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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Recovery of the Empire| ▸ |Carinus||View Options:  |  |  |   

Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 A.D.

Carinus was the son of Carus who was Praetorian prefect during the reign of Probus. After his father seized power, Carinus was raised to the rank of Caesar in October 282 and left to manage the Western provinces while his father and brother Numerian campaigned against the Persians in the east. The campaign was a success, but Carus was killed by lightning. In 285 Carinus left Rome to confront the usurper Julian I and then Diocletian, who had been declared Augustus by his troops. Carinus was nearly victorious in battle but was murdered by one of his chief officers - apparently, Carinus had seduced his wife.


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RA04149. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 220, EF, weight 3.66 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 283 - 284 A.D.; obverse IMP CARINVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGG (victory of the two emperors), Victory walking left holding wreath in right and palm frond in left, A left; spots of earthen encrustation, magnificent expressive portrait, from the Aiello Collection; SOLD


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SH14806. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 247, Venèra 2709-2771, Choice EF, weight 4.609 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, early Sep 283 -early Jan 284 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR CARINVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse AETERNIT AVGG, Aeternitas standing left, holding phoenix on globe, KAΓ in exergue; SOLD


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In Roman mythology, Aequitas was the minor goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Aequitas was also the personification of the virtues equity and fairness of the emperor (Aequitas Augusti). The scales, a natural emblem of equity, express righteousness. The cornucopia signifies the prosperity which results from Aequitas and Aequitas Augusti.
RA82624. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 212, Bastien IX 533, Pink VI-2 p. 22, Cohen VI 8, SRCV III 12339, Choice EF, weight 4.774 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 283 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR CARINVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse AEQVITAS AVGG (equity of the two emperors), Aequitas standing slightly left, scales in right hand, scepter in left hand, A (1st officina) right; SOLD


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When this coin was struck in 282, Carinus was still the Prince of Youth, full of promise. Later he would be remembered as one of the worst Roman emperors. This infamy is, however, likely part fiction, supported by Diocletian himself. For example, the (unreliable) Historia Augusta has Carinus marrying nine wives, while neglecting to mention his only real wife, Magnia Urbica, by whom he had a son, Nigrinianus. After his death, Carinus' memory was officially condemned in the Roman proceeding known as Damnatio Memoriae. His name, along with that of his wife, was erased from inscriptions.
RS71588. Billon antoninianus, Venèra IV 390 (LV 4227); RIC V-2 182; Cohen VI 97; Hunter III 71; Pink VI-2, p. 28; SRCV III 12302, Choice EF, most silvering remains, well centered and struck, nice portrait, some porosity, weight 4.627 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 2nd issue as caesar, 282 - 283 A.D.; obverse M AVR CARINVS NOB CAES, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINCIPI IVVENTVT (to the Prince of Youth), Carinus standing left, globe in extended right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, bound captive seated left at feet on left, QXXI in exergue; SOLD


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From the Aiello Collection.
RA04152. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 315, aUNC, weight 4.39 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 180o, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 383 - 384 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR CARINVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VOTA PVBLICA, Carinus and Numerian sacrificing over tripod, two standards behind, SMSXXIB in exergue; SOLD


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Lugdunum, a city and colony of Gaul; according to Herodianus a large and opulent city, is now called Lyon, in central France. Strabo wrote, "The Romans possess Lugdunum, founded below a ridge at the confluence of the Arar and the Rhone. It is the most populous of all the other cities except Narbo; for it is a center of commerce, and the Roman emperors strike their silver and gold coinage there." (4.3.2) The Roman mint at Lugdunum was open 15 B.C. - c. 90 A.D., 195 - 196 (for Clodius Albinus), and c. 254 - 423 A.D. (mintmark PLG).
RA43289. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 150, Bastien 516, Hunter IV -, SRCV III -, EF/VF, nice sharp portrait, weight 4.055 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, obverse CARINVS NOBIL CAES, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINCIPI IVVENTVT (to the Prince of Youth), Carinus standing left, globe in right hand, spear in left hand, inverted C left; SOLD


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SH07635. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 219, EF, weight 4.13 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 283 - 285 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR CARINVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGG (victory of the two emperors), Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand branch, A in left field; very sharp, golden toned silvering, from the Scott Collection; SOLD


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Aurelian established the Tripolis mint, c. 274 A.D., which minted antoniniani and a few aureus types until it closed during the join reign of Diocletian and Maximian, c. 287 A.D. The Tripolis coins of Aurelian and Tacitus are not clearly mint-marked to identify Tripolis, but after Tacitus, Tripolis coins are marked "TR" in the reverse field. There were several cities within the Roman Empire named Tripolis. The most likely city that hosted the Roman mint was the Tripolis south of Antioch, which today is Tripoli, Lebanon.
RA48319. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 209, EF, full circle centering, some porosity on obverse, weight 4.132 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Tripolis (Tripoli, Lebanon) mint, as caesar, c. fall 282 - spring 283 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR CARINVS NOB C, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), Prince standing right, scepter in left, with right receiving globe from Jupiter (or Carus) standing left, long scepter in left hand, TR in center, XXI in exergue; SOLD


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RIC in error lists this type with a scepter not a spear. This is the very first appearance of Carinus on a coin, from a special "pre-emission" from Ticinum celebrating his elevation. From the Aiello Collection.
RA04148. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 177 var., superb VF, weight 3.74 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, as caesar, 282 - 283 A.D.; obverse M AVR CARINVS NOB CAES, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINCIPI IVVENTVT (to the Prince of Youth), Carinus standing left, standard in right, spear pointing upwards in left, VIXXI in exergue; very scarce; SOLD


Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

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LEG II TRAIANA was based near Alexandria.
RX27342. Billon tetradrachm, Milne 4742, Curtis 1910, BMC Alexandria 2459, Geissen 3183, SNG Cop 960, Emmett 4004 (R2), VF, weight 7.113 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 284 - spring 285 A.D.; obverse A K M A KAPINOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΛEΓ B TPAI (Legion II Traiana), eagle standing left, wreath in beak, head turned back, L Γ (year 3) right; scarce; SOLD




  




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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

MAVRCARINVSNOBCAES
IMPCMAVRCARINVSNOBC
IMPCARINVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVRCARINVSAVG
IMPCCARINVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVRCARINVSPFAVG


REFERENCES|

Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Bastien, P. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon. De la réouverture de l'atelier par Aurélien à la mort de Carin (fin 274 - mi-285). (Wetteren, 1976).
Calicó, E. The Roman Avrei, Vol. II: 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).
Gricourt, D. Ripostiglio della Venèra, Nuovo Catalogo Illustrato, Vol. IV: Caro - Diocleziano. (Verona, 2000).
King, C. Roman Quinarii from the Republic to Diocletian and the Tetrarchy. (Oxford, 2007).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & P. Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. V, |Part| II, Probus to Amandus. (London, 1933).
Milani, L. Il ripositglio della Venèra, Monete romane della seconda meta del terzo secolo. (Rome, 1880).
Pink, K. "Der Aufbau der Römischen münzprägung in der Kaiserzeit: VI/2. Carus und Söhne" in Numismatische Zeitschrift 80 (1963).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. III, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Saturday, August 17, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Carinus