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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Late Empire| ▸ |Theodosius I||View Options:  |  |  |   

Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D.

Theodosius I, also known as Theodosius the Great, was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and western halves of the Roman Empire. The son of the famed general Count Theodosius, he was made emperor in the east by Gratian after the death of Valens at the disastrous Battle of Hadrianople, at a time when the East was ravaged in every direction by the Goths. He defeated them, but the Goths secured control of Illyricum establishing a homeland south of the Danube within the Empire's borders. Theodosius defeated the usurpers Magnus Maximus and Eugenius. He ending Roman slavery and inaugurated a feudal society, a pivotal transformation in European history. He effectively made Nicene Christianity the official state church and fostered the destruction of some prominent pagan temples including the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, the Serapeum in Alexandria, and the Vestal Virgins in Rome. In 393, he banned the Olympics in Ancient Greece. It was not until the end of the 19th century, in 1896, that the Olympics were held again. After his death, Theodosius' sons Arcadius and Honorius inherited the East and West halves respectively, and the Roman Empire was never again re-united.The Roman Empire 395 AD


|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.|, |solidus|
On 24 November 380, Theodosius I made his adventus, or formal entry, into Constantinople.
SH37592. Gold solidus, RIC IX Constantinopolis 70(b)1, Depeyrot 48/4, SRCV V 20398, Cohen VIII 10, choice VF, weight 4.348 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 387 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVGGG A (harmony among our three emperors, 1st officina), Constantinopolis seated facing on throne, her helmeted head right, right leg bare, right foot on prow, long grounded scepter in right hand, shield inscribed VOT V MVLT X in left hand supported on the left arm of the throne, each arm of the throne ornamented with a lion head, CONOB in exergue; ex Baldwin's (London); rare; SOLD


|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.|, |maiorina|
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).
RL91668. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Constantinopolis 52(c)3, LRBC II 2152, SRCV V 20478, Cohen VIII 19, Hunter V 35 var. (3rd officina), Choice gVF, well centered and struck, nice portrait, brown tone, flow lines, small edge cracks, weight 5.909 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, 1st 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 slightly left on galley, head right, wearing helmet and military garb, paludamentum flying behind, raising right hand in salute, Victory seated steering at stern, wreath left, CONA in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; SOLD


Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D.

|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.|, |bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
This type of lead conical bulla seal is commonly attributed to Theodosius I with his sons, Arcadius and Honorius. While the attribution is not certain, there is reason behind it. The form is correct for the period and the type is very common for a seal. Forum has handled a few examples and there are at least four on Coin Archives. The large number of specimens supports attribution to the emperor, in whose name there was a lot of correspondence. Theodosius and his two sons are the best imperial fit for these three facing busts.
AS89555. Lead bulla (tag seal), conical type, commonly attributed to Theodosius I and his sons Arcadius and Honorius, VF, gray and buff surfaces, weight 9.316 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, obverse three bare-headed and draped busts facing, center bust larger, two flanking busts smaller; reverse domed back, pierced for the cord; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 504; SOLD


|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.|, |maiorina|
In 395, the Huns began their large-scale attack on the Eastern Roman Empire. They invaded Armenia and Cappadocia, and entered Syria, threatening Antioch.
RL04567. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Antioch 68(b)3, LRBC II 2780, SRCV V 20492, Cohen VIII 18, superb aEF, weight 6.37 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 15 May 392 - 17 Jan 395 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Emperor standing facing, head right, vexillum in right hand, globe in left hand, ANT∆ in exergue; from the Aiello Collection; SOLD


|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.|, |maiorina|
In 389, all pagan buildings in Alexandria, including the library, were destroyed on the order of Theodosius.
RL08528. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Alexandria 18c (S), LRBC II 2895, SRCV V 20508 corr. (4th officina only), Cohen VIII 54, Choice gVF, fantastic example of the type!, weight 6.53 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 135o, 1st officina, Alexandria mint, c. 387 - 392 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS EXERCITI (courage of the army), Emperor standing facing, head right, vexillum in right hand, globe in left hand, left foot on captive seated right looking back at him, ALEA in exergue; scarce; SOLD


|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.|, |maiorina|
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).
RL76205. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Constantinopolis 52(c)3, LRBC II 2152, SRCV V 20478, Cohen VIII 19, gVF, fantastic stylized portrait, well centered, emperor's head on reverse flatly struck, some scratches, weight 5.414 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 180o, 1st 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 slightly left on galley, head right, wearing helmet and military garb, paludamentum flying behind, raising right hand in salute, Victory seated steering at stern, wreath left, CONA in exergue; larger bronze for the period; SOLD


|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.|, |maiorina|
In the spring of 387, Theodosius I increased the taxes in Antioch. The peasants rioted and set fire to public buildings. Theodosius sent imperial troops to quell the disturbance and closed the public baths and theaters.
RL82928. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Antioch 40(e)6, LRBC II 2724, SRCV V 20485, Cohen VIII 19, Choice gVF, near black patina with red earthen highlighting, weight 5.069 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 315o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, helmeted, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right holding spear and shield; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Emperor standing slightly left on galley, head right, wearing helmet and military garb, paludamentum flying behind, raising right hand, Victory seated steering at stern, T left, cross above, *ANTΓ in exergue; SOLD


|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
In 390, the population of Thessalonica rioted against the presence of a Gothic garrison. In 390, the population of Thessalonica rioted against the presence of a Gothic garrison. The garrison commander was killed. In retaliation, Theodosius ordered the Goths to kill all the spectators in the circus. Theodoret, a witness, reports: "... the anger of the Emperor rose to the highest pitch, and he gratified his vindictive desire for vengeance by unsheathing the sword most unjustly and tyrannically against all, slaying the innocent and guilty alike. It is said seven thousand perished without any forms of law, and without even having judicial sentence passed upon them; but that, like ears of wheat in the time of harvest, they were alike cut down." Theodosius was excommunicated by the bishop of Milan, Saint Ambrose for the massacre. Ambrose told Theodosius to imitate David in his repentance as he had imitated him in guilt. Ambrose readmitted the emperor to the Eucharist only after several months of penance.
RL63964. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Thessalonica 59(b)1 (S), LRBC II 1862, SRCV V 20536, Cohen VIII 15, VF, weight 3.343 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 315o, 2nd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, fall 384 - Aug 388 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed bust left in imperial mantle, mappa in left hand, scepter in right hand; reverse GLORIA REIPVLICE, campgate with four rows of bricks, two turrets, no doors, staurogram above, B left, TES in exergue; scarce; SOLD


|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
In the spring of 387, Theodosius I increased the taxes in Antioch. The peasants rioted and set fire to public buildings. Theodosius sent imperial troops to quell the disturbance and closed the public baths and theaters.
RL83425. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Antioch 47(c) var. (2nd officina listed with rosette vice pearl diadem), LRBC II 2691, SRCV V 20534, Cohen VIII 5, Choice aEF, attractive desert patina, weight 1.880 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 345o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 379 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVGGG (harmony among the three emperors), Constantinopolis seated facing on throne, helmeted head right, right foot on prow, long scepter vertical in right hand, globe in left hand, Θ left, ANTB in exergue; SOLD


|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.|, |siliqua|
In 381, Gratian moved the capital to Mediolanum (modern Milan). Because of his Christian beliefs, he eliminated Pontifex Maximus as an Imperial title. Gratian also refused the robe of office, insulting the pagan aristocrats of Rome.
RL04716. Silver siliqua, RIC IX Mediolanum 14b (R2), RSC V 67a, SRCV V 20465, Choice gVF+, weight 1.66 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 383 - 388 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VOT / X / MVLT / XX in four lines within wreath, MDPS in exergue; from the Aiello Collection; very rare; SOLD




  




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DNTHEODOSIVSPFAVG

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 Tuesday, February 25, 2020.
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Roman Coins of Theodosius I