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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.|, |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.
RB93346. Billon follis, Hunter V 22 (also 1st officina), RIC VI Ticinum 31a, SRCV IV 12772, Cohen VI 101,, Choice aEF, much silvering, well centered, flow lines, tiny edge split, weight 8.563 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, c. 296 - 297 A.D.; obverse IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, laureate head 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, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, star lower left, PT in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00


|Diocletian|, |Diocletian,| |20| |November| |284| |-| |1| |May| |305| |A.D.|, |follis|
"This reverse is modeled after the famous statue of the Spirit of the Roman People in the Roman Forum. It is unclear when this statue was last seen as it is now lost. Although the coins celebrate a wide range of spirits (e.g., Rome, Augustus, the Army, etc.), the basic design comes from the same statue...The act of pouring the libation to the emperor illustrates what the Christians were required to do in order not to be persecuted." -- Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity 294-364 A.D. by Victor Failmezger
RB93349. Billon follis, RIC VI Thessalonica 25a, Cohen VI 106, SRCV IV 12785, Hunter V -, Choice VF, well centered, nice green patina with light earthen highlighting, weight 10.251 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 330o, 3rd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 302 - 303 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, kalathos on head, naked except chlamys over shoulders, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, Γ in right field, TS exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


|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.
RB93348. Billon follis, RIC VI Nicomedia 29a, SRCV IV 12789, Cohen VI 106, Hunter V -, Choice VF, excellent centering, highlighting earthen deposits, reverse center weak, weight 9.910 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 30o, 1st officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, c. 303 - 304 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, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, SMNA in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


|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, 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







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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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