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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.||argenteus|
The Sisak Hoard of more than 2000 silver argentei, most of them mint-state, plus silver vessels, was found in 1953 near Siscia (Croatia). Still today, nearly all the high grade early argentei of the early tetrarchy on the market came from this hoard. The deposition of the hoard can be placed in the year 295/296.
SH53598. Silver argenteus, Sisak Hoard 41c, RIC VI Siscia 19a, RSC V 488e, Superb EF, weight 2.969 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 295 A.D.; obverse DIOCLETI-ANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse VICTORI-A SARMAT, the four princes sacrificing over tripod before archway of six-turreted enclosure; ex H. S. Perlin Co., 1988; sharp high-relief masterpiece portrait, exceptional strike, beautiful rainbow iridescent toning, from the 1953 Sisak hoard; SOLD

Diocletian, 20 November 284 - 1 May 305 A.D., Struck For Diocletian by the Usurper Carausius

|Carausius|, |Diocletian,| |20| |November| |284| |-| |1| |May| |305| |A.D.,| |Struck| |For| |Diocletian| |by| |the| |Usurper| |Carausius||antoninianus|
Marcus Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius was originally a fleet commander sent by the first Tetrarchs to rid the Northern seas of Saxon and Frankish pirates. He soon turned to piracy himself, before fleeing to Britain and declaring himself emperor. His natural cunning enabled him to resist all attempts to dislodge him. In 293 Constantius I captured his continental stronghold of Boulogne. Soon after Carausius was murdered by his chief minister Allectus. Carausius struck this coin in an attempt to pose as a legitimate colleague of the official rulers.
RA73493. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 p. 551, 5 (R) var. (mint mark); Cohen VI 377 var. (scepter transverse); SRCV IV 12690 var. (same), aVF, well centered, rough green patina, some earthen encrustation, weight 3.112 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, c. 292 - early 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse PAX AVGGG (the peace of the three emperors), Pax standing left, olive branch extended in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, S - P across field, MLXXI in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; rare; SOLD





Bastien, P. Le monnayage de I'atelier de Lyon, Diocletien et ses coregents avant la reforme monetaire (285 - 294). Numismatique Romaine VII. (Wetteren, 1972).
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