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Roman Coins of the 3rd Century Crisis and Decline of the Roman Empire

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

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In winter 241, Gordian III arrived at Antioch and began to prepare with his army for an offensive against the Persians. In 242, Shapur I made a preemptive attack on Antioch to drive him out. Gordian's father-in-law, Timesitheus, repeatedly defeated the Persians until, in 243, Shapur was forced to retreat back to Persia.
GS20795. Silver denarius, RIC IV 130 (R), RSC IV 340, Hunter III 65, SRCV III 8682, Choice VF, well centered, flow lines, light marks, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.174 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 241 - 242 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SECVRITAS PVBLICA (security of the public), Securitas seated left, at ease, scepter in right hand, propping head with left hand; ex Forum (2013), ex Las Vegas dealer; $80.00 (70.40)


Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - Late May 238 A.D., Pella, Macedonia

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Pella was founded in 399 B.C. by King Archelaus (413 - 399 B.C.) as his capital. It is best known as the historical capital of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and birthplace of Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C., it was sacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome. Later the city was destroyed by an earthquake. By 180 A.D., Lucian could describe it in passing as "now insignificant, with very few inhabitants."
RP92878. Bronze AE 26, Varbanov III 3747 (R5); SNG Cop 285; Moushmov 6486; cf. BMC Macedonia p. 40, 40 (cuirassed bust); SNG ANS -; SNG Hunter -; AMNG III -, aVF, well centered, green patina, light deposits, light marks, part of reverse legend weak, weight 9.387 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Pella mint, 20 Mar 235 - late May 238 A.D.; obverse IMP C C IVL VER MAXIMINVS, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse COL IVL AVG PELLA, Pan seated left on rock, nude, right hand on top of head, pedum in left hand, syrnix (Pan flute) in left field ; $110.00 (96.80)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Viminacium, Moesia Superior

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Viminacium was a Roman Colony founded by Gordian III in 239 A.D. The usual legend is P.M.S. COL. VIM., abbreviating Provinciae Moesiae Superioris Colonia Viminacium. The usual type is a female personification of Moesia standing between a lion and a bull. The bull and the lion were symbols of the Legions VII and IV, which were quartered in the province.
RP92632. Orichalcum provincial sestertius, H-J Viminacium 29 (R2); Martin 2.14, AMNG I/I 103, Varbanov I 135; BMC Thrace p. 17, 21, VF, excellent portrait, crackling from light corrosion, porosity, part of reverse legend weak, weight 18.681 g, maximum diameter 39.5 mm, die axis 225o, Viminacium (Stari Kostolac, Serbia) mint, 245 - 246 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverse P M S COL VIM, Moesia standing facing, head left, extending hands over bull on left standing right and lion on right standing left, AN VI (year 6 of the Viminacium colonial era) in exergue; $80.00 (70.40)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Viminacium, Moesia Superior

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Viminacium was a Roman Colony founded by Gordian III in 239 A.D. The usual legend is P.M.S. COL. VIM., abbreviating Provinciae Moesiae Superioris Colonia Viminacium. The usual type is a female personification of Moesia standing between a lion and a bull. The bull and the lion were symbols of the Legions VII and IV, which were quartered in the province.
RP92877. Bronze AE 29, H-J Viminacium 12 (R2); AMNG I/I 83; BMC Thrace p. 16, 12; SNG Cop 144; Varbanov I -, Choice aVF, well centered, slight porosity, weight 19.615 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 0o, Viminacium (Stari Kostolac, Serbia) mint, 242 - 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M S COL VIM, Moesia standing facing, head left, extending hands over bull on left standing right and lion on right standing left, AN IIII (year 4 of the Viminacium colonial era) in exergue; $100.00 (88.00)


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Deultum, Thrace

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The Roman Colony of Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria today) was founded during the reign of Vespasian on the west shore of Lake Mandren between Anchialus and Apollonia, and settled with veterans of Legio VIII Augusta. The town followed the usual Roman plan, with a very good water supply, sewers, and impressive baths with floor heating. It became one of the richest towns in the province. During the reign Mark Aurelius, Deultum was protected by large fortified walls and for centuries it served as an important communication point and a bulwark against barbarian raids. In 812 Khan Krum conquered Develt (its medieval name), banished the local residents to the north of Danube River, and resettled the town with Bulgarians.
RP92879. Bronze AE 17, Draganov 1931 (O175/R663), Jurukova Deultum 508, Varbanov II 3129 (R3), Moushmov 3809, CN Online -, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, VF, dark patina, nice portrait, light marks and scratches, light deposit, weight 3.267 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria) mint, as caesar, 244 - 247 A.D.; obverse M IVL PHILIPPVS CAES, laureate head right; reverse lion walking right, C F / P D (Colonia Flavia Pacensis Deultum) in two lines above and below; scarce; $90.00 (79.20)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Deultum, Thrace

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Vespasian founded Deultum, settled with veterans of Legio VIII Augusta, on the west coast of Lake Mandren between Anchialus and Apollonia.
RP92880. Brass AE 22, Draganov Deultum 1414 (O138/R110), CN Online Deultum CN_17048, Jurukova 307, Varbanov II 2567 (R3), BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, VF, well centered, porosity, central depressions, weight 7.532 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse COL FL PAC DEVLT, eagle standing slightly right, head right with wreath in beak; $90.00 (79.20)


Koinon of Macedonia, Portrait of Alexander the Great, c. 238 - 244 A.D.

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The Macedonian Koinon (community) was the political organization governing the autonomous Roman province of Macedonia and was responsible for issuing coinage. The individual cities, as members of the Koinon, sent representatives to participate in popular assembly several times each year.

The high point of the year was celebrations and matches in honor of Alexander the Great and the Roman emperor held in Beroea (modern Verria) located about 75 km. west of Thessaloniki. This was the provincial center of the emperor cult, with the appropriate temple and privileges, first granted to the Koinon by Nerva. The title Neokoros, or "temple guardians" was highly prized and thus advertised on coins. Under Elagabalus, the Koinon received a second neokorie, indicated by B (the Greek number two) or rarely ∆IC (double in Greek). The title was rescinded but later restored by Severus Alexander, probably in 231 A.D.


RP89876. Bronze AE 26, AMNG III 757; BMC Macedonia -, SNG Cop -, SNG Hunter -, SNG Saroglos -, Lindgren -, Choice F, well centered, green patina, slightly rough, central depressions, weight 14.615 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 225o, Macedonia, Beroea(?) mint, time of Gordian III, c. 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POC, head of Alexander the Great right, wearing lion scalp headdress (as Herakles); reverse KOINON MAKE∆ONΩNBN, two agonistic urns each containing palm on a table with lion's feet; scarce; $80.00 (70.40)


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

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In Roman mythology, Romulus and Remus were the twin sons of the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia, fathered by the god of war, Mars. They were abandoned in the Tiber as infants. Faustulus, a shepherd, found the infants being suckled by the she-wolf (Lupa) at the foot of the Palatine Hill. Their cradle, in which they had been abandoned, was on the shore overturned under a fig tree. Faustulus and his wife, Acca Larentia, raised the children. Romulus was the first King of Rome.
RA92962. Billon antoninianus, Gbl MIR 1628c, RSC IV 46b, RIC V-1 S628, Hunter IV S194, SRCV III 10171 var. (cuirassed bust left), VF, well centered and struck, minor encrustations, weight 3.590 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch mint, 264 - 265 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate and draped bust right, seen from behind; reverse AETERNITAS AVG, she-wolf standing right, head left, suckling the infant twins Romulus and Remus, palm branch right in exergue; ex Colosseum Coin Exchange; $60.00 (52.80)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

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In Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume III, David Sear notes this type was issued for the wedding of Gordian and Tranquillina.
RS92984. Silver denarius, RIC IV 129A (R), RSC IV 325, Hunter III 62, SRCV III 8681, Choice VF, full border centering on a broad flan, nice portrait, light toning, flow lines, weight 3.033 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 241 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SALVS AVGVSTI (to the health of the Emperor), Salus standing right, draped, from patera held in left hand, feeding snake held in right hand; $80.00 (70.40)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D.

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Laetitia is the Roman goddess of gaiety and joy, her name deriving from the root word laeta, meaning happy. She is typically depicted on coinage with a wreath in her right hand, and a scepter, a rudder, or an anchor in her left hand.
RB92990. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 300a, Cohen V 122, Banti 38, Hunter III 140, SRCV III 8712, aVF, green patina, squared patina, scratch on reverse, weight 21.349 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, late 240 - early 243 A.D.; obverse IMP GORDIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse LAETITIA AVG N (the joy of our Emperor), Laetitia standing facing, head left, wreath in right hand, anchor in left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking low in field; $100.00 (88.00)











Catalog current as of Thursday, October 17, 2019.
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Crisis and Decline