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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Late Empire| ▸ |Arcadius||View Options:  |  |  |   

Arcadius, 19 January 383 - 1 May 408 A.D.

Flavius Arcadius was the son of Theodosius I and Aelia Flaccilla. Born in 377 A.D., Arcadius was raised to the rank of Augustus by his father at the age of six. Upon the death of Theodosius in 395 A.D., Arcadius was given the Eastern half of the Roman empire while his brother Honorius received the Western half. Arcadius inherited none of his great father's skills and was under the influence of variously Rufinus the Praetorian prefect, Eutropius a courtier eunuch, the Goth Gainas, Empress Eudoxia and another Praetorian prefect Anthemius. His greatest personal accomplishment in life was his beautiful handwriting. Arcadius died in 408 A.D. and was succeeded by his young son Theodosius II. The Roman Empire 395 AD

|Arcadius|, |Arcadius,| |19| |January| |383| |-| |1| |May| |408| |A.D.|, |solidus|
In 400, the Great Palace in Constantinople was burned to the ground in riots. In the chaos, the Gothic leader Gainas attempted to evacuate his soldiers out of the city but 7,000 armed Goths were trapped and killed by order of Arcadius. After the massacre, Gainas escaped across the Hellespont, but his rag-tag ad hoc fleet was destroyed by Fravitta, a Gothic chieftain in imperial service. In winter, Gainas led his remaining Goths back to their homeland across the Danube where they were attacked and killed by the Huns. Uldin, the Hun chieftain, sent Gainas' head to Arcadius as a gift.
SH37579. Gold solidus, RIC X Arcadius 7 (S), Depeyrot 55/1, SRCV V 20706, DOCLR 207- 217 var. (none from 4th officina), Hunter V 33 - 34 var. (same), VF, scratch in obverse field, weight 4.402 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 397 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl diademed, cuirassed, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with a horseman riding down and spearing a fallen enemy; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG ∆ (harmony between the two emperors, 4th officina), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, long scepter in right hand, Victory on globe offering wreath in left hand, right leg bare, right foot on prow, CONOB in exergue; ex CNG 173, Lot: 524 (sold for $957 plus fees); ex Alain Lagrange Collection; scarce; SOLD


|Arcadius|, |Arcadius,| |19| |January| |383| |-| |1| |May| |408| |A.D.|, |solidus|
The unusual reverse legend, dedicating the coin to "the new hope of the Republic," would seem better suited to the newly crowned Theodosius. But the legend is unique to Arcadius. How could Arcadius be the "new hope" after he had already ruled for twenty years?
SH90888. Gold solidus, RIC X Arcadius 22 (R3), Depeyrot 54/2 (22 specimens), DOCLR 237 var. (seated on cuirass only), SRCV V 20712, VF, bumps and scrapes, weight 4.392 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 402 - c. 403 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl diademed, cuirassed, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with a horseman riding down and spearing a fallen enemy; reverse NOVA SPES REIPVBLICAE (new hope of the Republic), Victory seated right on cuirass and shield, inscribing XX / XXX on shield resting on her left knee, CONOB in exergue; ex HD Rauch, e-auction 14, part of lot 595; very rare; SOLD


|Arcadius|, |Arcadius,| |19| |January| |383| |-| |1| |May| |408| |A.D.|, |solidus|
In 400, the Great Palace in Constantinople was burned to the ground in riots. In the chaos, the Gothic leader Gainas attempted to evacuate his soldiers out of the city but 7,000 armed Goths were trapped and killed by order of Arcadius. After the massacre, Gainas escaped across the Hellespont, but his rag-tag ad hoc fleet was destroyed by Fravitta, a Gothic chieftain in imperial service. In winter, Gainas led his remaining Goths back to their homeland across the Danube where they were attacked and killed by the Huns. Uldin, the Hun chieftain, sent Gainas' head to Arcadius as a gift.
SH05313. Gold solidus, DOCLR 212 (also 5th officina), RIC X Arcadius 7 (S), Depeyrot 55/1, SRCV V 20706, Hunter V 33 - 34 var. (officina), EF, weight 4.38 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 397 - c. 403 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl diademed, cuirassed, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with a horseman riding down and spearing a fallen enemy; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG E (harmony between the two emperors, 5th officina), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, holding Victory on globe in left and scepter in right, foot on prow, CONOB in exergue; graffiti on obverse and reverse; scarce; SOLD


|Arcadius|, |Arcadius,| |19| |January| |383| |-| |1| |May| |408| |A.D.|, |solidus|
In 402, Germanic settlers laid siege to Milan. Honorius transferred the capital of the Western Empire from Milan to Ravenna. General Stilicho recalled troops from the frontiers of the Empire to defend Italy. On April 6 he defeated the Visigoths at the Battle of Pollentia. The Visigoths left Italy for Illyricum after Stilicho defeated them at the Battle of Verona in June 403.
SH10008. Gold solidus, RIC X Honorius 1205dC, Mint State, weight 4.45 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 395 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG (victory of the three emperors), Arcadius standing right holding standard and Victory on globe, treading on bearded captive, M left, D right, CONOB in exergue; SOLD


|Arcadius|, |Arcadius,| |19| |January| |383| |-| |1| |May| |408| |A.D.|, |solidus|
In 400, the Great Palace in Constantinople was burned to the ground in riots. In the chaos, the Gothic leader Gainas attempted to evacuate his soldiers out of the city but 7,000 armed Goths were trapped and killed by order of Arcadius. After the massacre, Gainas escaped across the Hellespont, but his rag-tag ad hoc fleet was destroyed by Fravitta, a Gothic chieftain in imperial service. In winter, Gainas led his remaining Goths back to their homeland across the Danube where they were attacked and killed by the Huns. Uldin, the Hun chieftain, sent Gainas' head to Arcadius as a gift.
SH10007. Gold solidus, DOCLR 217 (also 9th officina), RIC X Arcadius 7 (S), Depeyrot 55/1, SRCV V 20706, Hunter V 33 - 34 var. (officina), about Mint State, weight 4.35 g, 9th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 397 - c. 403 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl diademed, cuirassed, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with a horseman riding down and spearing a fallen enemy; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG Θ (harmony between the two emperors, 9th officina), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, holding Victory on globe in left and scepter in right, foot on prow, CONOB in exergue; scarce; SOLD


|Arcadius|, |Arcadius,| |19| |January| |383| |-| |1| |May| |408| |A.D.|, |solidus|
In 399, Gainas, a Gothic leader, was made magister militum. He formed an alliance with deserters of Tribigild along the Bosphorus, proclaimed himself co-regent (usurper), and then installed his forces in Constantinople. Gainas deposed anti-Gothic officials and had Arcadius' the imperial advisor (cubicularius) Eutropius executed.
SH06926. Gold solidus, RIC X Arcadius 7 (S), Depeyrot 55/1, SRCV V 20706, DOCLR 207- 217 var. (none from 4th officina), Hunter V 33 - 34 var. (same), Choice EF, weight 4.43 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 135o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 397 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, holding shield decorated with horseman and spear over shoulder; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG ∆ (harmony between the two emperors, 4th officina), Constantinopolis seated facing, head right, holding scepter in right and Victory in left, foot on prow, CONOB in exergue; ex Scott collection; scarce; SOLD


|Arcadius|, |Arcadius,| |19| |January| |383| |-| |1| |May| |408| |A.D.|, |siliqua|
In 390 A.D., Jerome, having finished his Latin translation of the New Testament begun in 382, began translating the Old Testament. Jerome was a scholar at a time when that statement implied a fluency in Greek. He knew some Hebrew when he started his translation project, but moved to Jerusalem to strengthen his grip on Jewish scripture commentary. A wealthy Roman aristocrat, Paula, funded his stay in a monastery in Bethlehem and he completed his translation there. By 390 he turned to translating the Hebrew Bible from the original Hebrew, having previously translated portions from the Septuagint which came from Alexandria. He believed that the Council of Jamnia, or mainstream Rabbinical Judaism, had rejected the Septuagint as valid Jewish scriptural texts because of what were ascertained as mistranslations along with its Hellenistic heretical elements. He completed this work by 405. He is recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Church of England (Anglican Communion).
RS43288. Silver siliqua, RIC IX Lyon 43(c), RSC V 28Bb, DOCLR 201, SRCV V 20759, VF, weight 2.070 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 388 - 392 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VRBS ROMA (City of Rome), Roma seated left on cuirass, Victory on globe in right hand, inverted spear in left, LVGPS in exergue; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constans II, September 641 - 15 July 668 A.D., Overstruck on an Arcadius AE2

|Constans| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constans| |II,| |September| |641| |-| |15| |July| |668| |A.D.,| |Overstruck| |on| |an| |Arcadius| |AE2|, |follis|
Overstruck on an Arcadius AE2! This coin was overstruck on a maiorina of the Roman emperor Arcadius, struck more than 250 years earlier (25 Aug 383 - 28 Aug 388), at Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey).

Only II is visible in the regnal date, which is more common than not for the type. Despite that, references agree this scarce type was only struck in regnal year 3.
BZ85347. Bronze follis, DOC II part 1, 62; Morrisson BnF 14; Sommer 12.47, SBCV 1002; W -; T -; R -; undertype: RIC X Cyzicus 25(c) (Arcadius, maiorina, 383 - 388 A.D.), Choice gF, well centered, attractive desert patina with red earthen highlighting, extraordinary undertype effects, weight 5.323 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Constantinople mint, 643 - 644 A.D.; obverse EN To?TO NIKA (In this, be victorious), Constans, standing facing, wearing crown and chlamys, long scepter topped with Christogram in right, globus cruciger in left; undertype: legend, VIRTVS EXERCITI, and mintmark, SMKA (Cyzicus mint, 1st officina); reverse large m (40 nummi), ANA above, cross above and below III (regnal year 3) left, NEOς right and curving below, B (2nd officina) below; undertype: legend, D N A[RCADIVS P F AVG] (A with open top resembling H); rare overstrike; SOLD


|Arcadius|, |Marcian,| |24| |August| |450| |-| |31| |January| |457| |A.D.|, |half| |centenionalis|
In Spring 451, Attila gathered his vassals (Bastarnae, Gepids, Heruls, Ostrogoths, Rugians, Scirians, Thuringians, and others) and smashed through Germany, causing widespread panic and destruction. He arrived in Belgica with an army of 50,000 men and crossed the Rhine. In April and May, Attila destroyed Strasbourg, Worms, Mainz, Trier, Cologne, Reims, Tournai, Cambrai, Amiens and Beauvais. In June, Attila laid siege to Aurelianum (modern Orlans). The Roman magister militum Flavius Aetius moved from Italy into Gaul, and joined forces with the Visigoth king Theodoric I. On 20 June, at the Battle of Chlons, the Roman-Visigoth coalition defeated the Huns. Theodoric I was killed in the encounter. This was the last military victory of the Western Roman Empire.
RL79947. Bronze half centenionalis, RIC X Marcian 543 (R), LRBC II 2249, DOCLR 495, MIRB 29, SRCV V 21395, VF, near full obverse legend, green patina, some earthen deposits, light marks, slight porosity, light earthen deposits, weight 1.410 g, maximum diameter 10.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 24 Aug 450 - 31 Jan 457; obverse D N MARCIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Marcian's monogram in wreath, wreath tied at the bottom, cross above, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; rare; SOLD


Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D.

|Theodosius| |I|, |Theodosius| |I,| |19| |January| |379| |-| |17| |January| |395| |A.D.|, |bulla| |(tag| |seal)|
This type of lead conical bulla seal is commonly attributed to Theodosius I with his sons, Arcadius and Honorius. While the attribution is not certain, there is reason behind it. The form is correct for the period and the type is very common for a seal. Forum has handled a few examples and there are at least four on Coin Archives. The large number of specimens supports attribution to the emperor, in whose name there was a lot of correspondence. Theodosius and his two sons are the best imperial fit for these three facing busts.
AS89555. Lead bulla (tag seal), conical type, commonly attributed to Theodosius I and his sons Arcadius and Honorius, VF, gray and buff surfaces, weight 9.316 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, obverse three bare-headed and draped busts facing, center bust larger, two flanking busts smaller; reverse domed back, pierced for the cord; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 504; SOLD




  




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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DNARCADIVSPFAVG
DNARCAPIVSPFAVG


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).
Grierson, P. & M. Mays. Catalogue of Late Roman Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection. (Washington D.C., 1992).
Hahn, Wolfgang. Moneta Imperii Romani-Byzantinii. (Vienna, 1989).
Kent, J. P. C. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume X, The Divided Empire and the Fall of the Western Parts, AD 395 - 491. (London, 1994).
King, C.E. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
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).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Ranieri, E. La monetazione di Ravenna antica dal V all' VIII secolo: impero romano e bizantino, regno ostrogoto e langobardo. (Bologna, 2006).
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).

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