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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Tetrarchy ▸ MaximianView Options:  |  |  |   

Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

In 286 A.D., Maximian was sent by the Emperor Diocletian against Gaulish rebels, and upon their defeat was raised to the rank of Augustus on 1 April 286. When Diocletian instituted the Tetrarchy, Maximianus was made emperor of the Western empire and seven years later Constantius I joined him as Caesar. Maximianus was forced to abdicate with Diocletian in 305 A.D., but the year after he resumed the throne with his son Maxentius. Forced to abdicate once again at the Conference of Carnute, he resumed the title of Augustus once more in 310 A.D. but was defeated and forced to commit suicide by Constantine the Great.


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RIC lists this type as common but we believe it is scarce and that this bust/officina variety is very rare. We found only one other specimen with this bust from the first officina (on Wildwinds).

About 287, Diocletian assumed the title Iovius and Maximian assumed the title Herculius. The titles were symbolic of their roles: Diocletian-Jove was dominant, responsible for planning and commanding; Maximian-Hercules had the heroic role of completing assigned tasks. Despite the symbolism, the emperors were not actually worshiped as the gods Jupiter and Hercules in the imperial cult. Instead, they were seen as the gods' instruments, imposing the gods' will on earth.
RB87676. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 591, Cohen VI 619, Venèra 7680 var. (1 spec., 2nd off.), OCRE_RIC 591 var. (1 spec., bust r.d.c. from behind), Hunter IV -, SRCV IV -, VF, well centered and struck, brown patina, light corrosion, closed edge crack, weight 3.757 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 2nd emission, 2nd phase, Dec 286 - Jan 287 A.D.; obverse IMP C M A VAL MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, drapery (paludamentum) on far shoulder; reverse VIRTVS AVGVSTORVM (to the courage of the emperors), Hercules standing slightly right, head right, nude but for Nemean Loin's skin over left shoulder and arm, resting right hand on grounded club, bow in left hand, A in left field, XXI in exergue; very rare; $175.00 (€148.75)
 


Maximian, 285 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

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This coin refers to the good fortune provided by Carthage to the emperors. When the Nile floods were deficient and Egypt suffered scarcity, Roman ships importing wheat steered for Carthage, from which they brought back a sufficient supply to the eternal city.
RB87667. Billon follis, RIC VI Carthago 31b, Hunter V 67, SRCV IV 13306, Cohen VI 510, aEF, light deposits, slightly uneven strike, weight 9.885 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Carthago (near Tunis, Tunisia) mint, c. 299 - 303 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right (larger head); reverse SALVIS AVGG ET CAESS FEL KART (Blessed Carthage, for the salvation of the two Augusti and two Caesars), Karthago standing facing, head left, both arms raised, holding fruits, B in exergue; $140.00 (€119.00) ON RESERVE


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

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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 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.
RT85635. Billon follis, RIC VI Lugdunum 85 (S), Bastien XI 148, Hunter V 17 var. (1st officina), SRCV IV -, VF, well centered, spots of corrosion, porous, tiny edge cracks, weight 8.364 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 300 - 302 A.D.; obverse IMP C MAXIMIANVS AVG, laureate bust left, lion skin over shoulders, club in right hand over right shoulder; reverse GENIO POPVLI ROMANI (to the guardian spirit of the Roman People), Genius of the Roman people standing half left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand on to flaming altar before him, cornucopia in left hand, A right, PLG in exergue; rare; $135.00 (€114.75)
 


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

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This coin is universally described with Maximian raising his empty right hand but on all of the five examples known to Forum, including this coin, he holds an olive branch in his right hand and a mappa in his left hand.
RT85653. Billon half follis, RIC VI Alexandria 91b (S) corr. (no olive branch or mappa), SRCV IV 13419, Hunter V -, Cohen VI -, Choice aEF, well centered and struck, edge cracks, weight 3.001 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Alexandria mint, c. early - mid 308 A.D.; obverse D N MAXIMIANO FELICISS, laureate bust right, wearing imperial mantle, olive branch in right hand, mappa in left hand; reverse PROVIDENTIA DEORVM (foresight of the Gods), Providentia, draped, standing right, extending right hand to Quies; Quies, draped, standing left, holding branch in right hand and leaning on scepter with left hand, ∆ lower center, ALE in exergue; rare; $135.00 (€114.75)
 


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On 1 March 293, Diocletian and Maximian appointed Constantius Chlorus and Galerius as Caesars. This is considered the beginning of the Tetrarchy, known as the Quattuor Principes Mundi ("Four Rulers of the World"). The four Tetrarchs established their capitals close to the Roman frontiers:
- Nicomedia (northwestern Asia Minor) became capital for Diocletian
- Mediolanum (Milan, near the Alps) became the capital for Maximian
- Augusta Treverorum (Trier, in Germany) became the capital for Constantius Chlorus
- Sirmium (Serbia, on the Danube border) became the capital for Galerius
RA85657. Billon antoninianus, Bastien Lyon XI 503 (15), SRCV IV 13154, RIC V-2 404 var. (officina), Cohen VI 427, Hunter IV - (p. clxxxvi), Choice gVF, well centered and struck, some silvering, some legend letters unstruck (filled die?), weight 4.063 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, emission 10, 2nd series, 1 Mar 293 - 20 Nov 293; obverse IMP MAXIMIANVS AVG, radiate, helmeted, cuirassed bust right; reverse PAX AVGG (the peace of the two emperors), Minerva standing left, raising olive branch pointed upward in right hand, grounded spear and oval shield in left hand, A in exergue; scarce military bust; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

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Moneta was a surname given to Juno because she was said to have promised the Romans that if they fought only just wars, they would never be in want of money.
RT85728. Billon follis, RIC VI Aquileia 33b (S), SRCV IV 13296, Cohen VI 504, Hunter V 60, Choice aEF, well centered and struck, dark green patina, some porosity, cleaning marks, weight 9.917 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Aquileia mint, c. 301 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse SACRA MONET AVGG ET CAESS NOSTR (the sacred money of our two emperors and two princes), Moneta standing slightly left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, V right, AQS in exergue; scarce; $115.00 (€97.75)
 


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Pax, regarded by the ancients as a goddess, was worshiped not only at Rome but also at Athens. Her altar could not be stained with blood. Claudius began the construction of a magnificent temple to her honor, which Vespasian finished, in the Via Sacra. The attributes of Peace are the hasta pura, the olive branch, the cornucopia, and often the caduceus. Sometimes she is represented setting fire to a pile of arms.
RA84973. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 399; Bastien VII 387, pl. XXVIII (46 spec.); Cohen VI 442; Compas Collection 235, EF/VF, choice obverse with much silvering, reverse slightly off center with light corrosion, weight 3.476 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 7th emission, 290 - 291 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMIANVS AVG, radiate consular bust left, wearing imperial mantle, eagle-tipped scepter in right hand; reverse PAX AVGG (the peace of the two emperors), Pax standing left, Victory on globe in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, B in exergue; scarce; $105.00 (€89.25)
 


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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 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.
RB87666. Billon follis, Paolucci-Zub 33, RIC VI Aquileia 25b, SRCV IV 13252, Cohen VI 159, Hunter V 59 var. (1st officina), choice VF, well centered and struck, dark patina, some porosity, weight 10.209 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Aquileia mint, 297 - 298 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right (larger head); 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, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, AQS in exergue; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Click for a larger photo
Pax, regarded by the ancients as a goddess, was worshiped not only at Rome but also at Athens. Her altar could not be stained with blood. Claudius began the construction of a magnificent temple to her honor, which Vespasian finished, in the Via Sacra. The attributes of Peace are the hasta pura, the olive branch, the cornucopia, and often the caduceus. Sometimes she is represented setting fire to a pile of arms.
RA87258. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 Lugdunum 408 (S), Bastien Lyon XI 613 pl. XLIII (5 ex.), Cohen VI 436 var. (helmeted), Hunter IV - (p. clxxxvii), SRCV IV -, gVF, well centered and struck, traces if silvering, porous, weight 3.497 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, emission 12, series 2, 294 A.D.; obverse MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse PAX AVGG (the peace of the two emperors), Pax standing left, olive branch in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, A in exergue; scarce; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Maximian, 286 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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Variations of this type are listed with the longer A K M A OYA... obverse legend, and either without a star, with a star left or with a star upper right on the reverse.
RX84178. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5861, Geissen 3279, Milne 4795, SNG Milan 2023, SNG Hunt 4904 var. (no star), BMC Alexandria 2551 var. (star l.), Kampmann 120.8, Emmet 4113, VF, nice portrait, nice surfaces, tight flan, weight 7.262 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 1 Apr 286 - 28 Aug 286; obverse A K M OYA MAΞIMIANOC CEB, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Eirene standing half left, raising olive branch in right hand, long transverse scepter in left hand, L - A (year 1) across fields, star upper right (on edge of flan); $60.00 (€51.00)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

AVRVALMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
DIVOMAXIMIANOAVG
DIVOMAXIMIANOIVNAVG
DIVOMAXIMIANOOPTIMP
DIVOMAXIMIANOOPTIMOIMP
DIVOMAXIMIANOPATRIMAXENTIVSAVG
DIVOMAXIMIANOSEN
DIVOMAXIMIANOSENAVG
DIVOMAXIMIANOSENFORTIMP
DIVOMAXIMIANOSENIMP
DIVOMAXIMIANOSOCEROMAXENTIVSAVG
DNMAXIMIANOBSAVG
DNMAXIMIANOBAEATIS
DNMAXIMIANOBAEATISS
DNMAXIMIANOBAEATISSSENAVG
DNMAXIMIANOBAEATISSI
DNMAXIMIANOBAEATISSIM
DNMAXIMIANOBAEATISSIMOSENAVG
DNMAXIMIANOBEATISSIMOSENAVG
DNMAXIMIANOFELICIS
DNMAXIMIANOFELICISS
DNMAXIMIANOFELICISSSENAVG
DNMAXIMIANOFELICISSI
DNMAXIMIANOFELICISSIM
DNMAXIMIANOFELICISSIMOSENAVG
DNMAXIMIANOPFSAVG
DNMAXIMIANOSENINVAVG
IMPCCVALMAXIMIANVSPAVG
IMPCCVALMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPCMAMAXIMIANVSPAVG
IMPCMAMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVALMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPCMAVALMAXIMIANVSPAVG
IMPCMAVALMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVRMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPCMAVRMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVRVALMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPCMAVRVALMAXIMIANVSPAVG
IMPCMAVRVALMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMVALMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPCMVALVAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPCMAXIMIANVSPAVG
IMPCMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPCMAXIMIANVSPIAVG
IMPCMAXIMIANVSPPAVG
IMPCVALMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPCVALMAXIMIANVSPAVG
IMPCVALMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPMAVRMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPMAVRVALMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPMAXENTIVSDIVOMAXIMIANOPATRI
IMPMAXENTIVSDIVOMAXIMIANOSOCERO
IMPMAXIMIANOPFSAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSAVGCOSVII
IMPMAXIMIANVSPAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSPFEAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSPFELAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSPFAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSPFAVGCOSVII
IMPMAXIMIANVSPIFEAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSPIVSAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSPIVSAVGVST
IMPMAXIMIANVSPIVSFAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSPIVSFELIXAVG
IMPMAXIMIANVSSENAVG
MAVRMAXIMIANVSSENAVG
MAXIMIANVSAVG
MAXIMIANVSAVGVSTVS
MAXIMIANVSPAVG
MAXIMIANVSPFAVG
MAXIMIANVSSENPFAVG
VIRTVSMAXIMIANIAVG


REFERENCES

Bastien, P. Le monnayage de I'atelier de Lyon, Diocletien et ses coregents avant la reforme monetaire (285 - 294). (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). (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. 6: Macrianus to Diocletian & Maximianus. (Paris, 1886).
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.E. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. 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 Wednesday, November 21, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Maximian