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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Recovery of the Empire ▸ CarinusView Options:  |  |  | 

Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 A.D.

Carinus was the son of Carus who was Praetorian prefect during the reign of Probus. After his father seized power, Carinus was raised to the rank of Caesar in October 282 and left to manage the Western provinces while his father and brother Numerian campaigned against the Persians in the east. The campaign was a success, but Carus was killed by lightning. In 285 Carinus left Rome to confront the usurper Julian I and then Diocletian, who had been declared Augustus by his troops. Carinus was nearly victorious in battle but was murdered by one of his chief officers - apparently Carinus had seduced his wife.


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When this coin was struck in 282, Carinus was still the Prince of Youth, full of promise. Later he would be remembered as one of the worst Roman emperors. This infamy is, however, likely part fiction, supported by Diocletian himself. For example, the (unreliable) Historia Augusta has Carinus marrying nine wives, while neglecting to mention his only real wife, Magnia Urbica, by whom he had a son, Nigrinianus. After his death, Carinus' memory was officially condemned in the Roman proceeding known as Damnatio Memoriae. His name, along with that of his wife, was erased from inscriptions.
RS71588. Billon antoninianus, Venèra IV 390 (LV 4227); RIC V, part 2, 182; Cohen VI 97; Hunter III 71; Pink VI-2, p. 28; SRCV III 12302, Choice EF, most silvering remains, well centered and struck, nice portrait, some porosity, weight 4.627 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 2nd issue as caesar, 282 - 283 A.D.; obverse M AVR CARINVS NOB CAES, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINCIPI IVVENTVT, Carinus standing left, globe in extended right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, bound captive seated left at feet on left, QXXI in exergue; $225.00 (€200.25)
 


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In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
RA73892. Billon antoninianus, RIC V 212, Bastien IX 533, Pink VI-2 p. 22, Cohen VI 8, SRCV III 12339, gVF, nice portrait, well struck, some silvering, weight 3.774 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 283 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR CARINVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse AEQVITAS AVGG, Aequitas standing slightly left, scales in right, cornucopia in left hand, A (1st officina) right; ex Harlan J. Berk; $110.00 (€97.90)
 


Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Elpis was the Greek personification of Hope. According the Hesiod's famous story, Elpis was the last to escape the Pandora's box. It can be debated whether she was really about "hope" as we understand it, or rather mere "expectation." In art, Elpis is normally depicted carrying flowers or a cornucopia, but on coins she is almost invariably depicted holding a flower in her extended right hand, and raising a fold of her dress with her left hand. Elpis' Roman equivalent was Spes. She was also named "ultima dea" - the last resort of men.

RX77915. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4721, Curtis 1919, Geissen 3180, SNG Cop 954, SGICV 4779, VF, flan crack, reverse little off-center and struck with a broken die, corrosion, weight 7.725 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 15o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 283 - 28 Aug 284 A.D.; obverse A K M A KAPINOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse Elpis standing left, flower in right hand, raising drapery with left hand, star upper right, L - B (year 2) flanking across field; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren, ex Pegasi Numismatics; rare; $50.00 (€44.50)
 


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Providentia is the personification of the ability to foresee and make provision. She was among the embodiments of virtues that were part of the Imperial cult of ancient Rome. Providentia figures in art, cult, and literature, but has little or no mythology as such.
RA60035. Billon antoninianus, RIC V, part 2, 303; Cohen VI 111; Pink VI-2, p. 28; SRCV III 12353, Hunter IV -, VF, weight 4.146 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 4th emission, 283 A.D.; obverse IMP CARINVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse PROVIDENT AVGG, Providentia standing left, heads of grain downward in right hand over modius at feet on left, cornucopia in left hand, VIXXI in exergue; $45.00 (€40.05)
 


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The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the Phoenix: 'Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon and spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odors. From the body of the parent bird, a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live as long a life as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gained sufficient strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its parent's sepulcher), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.'
RB50696. Billon antoninianus, RIC V, part 2, 244; Cohen VI 10; Pink VI-2, pp. 38 - 39; SRCV III 12340; Hunter IV -, aVF, weight 3.089 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, 5th emission, 284 - 285 A.D.; obverse IMP CARINVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse AETERNIT AVG, Aeternitas standing left, Phoenix on globe in right hand, raising robe with left, KAΓ in exergue; $40.00 (€35.60)
 







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

MAVRCARINVSNOBCAES
IMPCMAVRCARINVSNOBC
IMPCARINVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVRCARINVSAVG
IMPCCARINVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVRCARINVSPFAVG


REFERENCES

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Bastien, P. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon. De la réouverture de l'atelier par Aurélien à la mort de Carin (fin 274 - mi-285). Numismatique Romaine IX. (Wetteren, 1976).
Calicó, E.X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. II: 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).
Gricourt, D. Ripostiglio della Venèra, Nuovo Catalogo Illustrato, Volume IV: Caro - Diocleziano. (Verona, 2000).
King, C.E. Roman Quinarii from the Republic to Diocletian and the Tetrarchy. (Oxford, 2007).
Mattingly, H. Sydenham and Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, Part II, Probus to Amandus. (London, 1933).
Milani, L.A. Il ripositglio della Venèra, Monete romane della seconda meta del terzo secolo. (Rome, 1880).
Pink, K. "Der Aufbau der Römischen münzprägung in der Kaiserzeit: VI/2. Carus und Söhne" in Numismatische Zeitschrift 80 (1963).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume Three, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Friday, December 09, 2016.
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Roman Coins of Carinus