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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. He stopped the persecution under condition the Christians pray for his return to health from a serious illness. Galerius died horribly shortly after.


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In 294, Galerius, caesar in the Balkans, proved his worth campaigning on the Danube frontier, fighting the Goths, Marcomanni, Sarmatians, and Carpi. Galerius was assigned the job of land reclamation and repopulation, moving the entire tribe of the Carpi to settlements within the Roman Empire.
RA92335. Billon antoninianus, Bastien XI 657 (9 examples), RIC V-2 Lugdunum 692 (C), SRCV IV 14317, Cohen VI 211, Hunter IV -, VF, well centered, traces of silvering, flow lines, bumps and marks, scattered mild porosity, weight 4.222 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, officina 2, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 294 A.D.; obverse MAXIMIANVS NOB C, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Mars standing slightly left, head left, wearing helmet and military garb, resting right hand on grounded shield, inverted spear in left hand, B in exergue; RIC V lists as common but market evidence indicates they type is at least scarce; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


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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 Roman people, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. This coin is dedicated "to the Genius (guardian spirits) of our emperors and caesars."
RB91231. Billon follis, RIC VI Cyzicus 11b, SRCV IV 14342, Cohen VII 39, Hunter V 52 var. (smaller head on obverse), Choice EF, full borders, near full silvering, attractive style, small cut on obverse, weight 12.008 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 295 - 296 A.D.; obverse GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGG ET CAESARVM NN (to the guardian spirits of our emperors and caesars), 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, KA in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 76 (7 Apr 2019), part of lot 942; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


Click for a larger photo
Galerius was Caesar and tetrarch under Maximianus. 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 the Christians pray for his return to health from a serious illness. Galerius died horribly shortly after.
SH91317. Silver argenteus, RIC VI Rome 29b (R2), RSC V 219a, Hunter V 14, SRCV IV 14264, Choice VF, well centered, flow lines, nearly as struck but with die wear, weight 3.286 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 294 A.D.; obverse MAXIMIANVS CAES, laureate head right; reverse VIRTVS MILITVM (courage of the soldiers), the four tetrarchs sacrificing over tripod in front of gated enclosure with six turrets; rare; $430.00 (€378.40)
 


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In 295, Galerius, caesar in the Balkans, was dispatched to Egypt to fight against the rebellious cities Busiris and Coptos.
RT77118. Silvered follis, RIC VI Siscia 90b (R2), SRCV IV 14365, Cohen VII 56, EF, most silvering remaining, nice portrait, weight 8.863 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, c. 295 A.D.; obverse MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES, laureate head right; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius standing left, modius on head, naked but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, pouring libation from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, Γ right, *SIS in exergue; $70.00 (€61.60)
 










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 Réforme Monétaire de Dioclétien à la fermeture temporaire de l'Atelier en 316 (294 - 316). Numismatique Romaine XI. (Wetteren, 1980).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Diocletien à 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).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Galerius