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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Late Empire ▸ GratianView Options:  |  |  | 

Gratian, 24 August 367 - 25 August 383 A.D.

Gratian, son of Valentinian I, became the sole ruler of the Western empire in 375 A.D., and after the catastrophic defeat of the Roman forces at Hadrianopolis, the Eastern empire also came under his rule. To better cope with the empire, he elevated general Theodosius to the Eastern throne. Because of a shortage of coinage to meet the payroll, Gratian was abandoned by his troops during the revolt of Magnus Maximus. He was overtaken and killed while fleeing to the Alps.


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Gratian was Roman emperor from 367 to 383. The eldest son of Valentinian I, Gratian accompanied, during his youth, his father on several campaigns along the Rhine and Danube frontiers. Upon the death of Valentinian in 375, Gratian's brother Valentinian II was declared emperor by his father's soldiers. In 378, Gratian's generals won a decisive victory over the Lentienses, a branch of the Alamanni, at the Battle of Argentovaria. Gratian subsequently led a campaign across the Rhine, the last emperor to do so, and attacked the Lentienses, forcing the tribe to surrender. That same year, his uncle Valens was killed in the Battle of Adrianople against the Goths making Gratian essentially ruler of the entire Roman Empire. He favoured Christianity over traditional Roman religion, refusing the divine attributes of the Emperors and removing the Altar of Victory from the Roman Senate.
RL87982. Bronze maiorina, Hunter V 25 (also 3rd officina), RIC IX Arelate 20(a)3, LRBC II 548, SRCV V 20005, Cohen VIII 30, VF, dark patina with buff earthen highlighting, light marks and scratches, tiny edge splits, weight 4.911 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Constantina-Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, c. 379 - 25 August 383 A.D.; obverse D N GRATIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse REPARATIO REIPVB, emperor standing facing, head left, right hand raising kneeling turreted woman, Victory on globe offering wreath in his left hand, TCON in exergue; ex Harlan Berk 2002; $80.00 (70.40)


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At the beginning of the 16th century nearly 20,000 Sephardic Jews immigrated to Greece from Spain following their expulsion. By 1519, 15,715 Jews lived in Thessaloniki, 54% of the population. After the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 left 72,000 people homeless, unable to stay and survive, nearly half of the Jewish population emigrated to France, the United States and Palestine. On April 22, 1941, Thessaloniki fell to Nazi Germany. 50,000 Jews, 95% of the Jewish population, were sent to concentration camps where most were murdered in the gas chambers. Another 11,000 Jews were sent to forced labor camps, where most also perished. Only 1200 Jews live in the city today.
RL88714. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Thessalonica 26(c)xxi, LRBC II 1764, SRCV V 20071, Cohen VIII 23, F, dark green patina, bumps and marks, porous, exergue unstruck, weight 2.131 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 24 Aug 367 - 17 Nov 375 A.D.; obverse D N GRATIANVS P F AVG (unbroken), pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Emperor forcing barbarian captive to kneel with right, labarum (Chi-Rho standard) in left, wreath in left field, pellet over Γ right, TES in exergue; scarce; $14.00 (12.32)


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Gratian was the son of Valentinian I by Marina Severa, and was born at Sirmium (now Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) in Pannonia. He was named after his grandfather Gratian the Elder. Gratian was first married to Flavia Maxima Constantia, daughter of Constantius II. His second wife was Laeta. Both marriages remained childless. His stepmother was Empress Justina and his paternal half siblings were Valentinian II, Galla and Justa.
SH46445. Gold solidus, RIC IX Constantinopolis 24 (R2); Depeyrot, p. 236, 21/3; SRCV V 19899, Cohen VIII 28, Choice gF, full circles centering on a nice round flan, light obverse graffiti, reverse mark, weight 4.273 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 24 Aug 367 - 17 Nov 375 A.D.; obverse D N GRATIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINCIPIVM IVVENTVTIS, Gratian standing half-right, nimbate, wearing military dress, spear transverse in right hand, globe in left hand, *CONS followed by wreath in exergue; rare; SOLD







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

DNGRATIANVSAVG
DNGRATIANVSAVGGAVG
DNGRATIANVSPFAVG


REFERENCES

Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 8: Nepotian to Romulus Augustus, plus tesserae & cotorniates. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Constantin II Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
Hahn, Wolfgang. Moneta Imperii Romani-Byzantinii. (Vienna, 1989).
King, C.E. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Pearce, J.W.E. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume IX, Valentinian I - Theodosius I. (London 1933).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire...Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, June 18, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Gratian