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

Theodosius II, 10 January 402 - 28 July 450 A.D.

Theodosius II, the only son of Emperor Arcadius and Aelia Eudoxia, was raised to the rank of Augustus at only nine months old. His mother died in 404 and his father in 408 leaving him sole emperor at six. His sister, Aelia Pulcheria, was given responsibility for his education, and the title of Augusta in 414. Most of his reign was long and peaceful, the most notable events being the completion of a new legal code, Codex Theodosianus, and the fortification of Constantinople, making it one of the most heavily defended locations in history. The last years of his reign were marred by repeated invasion of the Balkans by the Huns led by Attila. Theodosius died after a serious hunting accident in 450 A.D.


Germanic Tribes, Pseudo-Imperial Coinage, c. 425 - 450 A.D.

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This type was minted by and used as currency by Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire. It copied Roman type issued under Theodosius I. While official late Roman imperial bronze coinage was sometimes a bit crude, the emperor's hairstyle was never quite like this.
ME92815. Bronze barbarous imitative, for the Roman prototype see: RIC X Theodosius II 440 ff., SRCV V 21231 ff. (official, half centenionalis, various mints, 425 - 435 A.D.), EF, crude imitative style, small ragged flan, encrustation, weight 0.586 g, maximum diameter 9.7 mm, die axis 0o, tribal mint, c. 425 - 450 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG (or similar, almost entirely off flan, likely blundered), diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse cross in wreath, wreath closed at the bottom with IIXII (or similar) on exergue line; $80.00 (70.40)


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The Ichthys, or fish symbol, was used by early Christians. Constantine adopted the Chi-Rho Christ monogram (Christogram) as his banner (labarum). The cross was rarely used in early Christian iconography, perhaps because it symbolized a purposely painful and gruesome method of public execution that most early Christians would have personally witnessed. In 315, Constantine abolished crucifixion as punishment in the Roman Empire. The use of a cross as the most prevalent symbol of Christianity probably gained momentum after Saint Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, traveled to the Holy Land, c. 326 - 328, and recovered the True Cross.
RL91900. Bronze half centenionalis, cf. RIC X Theodosius II 440 ff., SRCV V 21231 ff. (various mints), F, green patina, well centered, porous, edge a little ragged, weight 1.413 g, maximum diameter 13.3 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, 425 - 435 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse cross in wreath, mintmark (obscure) in exergue; $40.00 (35.20)


Theodosius II and Valentinian III, 23 October 424 - 28 July 450 A.D.

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This type was issued to commemorate the second joint consulship of Theodosius II (his eleventh) and Valentinian III (his second). A similar issue the year before commemorating their first joint consulship had Valentinian III standing, but now he is an Augustus, a co-emperor, enthroned beside Theodosius.
SH47202. Gold solidus, RIC X Theodosius II 237 (S, same reverse legend break); DOCLR 375; Depeyrot p. 253, 79/1; Hahn MIRB 23; SRCV V 21144, EF, reverse double struck, weight 4.440 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 426 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, diademed, helmeted, and cuirassed bust facing, head slightly right, spear in right hand over right shoulder and behind head, shield in his right hand ornamented with a horseman spearing a fallen enemy; reverse SALVS REI-PVBLICAE, Theodosius II (on left) and Valentinian III enthroned facing, each nimbate and wearing consular robes, each holds a cruciform scepter in their right hand and mappa in their left hand, star above, CONOB in exergue; scarce; SOLD







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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).
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).
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 Wednesday, October 16, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Theodosius II