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

Honorius, 23 January 393 - 15 August 423 A.D.

Honorius was the son of Theodosius I and upon the latter's death was given the Western provinces to rule as emperor, while his brother Arcadius was given the East. Honorius was a weak incompetent ruler dominated at first by the famed general Stilicho, then by various court favorites. In August 410 A.D. he sat helpless at Ravenna while Rome was sacked by the Goths. He was succeeded by Valentinian III.The Roman Empire 395 AD


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Thessalonica was founded around 315 B.C. by Cassander, King of Macedonia, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a daughter of Philip II and a half-sister of Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of the Macedonia Secunda and in 146 B.C. it was made the capital of the whole Roman province of Macedonia. Due to its port and location at the intersection of two major Roman roads, Thessalonica grew to become the most important city in Macedonia. Thessalonica was important in the spread of Christianity; the First Epistle to the Thessalonians written by Paul the Apostle is the first written book of the New Testament.
SH53618. Gold solidus, RIC X Arcadius 38 (R2); Depeyrot p. 225, 44/2; DOCLR 756; SRCV V 20900, gVF, weight 4.379 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 397 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, helmeted bust facing, diademed, cuirassed, cross on breast plate, spear in right over right shoulder behind head, shield decorated with horseman on left arm; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG (harmony between the two emperors), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, head right, holding long scepter and Victory on globe, foot on prow, COMOB in exergue; very rare; SOLD


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In 402, The Visigoths advanced on Milan and laid siege to Asti in Liguria. King Alaric I sent envoys to negotiate, but the Romans refused. Stilicho recalled troops from Britain and the Rhine frontier to defend Italy. On 6 April, Easter Sunday, Stilicho attacked the Goths in the Battle of Pollentia and captured Alaric's wife and children. In 403, The Visigoths invaded Italy again. Stilicho, with an army of 30,000 men, defeated the Goths in June at the Battle of Verona. Alaric made a truce and withdrew eastward to Illyricum. Honorius and Stilicho were honored with a triumphal march - the last triumph ever celebrated by the Empire in Rome.
SH26061. Gold solidus, RIC IX Mediolanum 35(c) (S); RIC X Honorius 1206; Depeyrot p. 171, 16/2; Ulrich-Bansa Moneta 61; DOCLR 712; SRCV V 20916; Cohen VIII 44, Choice EF, mint luster, perfect centering, light graffiti on reverse, weight 4.429 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 395 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG (victory of the three emperors), Honorius standing half right, treading on captive with left foot, standard in right hand, Victory on globe offering wreath in his left hand, M-D across field, COMOB in exergue; SOLD


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In 418, the Romans collected all the treasures which were in Britain, and hid some of them in the earth so that no one afterward could find them, and took some with them into Gaul.
SH28929. Gold solidus, Ranieri 13; RIC X Honorius 1321 (S); Depeyrot p. 188, 7/1; DOCLR 736; SRCV V 20920; Cohen VIII 44, Choice EF, weight 4.351 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, Ravenna mint, 412 - 422 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed large bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG (victory of the three emperors), Honorius standing half right in a relaxed pose, treading with his left foot on captive with bent knees, standard in his right hand, Victory on globe offering wreath in his left hand, R-V across fields, COMOB in exergue; ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich; SOLD


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RIC assigns five different numbers to this type for Hononorius depending on seemingly insignificant details. On the reverse of this coin, the emperor is leaning back and his captive has bent knees, thus it is RIC X 1319. If he was leaning foward ("active") and his captive was flat, it would be RIC X 1326 (for example).
SH58614. Gold solidus, RIC X Honorius 1319; Ranieri 13; Depeyrot p. 188, 7/1; DOCLR 736; SRCV V 20920; Cohen VIII 44, gVF, graffito "T" scratched above Honorius' head, small punch to right of mint mark, weight 4.374 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Ravenna mint, 408 - 15 Aug 423 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG (victory of the three emperors), Honorius standing right, leaning back, standard behind in right, Victory on globe offering wreath in left, treading with left foot on captive with knees bent; R-V across fields, COMOB in exergue; ex CNG, auction 166, lot 187; scarce; SOLD


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On 24 August 410, the Visigoths under Alaric I sacked Rome after a third siege. The historian Procopius recorded the following satire: the feeble-minded Emperor Honorius was informed by a eunuch that "Rome was destroyed" and, thinking the reference was to his favorite hen named "Roma," cried out in great consternation: "How could it be? She just ate out of my hand." Upon being informed of his mistake, the hapless emperor was greatly relieved.
SH42463. Gold solidus, RIC X Honorius 1254 (S); Depeyrot, p. 151, 34/2; DOCLR 723; SRCV V 20918; Cohen VIII 44, Choice gVF, nicely centered, weight 4.400 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 404, 407 - 408 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed "Attalus style" bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG (victory of the three emperors), Honorius standing right, holding standard and Victory on globe, treading down captive; R-M across fields, COMOB in exergue; scarce; SOLD


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David Sear notes, "The mint of Ravenna was opened by Honorius in AD 402. Coins of this period normally have slender busts." RIC X describes this as "Milan and Aquileia styles." A heavier bust was used from AD 408 to 423.
SH46936. Gold solidus, RIC X Honorius 1287 (S); Ranieri 11; DOCLR 736; SRCV V 20919; Depeyrot p. 188, 7/1; Cohen VIII 44, VF, nicely centered, graffiti "X" right obverse, weight 4.350 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Ravenna mint, 402 - 403 and 405 - 406 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed slender bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG (victory of the three emperors), Honorius standing right, active stance, standard in right, Victory on globe in left hand, left foot treading on captive with bent knees; R-V across field, COMOB in exergue; scarce; SOLD


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In 402, The Visigoths advanced on Milan and laid siege to Asti in Liguria. King Alaric I sent envoys to negotiate, but the Romans refused. Stilicho recalled troops from Britain and the Rhine frontier to defend Italy. On 6 April, Easter Sunday, Stilicho attacked the Goths in the Battle of Pollentia and captured Alaric's wife and children. In 403, The Visigoths invaded Italy again. Stilicho, with an army of 30,000 men, defeated the Goths in June at the Battle of Verona. Alaric made a truce and withdrew eastward to Illyricum. Honorius and Stilicho were honored with a triumphal march - the last triumph ever celebrated by the Empire in Rome.
SH11116. Gold solidus, RIC IX Mediolanum 35(c) (S); RIC X Honorius 1206; Depeyrot p. 171, 16/2; Ulrich-Bansa Moneta 61; DOCLR 712; SRCV V 20916; Cohen VIII 44, EF, mint luster, perfect centering, weight 4.452 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 395 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG (victory of the three emperors), Honorius standing half right, treading on captive with left foot, standard in right hand, Victory on globe offering wreath in his left hand, M-D across field, COMOB in exergue; SOLD


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SH81682. Gold solidus, RIC X Arcadius 8, gVF, weight 4.379 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 397 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, helmeted bust facing, diademed, cuirassed, spear in right over right shoulder behind head, shield decorated with horseman on left arm; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG I (harmony between the two emperors, 10th officina), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, head right, holding long scepter and Victory on globe, foot on prow, CONOB in exergue; several nicks on both sides and edge; SOLD


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SH12116. Gold tremissis, RIC X Honorius 1215, gem EF, weight 1.49 g, maximum diameter 13 mm, die axis 0o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 398 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM (to the victory of the Emperor), Victory advancing right holding wreath and globus cruciger; M-D across fields, COM in ex; near perfect centering, bold strike, lustrous; scarce; SOLD


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In 402, The Visigoths advanced on Milan and laid siege to Asti in Liguria. King Alaric I sent envoys to negotiate, but the Romans refused. Stilicho recalled troops from Britain and the Rhine frontier to defend Italy. On 6 April, Easter Sunday, Stilicho attacked the Goths in the Battle of Pollentia and captured Alaric's wife and children. In 403, The Visigoths invaded Italy again. Stilicho, with an army of 30,000 men, defeated the Goths in June at the Battle of Verona. Alaric made a truce and withdrew eastward to Illyricum. Honorius and Stilicho were honored with a triumphal march - the last triumph ever celebrated by the Empire in Rome.
SH17768. Gold solidus, RIC IX Mediolanum 35(c) (S); RIC X Honorius 1206; Depeyrot p. 171, 16/2; Ulrich-Bansa Moneta 61; DOCLR 712; SRCV V 20916; Cohen VIII 44, EF, nice strike with excellent centering, graffiti "X" right obverse field and small "x" at top rim on reverse, weight 4.463 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 0o, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, c. 395 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG (victory of the three emperors), Honorius standing half right, treading on captive with left foot, standard in right hand, Victory on globe offering wreath in his left hand, M-D across field, COMOB in exergue; SOLD




  




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OBVERSE LEGENDS

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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).
Grierson, P. & M. Mays. Catalogue of Late Roman Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection. (Washington D.C., 1992).
Hahn, Wolfgang. Moneta Imperii Romani-Byzantinii. (Vienna, 1989).
Kent, J. P. C. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume X, The Divided Empire and the Fall of the Western Parts, AD 395 - 491. (London, 1994).
King, C.E. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Ranieri, E. La monetazione di Ravenna antica dal V all' VIII secolo: impero romano e bizantino, regno ostrogoto e langobardo. (Bologna, 2006).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire...Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Ulrich-Bansa, O. Moneta Mediolanensis (352-498). (Venice, 1949).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Thursday, July 18, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Honorius