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Who was Trajan Decius
Marcus Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius was originally a fleet commander sent by the first Tetrarchs to rid the Northern seas of Saxon and Frankish pirates. He soon turned to piracy himself, before fleeing to Britain and declaring himself emperor. His natural cunning enabled him to resist all attempts to dislodge him. In 293 Constantius I captured his continental stronghold of Boulogne. Soon after Carausius was murdered by his chief minister Allectus.
Also see: ERIC - CARAUSIUS
Akerman, J.Y. Coins of the Romans Relating to Britain. (London, 1844). Available Online
Askew, G. The Coinage of Roman Britain, 2nd edition. (London, 1980).
Beaujard, E.B. & H. Huvelin. "Le tresor de Rouen et l 'occupation de la Gaule par Carausius" in Histoire et Numismatique en Haut-Normandie. (Caen, 1980). Available Online
Bland, R. "A Hoard of Carausius and Allectus from Burton Latimer" in BNJ 54 (1984), pp. 41 - 50. Available Online
Bourne, R.J. "The Coinage of Carausius and his Colleagues" in Numismatic Circular 117 (2009), pp. 198 - 206. Available online
Burnett, A. & J. Casey. A Carausian Hoard from Croydon, Surrey, and a Note on Carausius ' Continental Possessions" in BNJ 54 (1984), pp. 10 - 20.
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. 2: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Carson, R.A.G. "The Sequence-marks on the Coinage of Carausius and Allectus" in Essays Baldwin (1971), pp. 57 - 65.
Casey, P.J. Carausius and Allectus: The British Usurpers. (New Haven, 1995).
Challis, C.E. & M.A.S. Blackburn. Studies in the Coinages of Carausius and Allectus. (London, 1985).
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King, C.E. "A Small Hoard of Carausius Found Near Bicester Oxfordshire" in BNJ 53, (1982), pp. 7 - 16. Available Online
King, C.E. "The Unmarked Coins of Carausius" in BNJ 54 (1984), pp. 1 - 9. Available Online
King, C.E. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
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Lyne, M. "Two Notes on the Coinage of Carausius" in NC 161 (2001), pp. 291-292. Available Online
Mattingly, H., E.A. Sydenham & P. Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, Part II, Probus to Amandus. (London, 1933).
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Shiel, N. The Episode of Carausius and Allectus. BAR 40. (Oxford, 1977).
Southerland, C.H.V. " 'Carausius II ', 'Censeris ', and the Barbarous Fel. Temp. Reparatio Overstrikes" in NC 1945.
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The sequence and dating below is
based on the sequence and dating first established by P.H. Webb in "The
Linchmere Hoard" in NC 1925, pp. 173 - 235, updated by him
in The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume V, Part 2 in 1933 and refined by many authors since. Changes to dating proposed here are primarily
recognizing Carausius ' three portrait types and their sequence,
identified by C.E. King in "The Unmarked Coins of Carausius" in BNJ 54 (1984), pp. 1 - 9. An adaption of the relevant portion of King 's article is provided below.
significant change from previous dating applies to coins with
mintmarks CXXI and MCXXI. Previous sequencing and dating associated these issues with the B-E / MLXXI issues from the London mint, with dating from 288 to 291. However, all official coins with these mintmarks have Carausius ' earliest portrait type
and must be dated to 286 or 287.
RIC and other references list many examples with IMP CARAVSIVS... obverse legends and a S-C / [ ] or a S-C / C mintmark. Whenever a plate coin is provided, the listings appears to be in error and the actual legend is IMP C CARAVSIVS... Of the thousands of Carausius coin images we have examined, we found only two examples that might have official style. It is almost certain that these coins are unofficial but perhaps some are official mule or engraving errors that should have an obverse legend beginning IMP C CARAVSIVS...Coins with mintmarks that are not listed below are very likely unofficial, some may be official but irregular or trial strikes, and some are certainly the result of engraving errors, filled dies, or strike errors.
Unmarked Mint (traveling mint located with the court of Carausius?)
BRI, mustache portrait, great rarity (c. mid 286) [less than a dozen known, or Londinium?]
RSR, mustache portrait, extremely rare (c. mid 286) [or Londinium? or Rouen?]
Unmarked, mustache portrait, very common (c. mid 286 - 287)
Unmarked, middle portrait, very rare (c. 288 - 291)
Londinium (London, England)
XX, XXX, mustache portrait, rare (c. mid 286 - early 287)
ML, mustache portrait, common, (c. 287)
ML, middle portrait, common (c. 288)
L-[ ] / ML, middle portrait, common (c. 288)
F-O / ML, middle portrait, very common (c. 289)
B-E / MLXXI, middle portrait, very common (c. late 289 - 291)
Camulodunum (Colchester, England)CXXI, MCXXI, mustache portrait, common (c. mid 286 - early 287)
C, MC, middle portrait, very common (c. 288 - 291) [MC is very scarce]
SMC, MSC, MSCC, middle portrait, scarce (c. 288 - 291)
Unmarked Mint (traveling mint located with the court of Carausius?)
Unmarked, middle portrait, scarce (c. 291)
S-C / [ ], middle portrait, very common (c. 291 - mid 292)
/ [ ], SP, tetrarchic portrait, common (c. mid 292 - early summer 293) [long neck portrait variety]
Londinium (London, England)B-E / MLXXI, middle portrait, common (c. 291)
S-P / MLXXI, tetrarchic portrait, very common (c. 292 - early 293)
Camulodunum (Colchester, England)
S-C / C, middle portrait, very common (c. 291 - mid 292)
S-P / C, S-P / MC, SPC, tetrarchic portrait, common (c. mid 292 - early summer 293) [SPC used on types without space in fields, S-P / C continued by Allectus.]
Rotomagus (Rouen, France)R, OPR, continental portrait, rare (c. first half of 293)
1) Early reign 'moustache ' portrait (c. mid 286 - 287). In the first type, Carausius is bearded and has a full moustache (e.g. Nos. 24-28 and 48-50). The 'moustache ' portrait seems to occur mainly on C mint coins and unmarked pieces, and only very rarely on L mint pieces. At the C mint this portrait is restricted to the CXXI and MCXXI marks. The middle reign portrait is accompanied by legends beginning IMP CARAVSIVS.
2) Middle reign portrait (c. 288 - 291). In the second portrait type, Carausius is still bearded but his moustache is either non-existent or else much less emphatic (e.g. Nos. 29-30, 33-34, and 40-43). His neck is longer and some examples have some tetrarchic aspects. This middle reign portrait style occurs commonly on L mint, C mint, and unmarked coins. The middle reign portrait is accompanied by legends beginning IMP CARAVSIVS or IMP C CARAVSIVS.
3) Late reign tetrarchic portrait (c. 292 - mid 293). In the third Carausius is much more tetrarchic in appearance, he is still bearded, and a moustache is often engraved, but again much less obviously than on coins of the first group (e.g. No. 35 and 46). The tetrarchic portrait is always accompanied by legends beginning IMP C CARAVSIVS. The tetrarchic portrait is the last portrait type struck; it does not occur on unmarked coins, which were no longer struck when this portrait was used.
Inscriptions referred to by number
Busts referred to by letter