Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - late May 238 A.D.

Silver denarius, RIC IV 7A, BMCRE VI 137, RSC III 9, SRCV III 8307, EF, toned, Rome mint, weight 2.739g, maximum diameter 19.5mm, die axis 0o, 236 - 238 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse FIDES MILITVM, Fides standing sightly left, flanked by a military standard in each hand. An ironic reverse legend for an emperor murdered by his own troops not long after this coin was minted.

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Maximinus I was a giant of a man, and possessed of natural fighting ability. He rose through the ranks of the Roman army during the reign of Severus Alexander. After a successful governorship in Mesopotamia, he was sent to the Rhine frontier to oversee the regions army recruitment levies. In 235 A.D. he was proclaimed emperor by troops offended by Severus Alexander's peace loving character, and the galling fact that his mother, Julia Mamaea, was the true power in the empire. Maximinus campaigned with great success against the Germanic tribes, but his great cruelty towards the nobility whom he hated, and general ruthlessness inspired several rebellions, notably the failed Gordian rebellion and then the rebellion of Balbinus and Pupienus. Maximinus marched against the latter two, and during the abortive siege of Aquileia his troops deserted and murdered him.

Also see: ERIC - MAXIMINUS I

References

Alram, A. Die Münzprägung der Kaiser Maximinus I Thrax (235 / 238). (Wien, 1989).
Banti, A. and L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l’Empire Romain, Vol. 4: Septimius Severus to Maximinus Thrax. (Paris, 1884).
Mattingly, H., E.A. Sydenham & C.H.V. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol IV, From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Mattingly, H. & R.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum. (London, 1923 - 1963).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. III. Pertinax to Aemilian. (Oxford, 1977).
Seaby, H.A. & Sear, D.R. Roman Silver Coins, Volume III, Pertinax to Balbinus and Pupienus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values III, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).

Obverse Legends:

IMPMAXIMINVSPIVSAVG
MAXIMINVSPIVSAVGGERM

Rarity of Denominations, Average| Weights| of Well Preserved Coins, Mints, and Other Information

Average well preserved denarius weight 3.04 grams.

Denarii are very common but less common than those of Severus Alexander or Gordian III. Sestertii are also common but dupondii and asses are scarce.

Mints

Rome

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MAXIMINVS (Caius Julius Verus), born in Thrace, A.D. 173, of an obscure and barbarous family, the son of Micea, a Goth, and of Ababa, an Alanian. This herdsman, by original occupation, entering into the Roman cavalry, attracted by his extraordinary size and strength the notice of Septimius Severus, who eventually raised him to military dignities. ---- Alexander Severus caused him to be elected a senator, and appointed him to different governments. In the war against Persia he shewed his courage and capacity. Accompanying that excellent Emperor into Germany, he basely procured his assassination; and then usurped the empire C.E. 235. The army having proclaimed his Augustus, he associated with himself his son Maximus, as Caesar, and the Senate confirmed their election. A harsh and distrustful tyrant, pride, insolence, avarice, and bloodthirstiness governed all his actions. Of gigantic stature and of prodigious muscular powers, the wondrous proofs of his bodily from obtained for him the names of Hercules and Milo. His ferocity was equally manifested in his devastation of Germany by fire and sword; and in letting loose his fury against Christians as well as his other subject. At length, justly abhorred for his cruelty, and declared the enemy of the country, this sanguinary despot was massacred by his own soldiers at Aquileia (together with his son) in the 65th year of his age, C.E. 238.

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