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Medieval & Modern Coins
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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The TetrarchyView Options:  |  |  | 

Roman Coins of the Tetrarchy

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

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Eirene, or Irene (Greek for peace; the Roman equivalent was Pax), was the personification of peace and wealth, and of the spring season. Most references describe the object in Eirene's right hand as an olive branch but Copenhagen says ears of corn. We believe it might also be either a torch or rhyton, both are objects often held by Eirene.
RX86242. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4925, BMC Alexandria 2495, SNG Cop 996, Geissen 3248 var., Curtis 1979 var., SNG Milan 2190 var., Emmett 4045/6 (all var. date arrangement), VF, brown patina, well centered and struck obverse, reverse slightly off center, spots of corrosion, edge cracks, weight 6.983 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 289 - 28 Aug 290 A.D.; obverse A K Γ OYA ∆IOKΛHTIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse Eirene standing slightly left, head left, olive branch in right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, LS (year 6) left; $60.00 (€51.00)


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

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On 1 April 286, Diocletian elevated his friend Maximian to co-emperor, giving him the title Augustus. Diocletian divided the empire in two, after economic and military problems. He gave Maximian control over the Western Roman Empire and appointed himself ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire (later known as the Byzantine Empire).
RX86252. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 3233, Dattari 5758, Kampmann 119.31, Milne 4839, Curtis 2028, SNG Milan 2177, SNG Cop 985, BMC Alexandria 2525, Emmet 4082/3, VF, well centered, green patina, buff earthen highlighting, edge crack, weight 8.482 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 286 - 28 Aug 287 A.D.; obverse A K Γ OYA ∆IOKΛHTIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ETOYC Γ (year 3), Tyche standing left, kalathos on head, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, star right; $60.00 (€51.00)


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

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On 1 March 293, Diocletian and Maximian appointed Constantius Chlorus and Galerius as Caesars. This is considered the beginning of the Tetrarchy, known as the Quattuor Principes Mundi ("Four Rulers of the World"). The four Tetrarchs established their capitals close to the Roman frontiers:
- Nicomedia (northwestern Asia Minor) became capital for Diocletian
- Mediolanum (Milan, near the Alps) became the capital for Maximian
- Augusta Treverorum (Trier, in Germany) became the capital for Constantius Chlorus
- Sirmium (Serbia, on the Danube border) became the capital for Galerius
RA85657. Billon antoninianus, Bastien Lyon XI 503 (15), SRCV IV 13154, RIC V-2 404 var. (officina), Cohen VI 427, Hunter IV - (p. clxxxvi), Choice gVF, well centered and struck, some silvering, some legend letters unstruck (filled die?), weight 4.063 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, emission 10, 2nd series, 1 Mar 293 - 20 Nov 293; obverse IMP MAXIMIANVS AVG, radiate, helmeted, cuirassed bust right; reverse PAX AVGG (the peace of the two emperors), Minerva standing left, raising olive branch pointed upward in right hand, grounded spear and oval shield in left hand, A in exergue; scarce military bust; $140.00 (€119.00)


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

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Nicomedia was the Roman metropolis of Bithynia. Diocletian made it the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 286 when he introduced the Tetrarchy system. Nicomedia remained as the eastern (and most senior) capital of the Roman Empire until co-emperor Licinius was defeated by Constantine the Great at the Battle of Chrysopolis in 324. Constantine resided mainly in Nicomedia as his interim capital for the next six years, until in 330 when he declared the nearby Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) the new capital. Constantine died in his royal villa in the vicinity of Nicomedia in 337. Due to its position at the convergence of the Asiatic roads leading to the new capital, Nicomedia retained its importance even after the foundation of Constantinople.
RT85604. Billon follis, Hunter V 123 (also 1st officina), RIC VII Nicomedia 13 (R1), SRCV IV 15216, Cohen VII 71, EF, well struck and centered on a tight flan, attractive toned brown surfaces, light marks, weight 3.879 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 313 - 317 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over left shoulder, Victory standing on globe and offering wreath in Zeus' right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, eagle left with wreath in beak at feet on left, A right, SMN in exergue; $80.00 (€68.00)


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.
RT85635. Billon follis, RIC VI Lugdunum 85 (S), Bastien XI 148, SRCV IV -, VF, well centered, spots of corrosion, porous, tiny edge cracks, weight 8.364 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 300 - 302 A.D.; obverse IMP C MAXIMIANVS AVG, laureate bust left, lion skin over shoulders, club in right hand over right shoulder; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius of the Roman people standing half left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand on to flaming altar before him, cornucopia in left hand, A right, PLG in exergue; rare; $150.00 (€127.50)


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

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RT85652. Bronze denarius communis, RIC VI p. 283, 27a (R2), Cohen VI 547, SRCV IV 12849, gF, well centered, a little rough, edge cracks, weight 1.422 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 294 - 295 A.D.; obverse DIOCLETI-ANVS AVG, laureate head right ; reverse VTILITAS PVBLICA, Utilitas standing facing, head left, hands in drapery; very rare denomination, reverse type and coin; $180.00 (€153.00)


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

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The meaning of the CMH ligature, used at Nicomedia and Cyzicus, is uncertain but it may be a mark of value indicating 48 coins per pound of bronze.
RT85607. Billon follis, RIC VI Nicomedia 66c, SRCV IV 14827, Cohen VII 34, Choice EF, well centered and struck, sharp detail, traces of silvering, some pin prick pitting, weight 5.651 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 310 - 311 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI CMH (CMH ligate), 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, SMNA in exergue; $175.00 (€148.75)


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

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In 289, Diocletian gained several victories along the Danube against the Sarmatians. He was awarded the honorable title of Sarmaticus Maximus.
RA85646. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 239; SRCV IV 12675, Cohen VI 297, Hunter IV 32, Bastien 143, Choice EF, well centered and struck, much silvering, light encrustations, weight 4.206 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 287 - 289 A.D.; obverse IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI TVTATORI AVGG, Jupiter standing left, victory on globe in right hand, leaning on long scepter vertical behind in left hand, eagle left at feet on left, P in exergue; $100.00 (€85.00)


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

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Moneta was a surname given to Juno because she was said to have promised the Romans that if they fought only just wars, they would never be in want of money.
RT85728. Billon follis, RIC VI Aquileia 33b (S), SRCV IV 13296, Cohen VI 504, MA 38, Choice aEF, well centered and struck, dark green patina, some porosity, cleaning marks, weight 9.917 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Aquileia mint, c. 301 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse SACRA MONET AVGG ET CAESS NOSTR (the sacred money of our two emperors and two princes), Moneta standing slightly left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, V right, AQS in exergue; scarce; $130.00 (€110.50)


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

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The meaning of the CMH ligature, used at Nicomedia and Cyzicus, is uncertain but it may be a mark of value indicating 48 coins per pound of bronze.
RT85730. Billon follis, RIC VI Nicomedia 66c, SRCV IV 14827, Cohen VII 34, Choice EF, well centered and struck, some silvering remaining, porosity, weight 7.064 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 310 - 311 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI CMH (CMH ligate), 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, SMNE in exergue; $170.00 (€144.50)











Catalog current as of Saturday, May 26, 2018.
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The Tetrarchy