right hand, inverted spear in her left hand, MDPS in exergue; SOLD


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On 24 August 410, the Visigoths under Alaric I sacked Rome after a third siege. The historian Procopius recorded the following satire: the feeble-minded Emperor Honorius was informed by a eunuch that "Rome was destroyed" and, thinking the reference was to his favorite hen named "Roma," cried out in great consternation: "How could it be? She just ate out of my hand." Upon being informed of his mistake, the hapless emperor was greatly relieved.
RL19355. Bronze half centenionalis, RIC X Honorius 1357, DOCLR 731-732 var. (1st and 2nd officina), LRBC II 828, SRCV V 21048, Cohen VIII 39, aVF, weight 1.017 g, maximum diameter 12.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, late in the reign; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, star left; reverse VICTORIA AVGG (victory of the two emperors), Victory walking left, holding wreath and palm, T left, RM in exergue; scarce; SOLD


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RL23083. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Cyzicus 29(c)3 (C), DOCLR 703-5, LRBC II 2576, SRCV V 20997, Cohen VIII 23, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, light marks, encrustations, weight 2.510 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 23 Jan 393 - 17 Jan 395 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Honorius on horseback right, raising right hand, SMKΓ in exergue; very scarce; SOLD


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SH11637. Gold solidus, RIC X Theodosius II 201, FDC, weight 4.443 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 408 - 420 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, helmeted bust facing, diademed, cuirassed, spear in right over right shoulder behind head, shield decorated with horseman on left arm; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG Γ (harmony between the two emperors, 3rd officina), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, head right, holding long scepter and Victory on globe, foot on prow, CONOB in exergue; fully lustrous mint state, perfect full-circle centering, boldly struck with sharp dies - FDC!; rare; SOLD




    




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OBVERSE LEGENDS

DNHONORIVSPFAVG


REFERENCES

Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 8: Nepotian to Romulus Augustus, plus tesserae & cotorniates. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Constantin II Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
Grierson, P. & M. Mays. Catalogue of Late Roman Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection. (Washington D.C., 1992).
Hahn, Wolfgang. Moneta Imperii Romani-Byzantinii. (Vienna, 1989).
Kent, J. P. C. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume X, The Divided Empire and the Fall of the Western Parts, AD 395 - 491. (London, 1994).
King, C.E. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Ranieri, E. La monetazione di Ravenna antica dal V all' VIII secolo: impero romano e bizantino, regno ostrogoto e langobardo. (Bologna, 2006).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire...Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Ulrich-Bansa, O. Moneta Mediolanensis (352-498). (Venice, 1949).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Monday, March 27, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Honorius