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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.||post-reform| |radiate|
In 296, after the Sassanid king Narseh declared war on Rome and invaded Armenia, Diocletian dispatched his son-in-law Galerius with a large army. Galerius was completely defeated near Carrhae and forced to retreat across the Euphrates to join Diocletian at Antioch. At Antioch, Diocletian forced Galerius to walk, still clad in the purple robes of an emperor, a mile in advance of his imperial cart. The message was clear: the loss at Carrhae was not due to the failings of the soldiers, but due to the failings of their commander.
RA111549. Copper post-reform radiate, RIC VI Heraclea 13, SRCV IV 12833, Cohen VI 34, Hunter V -, Choice VF, well centered, dark green patina, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 2.412 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 295 - 296 A.D.; obverse IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse CONCORDIA MILITVM (harmony with the soldiers), Emperor (on left) and Jupiter standing confronted, Emperor in military garb, holding short scepter, Jupiter nude but for paludamentum on shoulders, presenting Victory on a globe, leaning on long scepter in left hand, HΔ in center above exergue line; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 124 (8 Jan 2023), lot 945 (part of); $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


|Diocletian|, |Diocletian,| |20| |November| |284| |-| |1| |May| |305| |A.D.||argenteus|
The Sarmatians were a large confederation of Iranian people during classical antiquity, flourishing from about the 5th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. They spoke Scythian, an Indo-European language from the Eastern Iranian family. The Sarmatians moved to an area called Sarmatia; east of Germania and north of the immediate vicinity of the Danube. These barbarous and little know tribes also occupied the vast tracts of modern Russia. In the autumn of 285, in the Balkans, Diocletian encountered a tribe of Sarmatians who demanded assistance. The Sarmatians requested he either help them recover their lost lands or grant them pasturage rights within the empire. Diocletian refused and fought a battle with them, but was unable to secure a complete victory. The Sarmatians would have to be fought again. In 288, Diocletian managed what was probably another rapid campaign against the resurgent Sarmatians. No details survive, but surviving inscriptions indicate that Diocletian took the title Sarmaticus Maximus after 289.
SH21639. Silver argenteus, RIC VI Roma 19a, RSC V 488e, cf. SRCV IV 12612 (Trier, Rome noted), Hunter V -, superb EF, lustrous, excellent centering and strike, weight 3.312 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 294 A.D.; obverse DIOCLETIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse VICTORIA SARMAT (victory over the Sarmatians), the four princes sacrificing over tripod before archway of six-turreted enclosure; ex Freeman & Sear; SOLD


|Diocletian|, |Diocletian,| |20| |November| |284| |-| |1| |May| |305| |A.D.||argenteus|
SH34985. Silver argenteus, RIC VI Treveri 102a (R4), RSC V 516a, cf. SRCV IV 12617 (Siscia, Trier noted), Hunter V -, Choice EF, well struck, perfectly centered - a fantastic example of the type, weight 3.301 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier) mint, 294 A.D.; obverse DIOCLETI-ANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse VIRTVS MILITVM (courage of the soldiers), the four princes sacrificing over tripod before archway in eight-turreted fortress enclosure; ex Scott Collection; very rare (R4); SOLD







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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).
Cloke, H. & L. Toone. The London Mint of Constantius & Constantine. (London, 2015).
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).
MANTIS the American Numismatic Society Collections Database - http://numismatics.org/search/
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, May 30, 2023.
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