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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Secessionist Empires ▸ CarausiusView Options:  |  |  |   

Romano-British Empire, Carausius, Mid 286 - Spring or Early Summer 293 A.D.

Marcus Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius was originally a fleet commander sent by the first Tetrarchs to rid the Northern seas of Saxon and Frankish pirates. He soon turned to piracy himself, before fleeing to Britain and declaring himself emperor. His natural cunning enabled him to resist all attempts to dislodge him. In 293 Constantius I captured his continental stronghold of Boulogne. Soon after Carausius was murdered by his chief minister Allectus.


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S - P flanking across the fields with MC in the exergue (S-P/MC) is not a standard mintmark, most references cited do not list any examples with this mark. RIC V-2 does list one type each for Pax, Pietas, and Salus. MC in the exergue was used at Camulodunum for earlier issues but without S - P. Perhaps the rare specimens with this mintmark were issued in a small quantity for some special purpose. Perhaps the engravers just unintentionally added the M out of habit. Perhaps they are all unofficial. Further study is needed.
RA73505. Billon antoninianus, apparently unpublished, RIC V-2 -, Webb Carausius -, SRCV IV -, Hunter IV -, Burton Latimer -, Bicester -, Linchmere -, VF/F, dark patina, nice portrait, minor patina chipping on edge, top half of reverse mostly weak or off flan, weight 4.334 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 225o, unofficial or Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, 292 - 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PROVID AVGGG (the foresight of the three emperors), Providentia standing left, raising globe in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, S - P flanking across fields, MC in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; none of the approximately eighty published Providentia varieties struck under Carausius have this S - P / MC mintmark, no others known to Forum; $240.00 (€204.00)
 


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In The Reign and Coinage of Carausius, Percy Webb wrote that for Carausius, "...the type Providentia appears with some twenty-four varieties of reverse legend, while the joint effect of obverse and reverse variations of legend and type is to produce upwards of eighty varieties of coins dedicated to that divinity."
RA73501. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 152 (R2) var. (PROVIDENTIA AVGGG), SRCV IV 13697 var. (same), Webb Carausius 178 var. (same), Bourne 33 var. (same), Hunter IV - (p. ccii), aVF/aF, well centered, green patina, near complete legends, nice portrait, corrosion, pit/flaw reverse left field, weight 3.282 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 292 - 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PROVIDEN AVGGG (the foresight of the three emperors), Providentia standing left with baton and cornucopia, globe at feet left, S - P across fields, MLXXI in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection, extremely rare, apparently unpublished, the only specimen known to Forum; $220.00 (€187.00)
 


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In The Reign and Coinage of Carausius, Percy Webb wrote that for Carausius, "...the type Providentia appears with some twenty-four varieties of reverse legend, while the joint effect of obverse and reverse variations of legend and type is to produce upwards of eighty varieties of coins dedicated to that divinity."
RA73503. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 152 (R2), SRCV IV 13697, Webb Carausius 178, Bourne 33, Askew 183, Hunter IV - (p. ccii), aVF, good portrait, mottled green patina, tight flan, rough, pitting smoothed to remove corrosion, weight 3.526 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 292 - 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PROVIDEN AVGGG (the foresight of the three emperors), Providentia standing left with baton and cornucopia, globe at feet left, S - P across fields, MLXXI in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; rare; $220.00 (€187.00)
 


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The plural AVGGG refers to Diocletian, Maximian and Carausius in a futile attempt to appease the legitimate mainland rulers.
RA73502. Billon antoninianus, Webb Carausius 192, RIC V-2 164 (S), Hunter IV 52, Cohen VII 325, SRCV IV 13716, Linchmere -, Carausian Hoard -, Burton Latimer -, Bicester -, VF, green patina, marks and scratches, edge crack, slightly off center, weight 2.737 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, c. 292 - early 293; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, late reign tetrarchic portrait; reverse SALVS AVGGG (the health of the three emperors), Salus standing right feeding snake, held in her right hand, from a patera in her left hand, S-P flanking across field, MLXXI in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; scarce; $200.00 (€170.00)
 


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Hilaritas, the personification of rejoicing, is usually depicted as a matron, standing with a cornucopia in her left hand and a long palm frond on the ground in her right. Green branches were a sign of gladness and for special occasions, both public and private, it was the custom in ancient times to ornament streets, temples, gates, houses, and even entire cities, with branches and leaves of trees. This tradition carries on today in the form of wreaths and Christmas trees.
RA73265. Billon antoninianus, apparently unpublished, cf. RIC V-2 243 (R) (IMP C CARAVSIVS P AVG), Web Carausius 295 (same), SRCV IV -, Hunter IV -, Linchmere -, et al. --, F, well centered, nice green patina, scratches, weight 4.240 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 288 - 291; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle reign portrait type; reverse HILARITAS AVG, Hilaritas standing left, long palm frond in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very rare; $190.00 (€161.50)
 


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Marcus Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius was originally a fleet commander sent by the first Tetrarchs to rid the Northern seas of Saxon and Frankish pirates. He soon turned to piracy himself, before fleeing to Britain and declaring himself emperor. His natural cunning enabled him to resist all attempts to dislodge him. In 293 Constantius I captured his continental stronghold of Boulogne. Soon after Carausius was murdered by his chief minister Allectus.
RA73481. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 762 (R), Webb Carausius -, King Unmarked -, Hunter IV -, Cohen VII -, SRCV IV -, Bourne Carausius -, Linchmere -, Bicester -, gF/aF, green patina, tight flan, weight 4.137 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 225o, unmarked (London?) mint, c. mid 286 - 287 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CARAVSIVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, early reign 'moustache' portrait; reverse CONCORDIA MILITVM (harmony with the soldiers), Emperor standing right clasping hands with Concordia, no mintmarks; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very rare; $190.00 (€161.50)
 


Click for a larger photo
In The Reign and Coinage of Carausius, Percy Webb wrote that for Carausius, "...the type Providentia appears with some twenty-four varieties of reverse legend, while the joint effect of obverse and reverse variations of legend and type is to produce upwards of eighty varieties of coins dedicated to that divinity."
RA73496. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 364 (S), SRCV IV 13683, Webb Carausius 420, Hunter IV - (p. ccvi), Askew -, Bicester -, Linchmere -, Carausius Hoard -, Burton Latimer -, aVF, well centered, green patina, rough from corrosion, weight 3.096 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 225o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, 292 - 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, late reign tetrarchic portrait type; reverse PROVID AVGGG (the foresight of the three emperors), Providentia standing half left, staff in right hand grounded between feet and globe on the ground left, cornucopia in left hand, S-P flanking low across field, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; scarce; $190.00 (€161.50)
 


Click for a larger photo
In The Reign and Coinage of Carausius, Percy Webb wrote that for Carausius, "...the type Providentia appears with some twenty-four varieties of reverse legend, while the joint effect of obverse and reverse variations of legend and type is to produce upwards of eighty varieties of coins dedicated to that divinity."
RA73262. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 347, SRCV IV 13679, Web Carausius -, Hunter IV - (p. ccvi), Bourne Carausius -, Linchmere -, Burton Latimer -, Bicester -, VF/F, choice obverse - well centered and nice portrait, weak reverse, green patina, light corrosion, weight 3.601 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 291 - mid 293; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle/tetrarchic portrait; reverse PROVID AVG (the foresight of the Emperor), Providentia standing left, grounded staff in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S-P in fields, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; $185.00 (€157.25)
 


Click for a larger photo
Hilaritas, the personification of rejoicing, is usually depicted as a matron, standing with a cornucopia in her left hand and a long palm frond on the ground in her right. Green branches were a sign of gladness and for special occasions, both public and private, it was the custom in ancient times to ornament streets, temples, gates, houses, and even entire cities, with branches and leaves of trees. This tradition carries on today in the form of wreaths and Christmas trees.
RA73255. Billon antoninianus, apparently unpublished, cf. RIC V-2 243 (R) (IMP C CARAVSIVS P AVG), Web Carausius 295 (same), SRCV IV -, Hunter IV -, Linchmere -, et al. -, aVF, broad flan, green patina, some legend weak, reverse off center and double struck, weight 4.098 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 288 - 291; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle reign portrait type; reverse HILARITAS AVG, Hilaritas standing left, long palm frond in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; very rare; $180.00 (€153.00)
 


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Although the exergue is off flan, we are confident this coin is from the unmarked mint and the exergue is blank. This long necked portrait variant is unique to the unmarked mint. This type is unpublished in the numerous references we examined but we do know of one other example, Auktionshaus Felzmann auction 156 (28 Jun 2016), lot 287.
RA73273. Billon antoninianus, cf. RIC V-2 470 (S - C / [ ]), Webb Carausius 521 (same), SRCV IV 13628 (same); Hunter IV -, Bourne Carausius -, Linchmere -, VF, green patina, some legend weak, porous, tight flan, some scratches, weight 4.289 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, unmarked mint, c. mid 292 - mid 293; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, late reign tetrarchic portrait type, long necked variety; reverse MONETA AVG, Moneta standing left, scales in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - P across fields, nothing in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; extremely rare; $180.00 (€153.00)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

CARAVSIVSETFRATRESSVI
CARAVSIVSPFAVG
IMPAVRCARAVSIVSAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSFAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSIIG
IMPCCARAVSIVSINAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSIVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPAV
IMPCCARAVSIVSPAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPIVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPFAG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPFAV
IMPCCARAVSIVSPFAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPFAVVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPFIAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPFINAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPFINVAVG
IMPCCARAVSIVSPIVSFELAVG
IMPCMACARAVSIVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVMCARAVSIVSPFAVG
IMPCMAVRMCARAVSIVSPAVG
IMPCMCARAVSIVSAVG
IMPCMCARAVSIVSPAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSA
IMPCARAVSIVSAV
IMPCARAVSIVSAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSII
IMPCARAVSIVSIIG
IMPCARAVSIVSINIC
IMPCARAVSIVSINIVI
IMPCARAVSIVSFAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSPAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSPIAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSPEAG
IMPCARAVSIVSPEAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSPEAVIG
IMPCARAVSIVSPF
IMPCARAVSIVSPFA
IMPCARAVSIVSPFAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSPFAVIG
IMPCARAVSIVSPFIAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSPFIIG
IMPCARAVSIVSPFINAVG
IMPCARAVSIVSPIVV
IMPMCARAVSIVSAVG
INVICTOETCARAVSIOAVG
VIRTCARAVSIAVG
VIRTVSCARAVSI
VIRTVSCARAVSIA
VIRTVSCARAVSIAVG
VIRTVSCARAVSII
VIRTVSCARAVSSI


REFERENCES

Askew, G. The Coinage of Roman Britain. (London, 1980).
Beaujard, E.B. & H. Huvelin. "Le tresor de Rouen et l'occupation de la Gaule par Carausius" in Histoire et Numismatique en Haut-Normandie. (Caen, 1980).
Bland, R. "A Hoard of Carausius and Allectus from Burton Latimer" in BNJ 54 (1984), pp. 41 - 50.
Burnett, A. & J. Casey. A Carausian Hoard from Croydon, Surrey, and a Note on Carausius's Continental Possessions" in BNJ 54 (1984), pp. 10 - 20.
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. 2: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Carson, R.A.G. "The Sequence-marks on the Coinage of Carausius and Allectus" in Essays Baldwin (1971), pp. 57 - 65.
Casey, P.J. Carausius and Allectus: The British Usurpers. (New Haven, 1995).
Challis, C.E. & M.A.S. Blackburn. Studies in the Coinages of Carausius and Allectus. (London, 1985).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Dioclétien a Constantin I (284-337). (Wetteren, 1995).
Giard, J-B. "La monnaie de Carausius à Rouen: une remise en question" in RN 1995, Vol. 6, Issue 150, pp. 264 - 266.
King, C.E. "A Small Hoard of Carausius Found Near Bicester Oxfordshire" in BNJ 53, (1982), pp. 7 - 16.
King, C.E. "The Unmarked Coins of Carausius" in BNJ 54 (1984), pp. 1 - 9.
King, C.E. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Mattingly, H., E.A. Sydenham & P. Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, Part II, Probus to Amandus. (London, 1933).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Schaaff, U. Münzen der römischen Kaiserzeit mit Schiffsdarstellungen im Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseum. (Munich, 2003).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine...Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 2011).
Shiel, N. The Episode of Carausius and Allectus. BAR 40. (Oxford, 1977).
Southerland, C.H.V. "'Carausius II', 'Censeris', and the Barbarous Fel. Temp. Reparatio Overstrikes" in NC 1945.
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
Webb, P.H. The reign and coinage of Carausius. (London, 1908).
Webb, P.H. "The Linchmere Hoard" in NC 1925, pp. 173 - 235.

Catalog current as of Wednesday, November 21, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Carausius