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

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

In 286 A.D., Maximian was sent by the Emperor Diocletian against Gaulish rebels, and upon their defeat was raised to the rank of Augustus on 1 April 286. When Diocletian instituted the Tetrarchy, Maximianus was made emperor of the Western empire and seven years later Constantius I joined him as Caesar. Maximianus was forced to abdicate with Diocletian in 305 A.D., but the year after he resumed the throne with his son Maxentius. Forced to abdicate once again at the Conference of Carnute, he resumed the title of Augustus once more in 310 A.D. but was defeated and forced to commit suicide by Constantine the Great.


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)
 


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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)
 


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In 297, Maximian began an offensive against the Berbers in Mauritania, driving them back into their homelands in the Atlas Mountains. He spent the part of the winter in Carthage. On 10 March 297, emperor Maximian returned to Carthage making a triumphal entry into the city after having completed a successful campaign against the Berbers.
RB73639. Billon follis, RIC VI Carthage 21b (C), Cohen VI 106, SRCV IV 13231, Hunter V 66 var. (H left), F, well centered, porous, slightly rough, weight 11.058 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Carthage (near Tunis, Tunisia) mint, 1st reign, c. 297 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse FELIX ADVENT AVGG NN (to the happy arrival of our two emperors), Africa standing facing, head left, wearing elephant-skin head-dress, vexillum in left hand, elephant tusk in right hand, lion with captured bull at feet, B left, PKS in exergue; scarce; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


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.
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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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)
 


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Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome.
RA72828. Silvered antoninianus, Bastien VII 60 (9 spec.); Cohen VI 362; RIC V, part 2, 388 var. (not listed with C in left field); SRCV IV -, Choice EF, most silvering remaining, weight 4.508 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd offficina, Lugdunum mint, 2nd emission, spring to summer 286 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing left, thunderbolt in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left; rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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

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About 287, Diocletian assumed the title Iovius and Maximian assumed the title Herculius. The titles were symbolic of their roles: Diocletian-Jove was dominant, responsible for planning and commanding; Maximian-Hercules had the heroic role of completing assigned tasks. Despite the symbolism, the emperors were not actually worshiped as the gods Jupiter and Hercules in the imperial cult. Instead, they were seen as the gods' instruments, imposing the gods' will on earth.
RX84180. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5907; Milne 4980; SNG Cop 1041; BMC Alexandria p. 328, 2547; Kampmann 120.49; Emmett 4130.6; Geissen -; SNG Hunterian -; SNG Milan -, VF, well centered on a tight flan, weight 7.838 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 290 - 28 Aug 291 A.D.; obverse MAΞIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse Herakles standing facing, nude, Nike offering wreath in right hand, grounded club in left hand, Nemean lion's skin draped over left arm, S over L (year 6) lower left, star upper right; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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

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Variations of this type are listed with the longer A K M A OYA... obverse legend, and either without a star, with a star left or with a star upper right on the reverse.
RX84178. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5861, Geissen 3279, Milne 4795, SNG Milan 2023, SNG Hunt 4904 var. (no star), BMC Alexandria 2551 var. (star l.), Kampmann 120.8, Emmet 4113, VF, nice portrait, nice surfaces, tight flan, weight 7.262 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 1 Apr 286 - 28 Aug 286; obverse A K M OYA MAΞIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Eirene standing half left, raising olive branch in right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, L - A (year 1) across fields, star upper right (on edge of flan); $70.00 (€59.50)
 


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About 287, Diocletian assumed the title Iovius and Maximian assumed the title Herculius. The titles were symbolic of their roles: Diocletian-Jove was dominant, responsible for planning and commanding; Maximian-Hercules had the heroic role of completing assigned tasks. Despite the symbolism, the emperors were not actually worshiped as the gods Jupiter and Hercules in the imperial cult. Instead, they were seen as the gods' instruments, imposing the gods' will on earth.
RA90483. Silvered antoninianus, Bastien VII 62 (12 examples), Cohen VI 604, RIC V 432, Hunter IV 26 var. (D center), SRCV IV -, aEF, excellent centering, some porous areas, weight 4.030 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, emission 2, spring to summer 286 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Jupiter standing right clasping hand of Hercules standing left, Jupiter holding scepter, Hercules holding club and lion skin, C lower center; rare; $60.00 (€51.00)
 


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

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In 290, Diocletian and Maximian met in Milan, on the five-year anniversary of their rule, to discuss politics and war. Rome had become only the ceremonial capital of the Empire.
RX84179. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5947, Geissen 3313, Milne 4988, Curtis 2099, SNG Cop 1044, SNG Hunt 4932, SNG Milan 2256, BMC Alexandria 2577, Kampmann 120.50, Emmett 4148.6, VF, well centered on a tight slightly ragged flan, reverse a little flat, some spots corrosion, weight 7.323 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 290 - 28 Aug 291 A.D.; obverse MAΞIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Nike flying left, wreath in right hand, palm over shoulder in left, S over L (year 6) left, star right; $60.00 (€51.00)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

AVRVALMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
DIVOMAXIMIANOAVG
DIVOMAXIMIANOIVNAVG
DIVOMAXIMIANOOPTIMP
DIVOMAXIMIANOOPTIMOIMP
DIVOMAXIMIANOPATRIMAXENTIVSAVG
DIVOMAXIMIANOSEN
DIVOMAXIMIANOSENAVG
DIVOMAXIMIANOSENFORTIMP
DIVOMAXIMIANOSENIMP
DIVOMAXIMIANOSOCEROMAXENTIVSAVG
DNMAXIMIANOBSAVG
DNMAXIMIANOBAEATIS
DNMAXIMIANOBAEATISS
DNMAXIMIANOBAEATISSSENAVG
DNMAXIMIANOBAEATISSI
DNMAXIMIANOBAEATISSIM
DNMAXIMIANOBAEATISSIMOSENAVG
DNMAXIMIANOBEATISSIMOSENAVG
DNMAXIMIANOFELICIS
DNMAXIMIANOFELICISS
DNMAXIMIANOFELICISSSENAVG
DNMAXIMIANOFELICISSI
DNMAXIMIANOFELICISSIM
DNMAXIMIANOFELICISSIMOSENAVG
DNMAXIMIANOPFSAVG
DNMAXIMIANOSENINVAVG
IMPCCVALMAXIMIANVSPAVG
IMPCCVALMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPCMAMAXIMIANVSPAVG
IMPCMAMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVALMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPCMAVALMAXIMIANVSPAVG
IMPCMAVALMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVRMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPCMAVRMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVRVALMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPCMAVRVALMAXIMIANVSPAVG
IMPCMAVRVALMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMVALMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPCMVALVAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPCMAXIMIANVSPAVG
IMPCMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAXIMIANVSPIAVG
IMPCMAXIMIANVSPPAVG
IMPCVALMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPCVALMAXIMIANVSPAVG
IMPCVALMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPMAVRMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPMAVRVALMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPMAXENTIVSDIVOMAXIMIANOPATRI
IMPMAXENTIVSDIVOMAXIMIANOSOCERO
IMPMAXIMIANOPFSAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSAVGCOSVII
IMPMAXIMIANVSPAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSPFEAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSPFELAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSPFAVGCOSVII
IMPMAXIMIANVSPIFEAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSPIVSAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSPIVSAVGVST
IMPMAXIMIANVSPIVSFAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSPIVSFELIXAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSSENAVG
MAVRMAXIMIANVSSENAVG
MAXIMIANVSAVG
MAXIMIANVSAVGVSTVS
MAXIMIANVSPAVG
MAXIMIANVSPFAVG
MAXIMIANVSSENPFAVG
VIRTVSMAXIMIANIAVG


REFERENCES

Bastien, P. Le monnayage de I'atelier de Lyon, Diocletien et ses coregents avant la reforme monetaire (285 - 294). (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). (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 Tuesday, November 21, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Maximian