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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.

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Diocletian created the tetrarchy to provide leadership for the armies defending against threats across the great expanse of the Roman Empire. Around the time this coin was struck, the two emperors and two caesars faced Franks in Britain, Berbers and Frankish Pirates in Mauritania, a rebellion in Egypt, and Sasanians in Armenia and Persia.
SH87290. Silver argenteus, Hunter V 34 (also 2nd officina), RIC VI Rome 40a (S), RSC V 516†g, cf. SRCV IV 12617 (Siscia, Rome issue noted), Choice EF, mirror luster, perfect centering, nice portrait, radiating flow lines, slightest die wear, weight 3.281 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 295 - 297 A.D.; obverse DIOCLETIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse VIRTVS MILITVM (courage of the soldiers), two emperors and two caesars sacrificing over a tripod before archway of six-turreted enclosure, B in exergue; scarce; $800.00 (€680.00)


Lot of 5 Choice gVF+ Bronze Coins - Roman Emperor Licinius I and his son Licinius II, 308 - 324 A.D.

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Licinius I was a comrade of emperor Galerius in the Tetrarchic period. Following the abdication of Diocletian and Maximianus, Licinius was raised to the rank of Augustus despite never having held the position of Caesar. After Maximinus II invaded his territories, Licinius marched against him and defeated him soundly. Over the next few years, relations between Licinius and Constantine I deteriorated. Armed conflict broke out several times and Licinius was defeated. Only through the intervention of Licinius' wife, Constantine's sister, was his life spared. However, shortly after he was executed for additional political machinations against Constantine. Licinius Junior, son of Licinius I, was made Caesar while still a small child. He was deposed after his father's defeat and executed in 326 A.D.
LT87367. Bronze Lot, 5 coins of Licinius and his son, 19.2 - 21.2 mm, Choice gVF+, excellent coins, well centered and struck with beautiful desert patinas, no specific identification, no tags or flips, the lot is the actual coins in the photograph; $200.00 (€170.00)


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 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 Roman People, etc. The legend GENIO AVGVSTI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Augusti, the Emperors. The figure depicted is the statue of the Spirit of the Roman People which was then in the Roman Forum (it is now lost). The act of pouring the libation to the emperor illustrates what the Christians were required to do in order not to be persecuted.
RT85731. Billon follis, RIC VI Nicomedia 74b, SRCV IV 14830, Cohen VII 29, Choice EF, much silvering remaining, areas of porosity, weight 4.837 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), Genius standing slightly left, nude but for kalathos on head and chlamys over shoulders and left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand over flaming altar at feet on left, cornucopia in left hand, * over E right, SMN in exergue; $180.00 (€153.00)


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; $160.00 (€136.00)


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; $155.00 (€131.75)


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; $150.00 (€127.50)


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

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This reverse legend occurs only on coins of Diocletian, Maximian, and Claudius Gothicus.
RA87274. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 167, Hunter IV 26, SRCV IV 12673, Cohen VI 289, F, excellent centering on a broad flan, traces of silvering, strike weak/flat in centers, small green encrustations, weight 3.758 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, c. 286 A.D.; obverse IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI FVLGERATORI (to Jupiter the Thunderer), Jupiter standing facing, head right, naked but for cloak fluttering over left arm, right foot drawn back in act to hurl thunderbolt, which is raised up in right hand; eagle at feet on left, standing left, head right; XXIB in exergue; $150.00 (€127.50)


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)


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; $135.00 (€114.75)


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; $135.00 (€114.75)











Catalog current as of Tuesday, August 14, 2018.
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The Tetrarchy