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Roman Coins of the Tetrarchy

Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

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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 Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POPVLI ROMANI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Roman People. 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.
RT85729. Billon follis, Hunter V 80 (also 4th officina), RIC VI Cyzicus 10b, SRCV IV 13269, Cohen VI 184, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, light marks, some porosity, weight 9.230 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 295 - 296 A.D.; obverse IMP C M A MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius of the Roman people standing facing, head left, nude but for kalathos on head and chlamys on shoulders and left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, K∆ in exergue; $95.00 (€80.75)


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

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This coin is universally described with Maximian raising his empty right hand but on all of the five examples known to Forum, including this coin, he holds an olive branch in his right hand and a mappa in his left hand.
RT85653. Billon half follis, RIC VI Alexandria 91b (S) corr. (no olive branch or mappa), SRCV IV 13419, Hunter V -, Cohen VI -, Choice aEF, well centered and struck, edge cracks, weight 3.001 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Alexandria mint, c. early - mid 308 A.D.; obverse D N MAXIMIANO FELICISS, laureate bust right, wearing imperial mantle, olive branch in right hand, mappa in left hand; reverse PROVIDENTIA DEORVM (foresight of the Gods), Providentia, draped, standing right, extending right hand to Quies; Quies, draped, standing left, holding branch in right hand and leaning on scepter with left hand, ∆ lower center, ALE in exergue; rare; $150.00 (€127.50)


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

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Looking through Bastien, for Maximianus Herculius this bust type appears to have been struck with only a single die. With just two examples cited, it seem to be quite rare.
RA85654. Billon antoninianus, RIC V 402 (R), Cohen 455, Bastien 281 (2 both from same obverse die), Hunter IV -, SRCV IV -, EF/Fair, choice obverse with superb bust, well centered and struck, some silvering, reverse pitted, weight 3.644 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 6th emission, autumn 289 - beginning 290 A.D.; obverse IMP C MAXIMIANVS P AVG, radiate and draped bust left, seen from rear, holding shield and spear; reverse PAX AVGG (the peace of the two emperors), Pax standing half left, Victory on globe in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, S in exergue; rare; $90.00 (€76.50)


Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D.

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In 291, Diocletian signed peace treaties with the kingdoms of Aksum and Nubia.
RA85655. Billon antoninianus, Bastien Lyon p. 172, 322 (9 spec.); RIC V, part 2, 28; Cohen VI 151 (2f); Hunter IV, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, attractive portrait, edge crack, earthen deposits, some light very corrosion, weight 3.679 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 45o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, emission 7, spring 290 - 291 A.D.; obverse IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG, radiate bust left, wearing imperial mantle, globe in right hand; reverse IOVI AVGG, Jupiter standing left, victory on globe in right hand, leaning on long scepter in left hand, eagle at feet left, A in exergue; this type of consular bust is rare for Diocletian; very rare; $160.00 (€136.00)


Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D.

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In 292, the Roman general Achilleus was proclaimed emperor in Alexandria. For two years he ruled over Egypt, but in 294 his rebellion was crushed by Emperor Diocletian.
RA85656. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 35 (also 1st officina); Bastien Lyon 436 (41 spec.); RIC V, part 2, 34; Cohen 169, SRCV IV 12658 var. (obv. legend), Choice EF, well centered, sharp detail, silvered, edge crack, green encrustations, weight 3.210 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 8th emission, 292 A.D.; obverse IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI AVGG, Jupiter seated left, Victory on globe in right hand, long scepter behind in left, A in exergue; $100.00 (€85.00)


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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At the beginning of the 16th century nearly 20,000 Sephardic Jews immigrated to Greece from Spain following their expulsion. By 1519, 15,715 Jews lived in Thessaloniki, 54% of the population. After the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 left 72,000 people homeless, unable to stay and survive, nearly half of the Jewish population emigrated to France, the United States and Palestine. On April 22, 1941, Thessaloniki fell to Nazi Germany. 50,000 Jews, 95% of the Jewish population, were sent to concentration camps where most were murdered in the gas chambers. Another 11,000 Jews were sent to forced labor camps, where most also perished. Only 1200 Jews live in the city today.
RL86096. Billon follis, RIC VI Thessalonica 60, F, dark patina, earthen encrustations, weight 3.459 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 312 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG NN (to Jove the protector of our two Emperors), Jupiter standing half left, nude, Victory on globe in right hand, long scepter in left hand, eagle with wreath in beak left, ?TS?A? in exergue; $12.00 (€10.20)


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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In early in December 316, to ensure his loyalty, Licinius elevated Aurelius Valerius Valens, the dux limitis (duke of the frontier) in Dacia, to the rank of Augustus. According to Petrus Patricius, when Constantine learned of this "The emperor made clear the extent of his rage by his facial expression and by the contortion of his body. Almost unable to speak, he said, 'We have not come to this present state of affairs, nor have we fought and triumphed from the ocean till where we have now arrived, just so that we should refuse to have our own brother-in-law as joint ruler because of his abominable behavior, and so that we should deny his close kinship, but accept that vile slave [Valens] with him into imperial college.'" The treaty between Constantine and Licinius was concluded at Serdica on 1 March, 317. Whether it was part of that agreement is unknown, but Licinius had Valens executed.
RL85186. Billon follis, RIC VII Siscia 17 (R1), SRCV IV 15212, Cohen VII 66; Hunter IV 73 var. (2nd officina), EF, well centered, some silvering on green patina and toned copper, marks, light scratches, weight 3.159 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 315 - 316 A.D.; obverse IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, Victory on globe in right hand, long scepter in left hand, eagle left with wreath in beak at feet on left, E right, •SIS• in exergue; $100.00 (€85.00)


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

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Pax, regarded by the ancients as a goddess, was worshiped not only at Rome but also at Athens. Her altar could not be stained with blood. Claudius began the construction of a magnificent temple to her honor, which Vespasian finished, in the Via Sacra. The attributes of Peace are the hasta pura, the olive branch, the cornucopia, and often the caduceus. Sometimes she is represented setting fire to a pile of arms.
RA84973. Billon antoninianus, RIC V 399; Bastien VII 387, pl. XXVIII (46 spec.); Cohen VI 442; Compas Collection 235, EF/VF, choice obverse with much silvering, reverse slightly off center with light corrosion, weight 3.476 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 7th emission, 290 - 291 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMIANVS AVG, radiate consular bust left, wearing imperial mantle, eagle-tipped scepter in right hand; reverse PAX AVGG (the peace of the two emperors), Pax standing left, Victory on globe in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, B in exergue; scarce; $120.00 (€102.00)


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

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"This reverse is modeled after the famous statue of the Spirit of the Roman People in the Roman Forum. It is unclear when this statue was last seen as it is now lost. Although the coins celebrate a wide range of spirits (e.g., Rome, Augustus, the Army, etc.), the basic design comes from the same statue...The act of pouring the libation to the emperor illustrates what the Christians were required to do in order not to be persecuted." -- Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity 294-364 A.D. by Victor Failmezger
RT85310. Billon follis, Hunter V 31 (also 3rd officina), RIC VI Cyzicus 55 (S), SRCV IV 14724, Cohen VII 39, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, traces of silvering, spots of light corrosion, some die wear, weight 7.220 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 309 - 310 A.D.; obverse GAL VAL MAXIMINVS NOB C, head laureate right; reverse GENIO CAESARIS (to the guardian spirit of the prince), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, Γ left, * right, MKV in exergue; scarce; $90.00 (€76.50)


Severus II, 25 July 306 - Summer 307 A.D.

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"This reverse is modeled after the famous statue of the Spirit of the Roman People in the Roman Forum. It is unclear when this statue was last seen as it is now lost. Although the coins celebrate a wide range of spirits (e.g., Rome, Augustus, the Army, etc.), the basic design comes from the same statue...The act of pouring the libation to the emperor illustrates what the Christians were required to do in order not to be persecuted." -- Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity 294-364 A.D. by Victor Failmezger
RL84779. Billon quarter follis, RIC VI Siscia 170a (R), Cohen VII 32, SRCV IV 14645, Hunter V -, VF, well centered on a tight oval flan, dark toned fields with bare copper high points, weight 1.882 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, as caesar, 1 May 305 - 25 Jul 306 A.D.; obverse FL VAL SEVERVS NOB C, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder and kalathos on head, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, SIS in exergue; ex Alex G. Malloy, list XLV, lot 656; rare; $45.00 (€38.25)











Catalog current as of Thursday, December 14, 2017.
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The Tetrarchy