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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Late Empire ▸ GratianView Options:  |  |  | 

Gratian, 24 August 367 - 25 August 383 A.D.

Gratian, son of Valentinian I, became the sole ruler of the Western empire in 375 A.D., and after the catastrophic defeat of the Roman forces at Hadrianopolis, the Eastern empire also came under his rule. To better cope with the empire, he elevated general Theodosius to the Eastern throne. Because of a shortage of coinage to meet the payroll, Gratian was abandoned by his troops during the revolt of Magnus Maximus. He was overtaken and killed while fleeing to the Alps.


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On 19 January 379, Emperor Gratian elevated Flavius Theodosius at Sirmium, giving him the title Augustus with power over all the eastern provinces. Theodosius came to terms with the Visigoths and settled them in the Balkans as military allies (foederati).
RL77942. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Constantinopolis 52(a)3, LRBC II 2150, SRCV V 19997, Cohen VIII 25, gF, well centered, a little rough, weight 5.839 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 19 Jan 379 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, helmeted, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, transverse spear in right hand, shield on left arm; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), emperor standing left on galley, head right, wearing helmet and military garb, paludamentum flying behind, raising right hand, Victory seated steering at stern, wreath left, CONB in exergue; larger bronze for the period; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $40.00 (35.60)


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Gratian was the son of Valentinian I by Marina Severa, and was born at Sirmium (now Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) in Pannonia. He was named after his grandfather Gratian the Elder. Gratian was first married to Flavia Maxima Constantia, daughter of Constantius II. His second wife was Laeta. Both marriages remained childless. His stepmother was Empress Justina and his paternal half siblings were Valentinian II, Galla and Justa.
SH46445. Gold solidus, RIC IX Constantinopolis 24 (R2); Depeyrot, p. 236, 21/3; SRCV V 19899, Cohen VIII 28, Choice gF, full circles centering on a nice round flan, light obverse graffiti, reverse mark, weight 4.273 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 24 Aug 367 - 17 Nov 375 A.D.; obverse D N GRATIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINCIPIVM IVVENTVTIS, Gratian standing half-right, nimbate, wearing military dress, spear transverse in right hand, globe in left hand, *CONS followed by wreath in exergue; rare; SOLD


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After Valentinian died on 17 November 375, the troops in Pannonia proclaimed his infant son (by a second wife Justina) emperor under the title of Valentinian II. Gratian acquiesced in their choice; reserving for himself the administration of the Gallic provinces, he handed over Italy, Illyricum and Africa to Valentinian and his mother, who fixed their residence at Mediolanum. The division, however, was merely nominal, and the real authority remained in the hands of Gratian.
RL34995. Silver siliqua, RIC IX Aquileia 15(b)3, RSC V 87f, SRCV V 19968, Choice aEF, toned, bold, near perfectly centering, weight 2.298 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, Aquileia mint, 17 Nov 375 - 9 Aug 378 A.D.; obverse D N GRATIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VRBS ROMA (City of Rome), Roma seated left on cuirass, helmeted, draped, Victory offering wreath on globe in right hand, reversed spear behind in left, star right, AQPS in exergue; SOLD







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

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DNGRATIANVSAVGGAVG
DNGRATIANVSPFAVG


REFERENCES

Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 8: Nepotian to Romulus Augustus, plus tesserae & cotorniates. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Constantin II Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
Hahn, Wolfgang. Moneta Imperii Romani-Byzantinii. (Vienna, 1989).
King, C.E. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Pearce, J.W.E. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume IX, Valentinian I - Theodosius I. (London 1933).
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. V: The Christian Empire...Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Monday, September 25, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Gratian