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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Secessionist Empires ▸ CarausiusView Options:  |  |  | 

Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

Marcus Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius was originally a fleet commander sent by the first Tetrarchs to rid the Northern seas of Saxon and Frankish pirates. He soon turned to piracy himself, before fleeing to Britain and declaring himself emperor. His natural cunning enabled him to resist all attempts to dislodge him. In 293 Constantius I captured his continental stronghold of Boulogne. Soon after Carausius was murdered by his chief minister Allectus.


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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.
RA73283. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 167; RIC V, part 2, 141 (R); SRCV IV 13665; Cohen VII 241; Hunter IV 50 var. (scepter transverse), gVF/VF, green patina, traces of silvering, nice portrait, some legend unstruck, black deposits, light scratches and marks, weight 5.021 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, c. 292 - early 293; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse PAX AVGGG (the peace of the three emperors), Pax standing half left, head left, raising olive branch in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, S - P flanking across field, MLXXI in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; rare; $135.00 (€114.75)
 


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In The British Usurpers Carausius & Allectus, P.J. Casey writes, "It should be observed the employment of mintmarks and control symbols in a rational and systematic manner is an innovation of the coinage of Carausius which was subsequently adopted throughout the Roman coinage. Why it was felt necessary to introduce such a radical system of record is not known: if, as will be argued, Allectus was the finance minister of the Carausian administration, it is to him that this innovation should be credited."
RA73286. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 139; RIC V, part 2, 98; Cohen VII 194; Hunter IV 48; SRCV IV 13639 var. (IMP CAR..), aVF, well centered, area of corrosion and pitting, some legend unstruck, earthen deposits, weight 4.210 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, c. 291 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate bust right; reverse PAX AVG (the peace of the Emperor), Pax standing half left, head left, raising olive branch in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, B - E flanking across the field, MLXXI in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; $110.00 (€93.50)
 


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Colchester (Camulodunum) and its wall were rebuilt by the Romans after Queen Boudica led a rebellion in A.D. 60 and destroyed the town. Balkerne Gate in Colchester is the largest Roman arch in Britain. Balkerne Gate Colchester
RA73495. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 391; RIC V, part 2, 335 (S); Cohen VII 240; SRCV IV 13666; Hunter IV 143 var. (...P F IN AVG), VF, green patina, well centered, areas of corrosion, weight 3.604 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 292 - early 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse PAX AVGGG (the peace of the three emperors), Pax standing half left, head left, raising olive-branch in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, S - P flanking across field, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very scarce; $200.00 (€170.00)
 


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The quantity of PAX coinage issued by Carausius probably exceeded the entire output of all his other types combined. The type was an appeal by the usurper Carausius for peace with the "official" emperors. Diocletian and Maximian did not recognize Carausius as emperor, nor did they reciprocate his desire for peace.
RA73497. Billon antoninianus, RIC V, part 2, 334 (S); Webb Carausius 392, Cohen VII 241, SRCV IV 13666, Hunter IV - (p. ccvii), aVF, well centered, corrosion, bumps and scratches, weight 4.015 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 292 - early 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate and draped [and cuirassed?] bust right, from the front; reverse PAX AVGGG (the peace of the three emperors), Pax standing half left, head left, raising olive-branch in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, S - P flanking across field, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very scarce; $180.00 (€153.00)
 


Click for a larger photo
The quantity of PAX coinage issued by Carausius probably exceeded the entire output of all his other types combined. The type was an appeal by the usurper Carausius for peace with the "official" emperors. Diocletian and Maximian did not recognize Carausius as emperor, nor did they reciprocate his desire for peace.
RA73499. Billon antoninianus, RIC V, part 2, 334 (S); Webb Carausius 392, Cohen VII 241, SRCV IV 13666, Hunter IV - (p. ccvii), F, well centered, green patina with some silvering, corrosion, marks and scratches, weight 3.292 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 292 - early 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse PAX AVGGG (the peace of the three emperors), Pax standing half left, head left, raising olive-branch in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, S - P flanking across field, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very scarce; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


Click for a larger photo
The quantity of PAX coinage issued by Carausius probably exceeded the entire output of all his other types combined. The type was an appeal by the usurper Carausius for peace with the "official" emperors. Diocletian and Maximian did not recognize Carausius as emperor, nor did they reciprocate his desire for peace.
RA73500. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 167; RIC V, part 2, 141 (R); SRCV IV 13665; Cohen VII 241; Hunter IV 50 var. (scepter transverse), VF, attractive green patina with earthen highlighting, light marks, weight 2.846 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 45o, Londinium (London, England) mint, c. 292 - early 293; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse PAX AVGGG (the peace of the three emperors), Pax standing half left, head left, raising olive branch in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, S - P flanking across field, MLXXI in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; rare; $195.00 (€165.75)
 


Click for a larger photo
Colchester (Camulodunum) and its wall were rebuilt by the Romans after Queen Boudica led a rebellion in A.D. 60 and destroyed the town. Balkerne Gate in Colchester is the largest Roman arch in Britain. Balkerne Gate Colchester
RA73506. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 397; RIC V, part 2, 339 (S); Cohen VII 238; Hunter IV 143 var. (obv. leg); SRCV IV 13666 var. (same, also scepter vertical), aVF, green patina with some flaking, edge crack, light marks and corrosion, weight 2.563 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 292 - early 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse PAX AVGGG (the peace of the three emperors), Pax standing half left, head left, raising olive-branch in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, S - P flanking across field, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very scarce; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


Click for a larger photo
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.
RA77916. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 128; RIC V, part 2, 101; Hunter IV 36; SRCV IV 13639A; Cohen VII 193;, F, well centered, corrosion, encrustation, weight 3.719 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, Londinium (London, England) mint, c. 289 - 290 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse PAX AVG (the peace of the Emperor), Pax standing slightly left, head left, raising olive branch in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, F - O flanking at sides, ML in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren, ex Alex G. Malloy sale XLV (19 Mar 1997), lot 650, ex K.F. Jacob Collection; scarce; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


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References list numerous Carausius varieties with Pax reverse legends but depicting Salus and also types with Salus reverse legends but depicting Pax. The references provided for comparison list a PAX AVG, with Salus type, without controls or a mintmark; David Sear attributes to London, 286 - 287 A.D. References do not list our variety but other types with F - O across the field and ML in the exergue are attributed to London, c. 289 - 290 A.D. This is the only example of this variant known to Forum.
RA73904. Billon antoninianus, Apparently unpublished; cf. RIC V, part 2, 930 ff. (no mintmarks); Webb Carausius 1031 ff. (same); SRCV IV 13661 (same, London, 286 - 287), aVF, nice green patina, overstruck or double-struck, tight flan cutting off parts of legends and mintmark, weight 2.615 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 315o, Londinium(?) or unofficial(?) mint, 289 - 290 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVS[IVS P AVG] (or similar), radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PAX AVG[GG?], Salus standing half left, head left, feeding snake rising from altar at left from patera in her right hand, vertical scepter in left hand, [F?] - O flanking across the field, M[L?] in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; possibly unique!; $180.00 (€153.00)
 


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This type is not listed in the many references examined by Forum. The referenced CNG specimen is listed online on Coin Archives and Wildwinds.
RA73244. Billon antoninianus, Unlisted in references; CNG Mail Bid Sale 60 (22 May 2002), lot 1881; RIC V -; Webb Carausius -; SRCV IV -; Hunter IV -; et al., aF, rough, weight 4.186 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 225o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, 292 - early 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Virtus standing right, wearing helmet and military garb, spear in left hand, shield on right arm, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; extremely rare; $125.00 (€106.25)
 










OBVERSE LEGENDS

CARAVSIVSETFRATRESSVI
CARAVSIVSPFAVG
IMPAVRCARAVSIVSAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSFAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSIIG
IMPCCARAVSIVSINAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSIVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPAV
IMPCCARAVSIVSPAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPIVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPFAG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPFAV
IMPCCARAVSIVSPFAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPFAVVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPFIAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPFINAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPFINVAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPIVSFELAVG
IMPCMACARAVSIVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVMCARAVSIVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVRMCARAVSIVSPAVG
IMPCMCARAVSIVSAVG
IMPCMCARAVSIVSPAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSA
IMPCARAVSIVSAV
IMPCARAVSIVSAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSII
IMPCARAVSIVSIIG
IMPCARAVSIVSINIC
IMPCARAVSIVSINIVI
IMPCARAVSIVSFAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSPAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSPIAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSPEAG
IMPCARAVSIVSPEAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSPEAVIG
IMPCARAVSIVSPF
IMPCARAVSIVSPFA
IMPCARAVSIVSPFAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSPFAVIG
IMPCARAVSIVSPFIAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSPFIIG
IMPCARAVSIVSPFINAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSPIVV
IMPMCARAVSIVSAVG
INVICTOETCARAVSIOAVG
VIRTCARAVSIAVG
VIRTVSCARAVSI
VIRTVSCARAVSIA
VIRTVSCARAVSIAVG
VIRTVSCARAVSII
VIRTVSCARAVSSI


REFERENCES

Askew, G. The Coinage of Roman Britain. (London, 1980).
Beaujard, E.B. & H. Huvelin. "Le tresor de Rouen et l'occupation de la Gaule par Carausius" in Histoire et Numismatique en Haut-Normandie. (Caen, 1980).
Bland, R. "A Hoard of Carausius and Allectus from Burton Latimer" in BNJ 54 (1984), pp. 41 - 50.
Burnett, A. & J. Casey. A Carausian Hoard from Croydon, Surrey, and a Note on Carausius's Continental Possessions" in BNJ 54 (1984), pp. 10 - 20.
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. 2: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Carson, R.A.G. "The Sequence-marks on the Coinage of Carausius and Allectus" in Essays Baldwin (1971), pp. 57 - 65.
Casey, P.J. Carausius and Allectus: The British Usurpers. (New Haven, 1995).
Challis, C.E. & M.A.S. Blackburn. Studies in the Coinages of Carausius and Allectus. (London, 1985).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Dioclétien a Constantin I (284-337). (Wetteren, 1995).
Giard, J-B. "La monnaie de Carausius à Rouen: une remise en question" in RN 1995, Vol. 6, Issue 150, pp. 264 - 266.
King, C.E. "A Small Hoard of Carausius Found Near Bicester Oxfordshire" in BNJ 53, (1982), pp. 7 - 16.
King, C.E. "The Unmarked Coins of Carausius" in BNJ 54 (1984), pp. 1 - 9.
King, C.E. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Mattingly, H., E.A. Sydenham & P. Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, Part II, Probus to Amandus. (London, 1933).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Schaaff, U. Münzen der römischen Kaiserzeit mit Schiffsdarstellungen im Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseum. (Munich, 2003).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine...Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 2011).
Shiel, N. The Episode of Carausius and Allectus. BAR 40. (Oxford, 1977).
Southerland, C.H.V. "'Carausius II', 'Censeris', and the Barbarous Fel. Temp. Reparatio Overstrikes" in NC 1945.
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
Webb, P.H. The reign and coinage of Carausius. (London, 1908).
Webb, P.H. "The Linchmere Hoard" in NC 1925, pp. 173 - 235.

Catalog current as of Sunday, November 19, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Carausius