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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Tetrarchy ▸ DiocletianView Options:  |  |  |     

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

Caius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus was a man of humble birth who rose through the Roman military ranks on pure talent. Becoming emperor after the assassination of Carinus, Diocletian introduced many reforms that prolonged the life of the Empire, which was on the verge of total collapse before his reign. These reforms, however, eliminated most personal freedoms and turned much of the population into hereditary serfs. Diocletian was the first Roman emperor to voluntarily abdicate. He lived out his retirement in his palace on the Dalmatian coast, tending his vegetable gardens. His palace went on to become the core of the modern day city of Split.


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In 291, Diocletian signed peace treaties with the kingdoms of Aksum and Nubia.
SH58686. Billon antoninianus, Bastien 367 (2 examples cited); Cohen VI 368; RIC V, Part 2, 67; SRCV IV 12687, aEF, pitting, weight 3.269 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Lugdunum mint, emission 7, spring 290 - 291 A.D.; obverse IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust left, spear over shoulder in right, shield in left; reverse PAX AVGG (the peace of the two emperors), Pax standing left, Victory on globe in right hand, transverse long scepter in left; a scarcer bust type for Diocletian; scarce; SOLD


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Juno was the chief female divinity in the Roman pantheon. She was the wife of Jupiter and a member of the Capitoline Triad. She had many different aspects, such as Juno Regina, Juno Sospita, and Juno Lucina, but here she is depicted as Juno Moneta, holding the scales symbolic of equity and a cornucopia indicating plenty. This surname was given to Juno because she counseled the Romans to undertake only just wars in which case she promised that they would never be in want of money. The first mint in Rome was within the temple of Juno Moneta. In 301 A.D., Diocletian issued his Edict on Maximum Prices in an attempt to curb inflation.
RB90679. Billon follis, RIC VI Ticinum 43a (variety with smaller head and divided reverse legend), Cohen VI 101, SRCV IV 12772, Choice EF, excellent portrait, centering, strike and surfaces, weight 11.063 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, c. 300 - 303 A.D.; obverse IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse SAC MON VRB AVGG - ET CAESS NN, Moneta standing slightly left, head left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, ST• in exergue; SOLD


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Quies is the personification of rest and retirement. This coin honors Emperor Diocletian after his abdication in 305 A.D. The obverse dedicates the coin, to our lord Diocletian the happy senior emperor. The reverse translates, By the providence of the gods, the restful retirement of the Emperors.
RT84429. Billon follis, RIC VI Ticinum 56a; Cohen VI 422; SRCV IV 3543 var. (obverse inscription); Hunter V 30 (2nd officina), Choice VF, interesting obverse legend error, nice portrait, well centered, small deposits, light corrosion, weight 11.161 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, c. 305 - 307 A.D.; obverse D N DIOCLETIANO BAEATISSIMO SEN AVG, laureate bust right, wearing imperial mantle, olive branch in right hand, mappa in left hand; reverse PROVIDENTIA DEORVM QVIES AVGG, Providentia on left standing right, extending right hand to Quies, who is standing left with branch in right and leaning on scepter in left, pellet right, T T exergue; scarce; SOLD


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Juno was the chief female divinity in the Roman pantheon. She was the wife of Jupiter and a member of the Capitoline Triad. She had many different aspects, such as Juno Regina, Juno Sospita, and Juno Lucina, but here she is depicted as Juno Moneta, holding the scales symbolic of equity and a cornucopia indicating plenty. This surname was given to Juno because she counseled the Romans to undertake only just wars in which case she promised that they would never be in want of money. The first mint in Rome was within the temple of Juno Moneta.
RBA467. Billon follis, RIC VI Ticinum 47a, Cohen VI 101, SRCV IV 12772, superb EF, chocolate patina, superb!, weight 11.060 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 304 - 305 A.D.; obverse IMP C DIOCLETIANVS 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, head left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, star right, ST in exergue; from the Aiello Collection; SOLD


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In 303, Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius issued a series of edicts rescinding the legal rights of Christians and demanding that they comply with traditional religious practices. About 3,000 Christians died in the persecutions, many more were imprisoned and tortured, but most Christians avoided punishment.
RBA468. Billon follis, RIC VI Rome 105a, EF, weight 9.51 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 302 - 303 A.D.; obverse IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse SAC MON VRB AVGG ET CAESS NN, Aequitas standing left holding scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, * right, RP in exergue; from the Aiello Collection; SOLD


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From the Aiello Collection.
RBA469. Billon follis, RIC VI Siscia 134a, Superb near UNC, weight 9.41 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 301 A.D.; obverse IMP DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse SACRA MON VRB AVGG ET CAESS NOSTR, Aequitas standing left holding scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, * left, Γ right, *SIS in exergue; unmatched sharp details; SOLD


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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.
RB04179. Billon follis, Hunter V 72 (also 4th officina), RIC VI Heraclea 17a, SRCV IV 12787, Cohen VI 106, EF, bold full circle strike on both obverse and reverse, smooth glossy black patina, weight 10.7 g, maximum diameter 28 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 296 - 297 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), 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, HT∆ in exergue; from the Aiello Collection; SOLD


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From the Aiello Collection.
RBA462. Billon follis, RIC VI Carthage 31a, Choice EF, weight 9.91 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 180o, Carthage (near Tunis, Tunisia) mint, 299 - 303 A.D.; obverse IMP DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, head laureate right; reverse SALVIS AVGG ET CAES FEL KART, Carthago standing left holding up fruits in both hands, A in exergue; SOLD


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In 303, Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius issued a series of edicts rescinding the legal rights of Christians and demanding that they comply with traditional religious practices. About 3,000 Christians died in the persecutions, many more were imprisoned and tortured, but most Christians avoided punishment.
RBA463. Billon follis, RIC VI Carthage 31a, superb EF, weight 11.100 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 0o, Carthage (near Tunis, Tunisia) mint, 299 - 303 A.D.; obverse IMP DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse SALVIS AVGG ET CAES FEL KART, Carthago standing left holding up fruits in both hands, A in exergue; from the Aiello Collection; SOLD


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In 293, Diocletian's Palace was built on a small bay on the Dalmatian coast, four miles from Salona, today's Split, Croatia.
RB11079. Billon antoninianus, RIC V, part 2, 306; Cohen VI 33; SRCV IV 12635, Choice EF, weight 4.583 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 284 - 294 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse CONCORDIA MILITVM (harmony with the soldiers), Diocletian standing right, receiving Victory from Jupiter standing left, holding long scepter behind in left, E in center, XXI in exergue; full silvering, nice strike with great centering; SOLD




    




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OBVERSE LEGENDS

DIOCLETIANVSAVG
DIOCLETIANVSPAVG
DIOCLETIANVSAVGVSTVS
DIOCLETIANVSPFAVG
DNDIOCLETIANOBAEATIS
DNDIOCLETIANOFELICIS
DNDIOCLETIANOFELICISSIMOSENAVG
DNDIOCLETIANOPFSAVG
IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG
IMPCDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG
IMPDIOCLETIANVSAVG
IMPDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG


REFERENCES

Bastien, P. Le monnayage de I'atelier de Lyon, Diocletien et ses coregents avant la reforme monetaire (285 - 294). Numismatique Romaine VII. (Wetteren, 1972).
Bastien, P. Le Monnayage de l'Atelier de Lyon, De la Réforme Monétaire de Dioclétien à la fermeture temporaire de l'Atelier en 316 (294 - 316). Numismatique Romaine XI. (Wetteren, 1980).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 6: Macrianus to Diocletian & Maximianus. (Paris, 1886).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Diocletien à Constantin I (284-337). Moneta 1. (Wetteren, 1995).
Gnecchi, F. I Medaglioni Romani. (Milan, 1912).
Jelocnik, A. The Sisak Hoard of Argentei of the Early Tetrarchy. (Ljubljana, 1961).
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).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine...Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 211).
Sutherland, R.A.C. & C.H.V. Carson. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VI, From Diocletian's reform to the death of Maximinus. (London, 1967).

Catalog current as of Thursday, August 17, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Diocletian