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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Tetrarchy| ▸ |Diocletian||View Options:  |  |  | 

Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D.

Caius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus was a man of humble birth who rose through the Roman military ranks on pure talent. Becoming emperor after the assassination of Carinus, Diocletian introduced many reforms that prolonged the life of the Empire, which was on the verge of total collapse before his reign. These reforms, however, eliminated most personal freedoms and turned much of the population into hereditary serfs. Diocletian was the first Roman emperor to voluntarily abdicate. He lived out his retirement in his palace on the Dalmatian coast, tending his vegetable gardens. His palace went on to become the core of the modern day city of Split.

|Diocletian|, |Diocletian,| |20| |November| |284| |-| |1| |May| |305| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
In 290, Diocletian and Maximian met in Milan, on the five-year anniversary of their rule, to discuss politics and war. Rome had become only the ceremonial capital of the Empire.
RA93167. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 33 (also 1st officina), RIC V-2 28; Cohen VI 147, SRCV IV 12655 var. (bust left), Choice VF, well centered, nice portrait, light encrustations, reverse die wear, edge splits, weight 4.267 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 7th Issue, spring 290 - 291 A.D.; obverse IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI AVGG, Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulders, Victory on globe in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, eagle left at feet on left, P in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $75.00 SALE |PRICE| $67.50


|Diocletian|, |Diocletian,| |20| |November| |284| |-| |1| |May| |305| |A.D.|, |follis|
In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POPVLI ROMANI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Roman People. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RB93168. Billon follis, RIC VI Heraclea 17a, SRCV IV 12787, Cohen VI 106, Hunter V 73 var. (4th officina), Choice VF, excellent centering and strike, some silvering,, weight 9.402 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 296 - 297 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, HTB in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


|Diocletian|, |Diocletian,| |20| |November| |284| |-| |1| |May| |305| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
In 288, Diocletian conducted a military campaign in Raetia (Switzerland).
RA93170. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 51, Cohen VI 299, Hunter IV 32 var. (...P F AVG), SRCV IV 12676 var. (same), Choice VF, well centered, traces of silvering, flow lines, scattered porosity, weight 3.940 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 287 - 289 A.D.; obverse IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse IOVI TVTATORI AVGG (to Jupiter the guardian of the two emperors), Jupiter standing left, Victory on globe in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, eagle left at feet on left, P in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00


|Diocletian|, |Diocletian,| |20| |November| |284| |-| |1| |May| |305| |A.D.|, |follis|
In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POPVLI ROMANI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Roman People. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RB93171. Billon follis, RIC VI Treveri 576a, Cohen VI 111, SRCV IV 12763, Hunter V -, Choice aEF, well centered, nice portrait, minor encrustations, weight 8.471 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, c. 303 - 1 May 305 A.D.; obverse IMP DIOCLETIANVS P AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing half left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - F across field, PTR in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


|Diocletian|, |Diocletian,| |20| |November| |284| |-| |1| |May| |305| |A.D.|, |follis|
In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POPVLI ROMANI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Roman People. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RB93172. Billon follis, RIC VI Heraclea 19a, SRCV IV 12787, Cohen VI 106, Hunter V 73 var. (officina), VF, well centered, porosity, light deposits, small edge cracks, tiny flaw in beard, die break below bust, reverse die worn, weight 7.863 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 296 - 297 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, HTΓ in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00


|Diocletian|, |Diocletian,| |20| |November| |284| |-| |1| |May| |305| |A.D.|, |antoninianus|
Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored emperors and kings, those in positions of authority similar to his own.
RL88529. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 Rome 166, Cohen VI 242, SRCV IV -, Hunter V -, VF, a little rough, tight flan, weight 3.203 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, 7th officina, Rome mint, 292 A.D.; obverse IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVAT AVGG, Jupiter standing slightly left, head right, nude, long scepter vertical in right hand, thunderbolt in left hand, eagle at feet standing left with wreath in beak and wings partially opened, XX wreath IZ in exergue; $28.00 SALE |PRICE| $25.20


Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Diocletian,| |20| |November| |284| |-| |1| |May| |305| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt|, |tetradrachm|
On 1 April 286, Diocletian elevated his friend Maximian to co-emperor, giving him the title Augustus. Diocletian divided the empire in two, after economic and military problems. He gave Maximian control over the Western Roman Empire and appointed himself ruler of the Eastern Roman Empire (later known as the Byzantine Empire).
RX86252. Billon tetradrachm, Geissen 3233, Dattari 5758, Kampmann 119.31, Milne 4839, Curtis 2028, SNG Milan 2177, SNG Cop 985, BMC Alexandria 2525, Emmet 4082/3, VF, well centered, green patina, buff earthen highlighting, edge crack, weight 8.482 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 286 - 28 Aug 287 A.D.; obverse A K Γ OYA ∆IOKΛHTIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ETOYC Γ (year 3), Tyche standing left, kalathos on head, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, star right; $40.00 SALE |PRICE| $36.00










OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DIOCLETIANVSAVG
DIOCLETIANVSPAVG
DIOCLETIANVSAVGVSTVS
DIOCLETIANVSPFAVG
DNDIOCLETIANOBAEATIS
DNDIOCLETIANOFELICIS
DNDIOCLETIANOFELICISSIMOSENAVG
DNDIOCLETIANOPFSAVG
IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG
IMPCDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG
IMPDIOCLETIANVSAVG
IMPDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG


REFERENCES|

Bastien, P. Le monnayage de I'atelier de Lyon, Diocletien et ses coregents avant la reforme monetaire (285 - 294). Numismatique Romaine VII. (Wetteren, 1972).
Bastien, P. Le Monnayage de l'Atelier de Lyon, De la Rforme Montaire de Diocltien la fermeture temporaire de l'Atelier en 316 (294 - 316). Numismatique Romaine XI. (Wetteren, 1980).
Calic, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 6: Macrianus to Diocletian & Maximianus. (Paris, 1886).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Diocletien Constantin I (284-337). Moneta 1. (Wetteren, 1995).
Gnecchi, F. I Medaglioni Romani. (Milan, 1912).
Jelocnik, A. The Sisak Hoard of Argentei of the Early Tetrarchy. (Ljubljana, 1961).
King, C. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & P. Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, |Part| II, Probus to Amandus. (London, 1933).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine...Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 211).
Sutherland, R. & C. Carson. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VI, From Diocletian's reform to the death of Maximinus. (London, 1967).

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