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

Galerius, 1 March 305 - 5 May 311 A.D.

Galerius was caesar and a tetrarch under Maximianus. His capital was Sirmium (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia). Although a talented general and administrator, Galerius is better known for his key role in the "Great Persecution" of Christians. When he was severely ill, he stopped the persecution under the condition that Christians pray for his return to health. Soon after, Galerius died horribly.

|Galerius|, |Galerius,| |1| |March| |305| |-| |5| |May| |311| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|
Galerius was caesar and a tetrarch under Maximianus. His capital was Sirmium (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia). Although a talented general and administrator, Galerius is better known for his key role in the "Great Persecution" of Christians. He stopped the persecution under the condition that Christians pray for his return to health from a serious illness. Galerius died horribly shortly after at Serdica on 5 May 311. Maximinus and Licinius split his realm between them.
RT90636. Billon follis (large), RIC VI Cyzicus 65, SRCV IV 14510, Cohen VII 40, Hunter V -, VF, green patina, well centered, light encrustations, part of edge ragged, weight 6.613 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, Jan - 5 May 311 A.D.; obverse GAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), Genius standing left, naked except for chlamys over shoulder, kalathos on head, cornucopia in left hand, patera in right, A left, three pellets right, MKV in exergue; $30.00 (30.30)


|Galerius|, |Galerius,| |1| |March| |305| |-| |5| |May| |311| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|
In 309 A.D., a plague, perhaps related to anthrax, spread across the Roman Empire, causing a drastic decline in the population.
RT90637. Billon follis (large), Hunter V 12 (also 2nd officina), RIC VI Thessalonica 30a, SRCV IV 14507, Cohen VII 40, VF, centered, encrustations, weight 6.968 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 308 - 311 A.D.; obverse GAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), 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, star lower left, B right, SMTS in exergue; $28.00 (28.28)


|Galerius|, |Galerius,| |1| |March| |305| |-| |5| |May| |311| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|
The officina number is expressed as ∆E (4 + 5 = 9) because Θ, theta, the Greek numeral nine, was considered unlucky. Theta (Θ), was used as an abbreviation for Thanatos (death) and used as a warning symbol of death, in the same way that skull and crossbones are used in modern times. It survives on potsherds used by Athenians voting for the death penalty. Also, after a funeral "Nine Days of Sorrow" were solemnly observed by the Roman family. Romans avoided the use of theta, as we avoid the use of the number 13 today.
RT90838. Billon follis (large), RIC VI Antiochia 82 (S), SRCV IV 14519, Cohen VII 48, Hunter V 42 var. (4th officina), VF/F, well centered, reverse encrusted, weight 6.554 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 180o, 9th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, early - mid 308 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO IMPERATORIS (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor as Commander in Chief), 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, ∆ - E across fields, ANT in exergue; scarce; $28.00 (28.28)


|Galerius|, |Galerius,| |1| |March| |305| |-| |5| |May| |311| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|
The meaning of the CMH ligature, used at Nicomedia and Cyzicus, is uncertain but it may be a mark of value indicating 48 coins per pound of bronze. This type and mintmark spanned two issues at Nicomedia. The first issue, RIC VI Nicomedia 54a, was struck c. December 308 - May 310, only by the 1st and 4th officinae, and weighed 6.0-7.5 grams. The second issue, RIC VI Nicomedia 66a, was struck c. May 310 - May 311, by the 1st through 6th officinae, and weighed 5.0-7.5 grams, initially with wider thinner flans but getting progressively smaller and thicker.
RT90839. Billon follis (large), Hunter V 25 (also the 4th officina, RIC 54a), RIC VI Nicomedia 54a or 66a (this type spanned both issues), SRCV IV 14508, Cohen VII 42, VF, dark near black tone, turquoise encrustations, reverse center weak, weight 6.004 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, Dec 308 - May 311 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI CMH (CMH ligate), 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, SMN∆ in exergue; $32.00 (32.32)


Galerius, 1 March 305 - 5 May 311 A.D.

|Galerius|, |Galerius,| |1| |March| |305| |-| |5| |May| |311| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|
These legends and types were struck in two issues RIC VI 198a, c. 309 - 310, and RIC 207a, c. 310 - 5 May 311. The earlier issue was struck with only officiae A, B and Γ, therefore, without even considering other variations we can be certain this coin is from the second issue.
RT99299. Billon follis (large), RIC VI Siscia p. 480, 207a; SRCV IV 14505; Hunter V p. 62, 7 var. (2nd officina); Cohen VI 133 (Maximian), gVF, amusing style and sharp detail on the reverse, slight porosity, reverse slightly off center, weight 7.444 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, c. 310 - 5 May 311 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), Genius standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, crescent with horns upward lower left, ∆ right, SIS in exergue; from a private collector in New Jersey; $80.00 (80.80)


Galerius, 1 March 305 - 5 May 311 A.D.

|Galerius|, |Galerius,| |1| |March| |305| |-| |5| |May| |311| |A.D.||follis| |(large)|
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 Roman People, etc. The legend GENIO IMPERATORIS dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Imperators, the Commanders-in-Chief of the Army. 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.
RT99302. Billon follis (large), RIC VI Heraclea 37a; SRCV IV 14513; Cohen VII 48; Hunter V p. 63, 16 var. (1st officina), aVF/VF, nearly centered, flow lines, obv. die wear, marks, porosity, weight 6.136 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, c. 308 - 309 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO IMPERATORIS (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor as Commander in Chief), 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 a private collector in New Jersey; $60.00 (60.60)










OBVERSE LEGENDS

DIVOGALVALMAXIMIANO
DIVOMAXIMIANOMAXIMINVSAVGFIL
GALMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
GALVALMAXIMIANVSNOBC
GALVALMAXIMIANVSNOBCAES
IMPCGALVALMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCGALVMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPMAXENTIVSDIVOMAXIMIANOSOCERO
IMPMAXIMIANVSPFAVGMAXIMIANVSCAESAR
MAXIMIANVSAVG
MAXIMIANVSCAES
MAXIMIANVSNC
MAXIMIANVSNOBC
MAXIMIANVSNOBCAES
MAXIMIANVSPFAVG


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).
Cloke, H. & L. Toone. The London Mint of Constantius & Constantine. (London, 2015).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
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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