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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Secessionist Empires| ▸ |Carausius||View 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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In 288 or 289, Maximian prepared an invasion of Britain to oust Carausius, but it failed. A panegyric delivered to Constantius Chlorus attributes this failure to bad weather, but notes that Carausius claimed a military victory. Eutropius says that hostilities were in vain thanks to Carausius' military skill, and peace was agreed. Carausius began to entertain visions of official recognition. He minted his coins acknowledging and honoring Maximian and Diocletian.
RA73234. Billon antoninianus, Apparently unpublished, RIC V-2 -, Webb Carausius -, Hunter IV -, Carausian Hoard -, Burton Latimer -, Bicester Hoard, et al. -, aEF, weight 4.045 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, early reign moustache portrait; reverse VIRTVS AVG (the valor of the Emperor), Mars standing right, in military dress, transverse spear in right hand, shield on left arm, foot on captive, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection, ex Forum (2009); ex Freeman & Sear mail bid 14 (21 Jun 2007), lot 456; ex Triton V (15 Jan 2002), lot 2142; possibly unique!; SOLD


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Although references lists numerous varieties of Providentia reverses, this particular reverse, with rudder, PROVID AVG, and no mint marks is not listed in the references examined and we were unable to find another example online.

RIC notes that London issued coins without mint marks in 287 A.D. As this was the beginning of "British Empire" coinage, coins were often irregular and overstruck on older coins.
RA07649. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 -, Webb Carausius -, SRCV IV -, Hunter IV -, Cohen VII -, gVF, fine light green patina, and exotic "British" style, extremely rare, possibly unpublished or unique, weight 3.85 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, c. mid 286 - early/mid 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, early reign moustache portrait type; reverse PROVID AVG (the foresight of the Emperor), Providentia standing left, rudder in right hand, globe left of rudder, cornucopia in right hand; from the Scott Collection; SOLD


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This reverse legend is not listed in RIC without mint marks.
RA04161. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 977 var., VF+, weight 4.44 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 195o, unofficial mint, obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SAECVLI FELICITA, prince standing right holding transverse spear in right and extending left, no mark; from the Aiello Collection; very rare; SOLD


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The quantity of PAX coinage issued by Carausius probably exceeded the entire output of his other types combined. The type was an appeal by the usurper Carausius for peace with the "official" emperors. Diocletian and Maximian did not recognize Carausius as emperor, nor did they reciprocate his desire for peace.
RA04160. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 880, Choice aEF, weight 4.69 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Londinium (London, England) mint, c. mid 286 - early/mid 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, early reign moustache portrait type; reverse PAX AVG (the peace of the Emperor), Pax standing left holding olive branch in right and vertical scepter in left, no mark; from the Aiello Collection; SOLD


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The obverse and reverse legends and types are known from the London mint with III in the exergue (RIC V 88 (R2), Web Carausius 114). This variety, perhaps unofficial, is unpublished in the many references examined by Forum. We also could not find an example online. This is the only example known to Forum.
RA73474. Billon antoninianus, Apparently unpublished; RIC V-2 -; Webb Carausius -; Casey -; SRCV IV -; Hunter IV -; Linchmere Hoard -; Bicester Hoard -; et al. -, VF, nice green patina, attractive style, parts of legends weak, reverse slightly off center, some marks, small encrustations, weight 2.547 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) or unofficial mint, c. mid 286 - early 287; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, early reign moustache portrait type; reverse [MARS] VICTO[R?], Mars walking right, transverse spear in right hand, trophy of captured arms across left shoulder in left hand, [M?]CXX in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; possibly unique!; SOLD


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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. This type was an appeal by the usurper Carausius for peace with the "official" emperors. Diocletian and Maximian did not recognize Carausius as emperor, nor did they reciprocate his desire for peace.
RA67094. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 334 (S); Webb Carausius 392, Cohen VII 241, SRCV IV 13666, Hunter IV - (p. ccvii), VF, some corrosion behind the head of the emperor, weight 3.968 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 292 - early 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate and draped [and cuirassed?] bust right, late reign tetrarchic portrait type; reverse PAX AVGGG (the peace of the three emperors), Pax standing half left, head left, raising olive-branch in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, S - P across fields at center, C in exergue; rare; SOLD


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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.
RA73231. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 319 (C); Webb Carausius 375; SRCV IV 13644; Cohen VII 215; Hunter IV - (p. ccvii), gVF, much silvering, light marks, tiny encrustation, a little weak in centers, edge split/crack, weight 4.819 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, c. 292 - early 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, late reign tetrarchic portrait type; reverse PAX AVG (the peace of the Emperor), Pax standing half left, head left, raising olive-branch in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, S - P across fields at center, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection, ex-Wayne C. Phillips; SOLD


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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.
RA04156. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 101 var., VF+, bold portrait, weight 2.92 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 0o, Londinium (London, England) mint, c. 288 A.D.; obverse IMP CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, middle reign portrait type; reverse PAX AVG (the peace of the Emperor), Pax standing left, raising olive branch in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, L left, ML in exergue; from the Aiello Collection; SOLD


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Legio VIII Augusta was created by Pompey. It fought the Gallic Wars for Caesar and crossed the Rubicon with him; however, at Thapsus it fought against him. The legion fought in Egypt and later participated in the invasion of Britain. In 69 A.D. it declared for Vitellius. Soon after, it moved to the Rhine frontier where they served for more than 400 years. An inscription from 371 A.D. recorded the legion was then stationed at Argentoratum (Strasbourg). There may have been a detachment serving in Britain at the time of Carausius' revolt. Septimius Severus used the legion in his Parthian war.
RA73239. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 77 (R2); Hunter IV 11; Webb Carausius 97 - 99; Cohen VII 145, F, green patina, slightly off center on a broad oval flan, earthen deposits, light marks, areas of light corrosion, weight 4.236 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 45o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 291 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse LEG VIII AVG, bull standing right, ML in exergue (or blank); from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; rare; SOLD


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The obverse and reverse legends and types are known from the Camulodunum mint with C in the exergue and S - P across the reverse field (RIC V 224, Web Carausius 281, SRCV IV 13580). This variety, perhaps unofficial, is unpublished in the many references examined by Forum. We also could not find an example online. This is the only example known to Forum.

This coin is dedicated to the goddess Fides for her good quality of preserving the public peace by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
RA73243. Billon antoninianus, Apparently unpublished; RIC V-2 -; Webb Carausius -; Casey -; SRCV IV -; Hunter IV -; Linchmere Hoard -; Bicester Hoard -; et al., VF, broad oval flan, double strike, die wear, edge cracks, weight 4.921 g, maximum diameter 30.6 mm, die axis 180o, Camulodunum (Colchester, England) mint, 292 - early 293 A.D.; obverse IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FIDES MILIT (the loyalty of the soldiers), Fides standing half left, head left, holding two flanking legionary standards, one in each hand, S - C (senatus consulto) divided across field, C in exergue; from the Charles Peters Carausius Collection; possibly unique!; SOLD




  




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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 Thursday, August 22, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Carausius