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Author Topic: Is this a mule of Theodosius and Magnus Maximus or am I missing something  (Read 1588 times)

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Offline ben392

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Hi all,

I received this coin in a lot as a Christmas present.  I'm having a bit of trouble identifying it.  The size is 3.84 g, 20 mm.  I can clearly make out out the second part of the obverse legend "SIVS PF AVG," which suggests that this is a coin of Theodosius I (or II).  But the reverse type is one minted by Magnus Maximus: RIC 27, AE2. VICTORIA AVGG, Emperor standing facing, holding Victory on globe in r. and standard in l.
383-388    The Mint mark I believe says PCON, which suggests it was minted at Arles.

So is this a mule or just a type of Theodosius (or some other emperor) I am not familiar with?  Any thoughts would be much appreciated.  


Offline SC

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    • A Handbook of Late Roman Bronze Coin Types 324-395.
Ben,

Very interesting coin.

Yes, it is almost certainly Maximus' VICTORIA AVGG type.  A type not known for anyone other than Maximus.

Yours appears to be a bit small.  The flan is clearly smaller than the die, especially on the reverse, but it still a bit small and light for an AE2.  But not too much though, and the style is fairly good and matches the style of Arelate examples for Maximus quite well. 

It could be a mule, but there is also a slight possibility that it is official.  This type has the AVGG legend indicating two Emperors.  This is problematic.  Who is the other Emperor?  If it is Maximus' son Flavius Victor then it appears to indicate him well before any coins were struck for him, as the AE2 denomination likely ceased to be struck a few years before any coins were struck for Victor.  It could refer to Theodosius, who struck some coins for Maximus in 386.  Though that would mean Maximus was recognizing Theodosius but ignoring the other two Emperors - Valentinian II and Arcadius.  This latter scenario is, however, not impossible given the politics of the time.

Uncertain, but a great coin.

Shawn



SC
(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Offline ben392

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Thank you, Shawn!  That's very helpful!  It's so rare to find an unpublished official issue, I wasn't even thinking along those lines.   But you're absolutely right, this could be an official issue of Magnus Maximus' mint at Arles recognizing Theodosius I as legitimate after their conference in 384.   The obverse legend can only be Theodosius, not Victor.   Before I run off to publish an article though, does any one else want to weigh in on this?  The scenario makes sense, but I'm little surprised no one else has found/published one of these before.  It must have been a very limited run, if it is indeed an official mintage.

Ben

 

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