At last - The complete Year of Five Emperors

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Finn235, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    It took three years, but I am now the proud owner of one coin of every emperor and empress from the tumultuous Year of Five Emperors, save for the impossibly rare Titania and Pertinax Jr. Most of these are admittedly problem coins, but I am proud that I was able to complete the set in this condition for under $3k.

    Year of five emperors denarius set.jpg

    Pertinax, 1 January - 28 March 193
    Pertinax denarius.jpg

    Didius Julianus, 28 March - 1 June 193
    Didius julianus denarius concord militvm.jpg

    Manlia Scantilla, wife of Didius Julianus, died June/July 193 (Natural causes)
    Manila Scantilla AR denarius juno.jpg

    Didia Clara, daughter of Didius Julianus, fate unknown
    Didia Clara denarius Hilar Tempor.jpg

    Pescennius Niger, April 193 - May 194
    Pescennius Niger denarius boni eventvs.jpg

    Clodius Albinus, briefly claimed purple in ~April-May 193 (no coins), Caesar under Severus 193-196, rebelled Autumn 196 - 19 February 197
    Clodius albinus caesar providentia.jpg

    Septimius Severus, the final victor
    Septimius Severus Mars first year 193.jpg

    To my knowledge, there are no coins of either Pescennius Niger or Clodius Albinus that are definitively attributable to the year 193.

    I know that this is a popular set among our members, so let's see your coins of the Year of Five Emperors!
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  3. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    Fantastic set, well done!
    Finn235 likes this.
  4. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    Very nicely done! That Didia Clara is nice.
    Finn235 likes this.
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    Your Clodius Albinus is one. It is dated COS while most of his coins are COSII and therefore 194 or later. Pescennius is a little harder and your coin lacks the legend that would help. Pescennius also claimed a second Consulship in 194 but it may be too much to say ALL coins not using COS II are 193. For your purposes, I would suggest a coin of his with clear end of the legend AVG or at least not COS II.
    Avoid ones ending in COSII since they should be 194 issues.

    You were right selecting the Rome mint Septimius with 'First Legend'. The Eastern mints used the same legend past the start of 194 so you need to use care there. I believe you should add a Julia Domna with first legend (IVLIA DO MNA AVG) which could be 193-196 trying to select what one might consider an early style. I can't help with that but of my coins I might select one where the mint did not know her age and appearance as well.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
    Xodus, Orielensis, Spaniard and 13 others like this.
  6. curtislclay

    curtislclay Active Member

    A nice set!

    Your Albinus above calls him COS, so is definitely of 193. In 194 he was Septimius' colleague in the consulship, so COS advanced to COS II on the coins.

    Julia Domna's VENERI VICTR type, mint of Rome, was also definitely of 193, as shown by a careful matching of her types against those of Septimius. The engraver's error VENERI VICOS on one of her denarius dies confirms this dating, since it ends COS of 193 not COS II of 194 on.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
    Spaniard, thejewk, ominus1 and 5 others like this.
  7. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Great set, @Finn235 ... and cool beanz you have a confirmed kill for 193 CE with that Albinus!!! Awesome!

    I have 4 and no Spouses...

    RI Pertinax 193 BC AE Sestertius rome mint LAETITIA RIC 17 C 21

    RI Didius Julianus 193 CE - 9 weeks - AE Sestertius

    RI Clodius Albinus 193-197 CE AR Denarius ROMAE AETERNAE Roma seated

    RI Septimus Severus 193-211 AR Denarius Genius Sacrificing
  8. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Congratulations on your accomplishment. It's a very difficult set to collect.

    I only have some of these.

    Manlia Scantilla, wife of Didius Julianus, Augusta, AD 193.
    Roman Æ Sestertius; 28.8 mm, 22.62 g, 12 h.
    Rome mint, AD 193.
    Obv: MANLIA•SCAN-TILLA•AVG, draped bust right.
    Rev: IVNO REGINA SC, Juno standing left, holding patera and scepter; to left, peacock at feet, standing left, head turned up.
    Refs: RIC 18a; BMCRE 32-36; Cohen 6; RCV 6083; Woodward, Didius, dies 6/-; Banti 2.

    Didia Clara, daughter of Didius Julianus and Manlia Scantilla, Augusta, AD 193.
    Roman Æ Sestertius, 21.16 g, 30.5 mm, 6 h.
    Rome, AD 193.
    Obv: DIDIA CLARA AVG, bare-headed and draped bust right.
    Rev: HILARITAS SC, Hilaritas standing, head left, holding palm branch and cornucopiae.
    Refs: RIC 20; BMCRE 38-41; RCV 6087.
    Notes: obverse die 3, reverse die H, Woodward, "The Coinage of Didius Julianus and His Family." Num Chron. 121:71, 1961. Reverse die-match to BMC 40 and BMC 41 in the British Museum collection.

    A COS II, unhappily:

    Clodius Albinus as Caesar, AD 193-195.
    Roman AR denarius, 3.12 g, 17.8 mm, 6 h.
    Rome, AD 194.
    Obv: D CLOD SEPT ALBIN CAES, bare head, right.
    Rev: MINER PACIF COS II, Minerva standing left, holding olive branch and resting on shield, spear propped on left arm.
    Refs: RIC 7; BMCRE 98-102; Cohen/RSC 48; RCV 6144; Hill 119; ERIC II 10.

    My earliest Septimius Severus -- alas not from AD 193:

    Septimius Severus, AD 193-211.
    Roman AR Denarius, 3.20 g, 17 mm. A.D.
    Rome Mint, AD 194.
    Obv: L SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMP III, laureate head, right.
    Rev: LIBERO PATRI, Liber standing facing, head left, cloak over left shoulder, holding oenochoe and thyrsus; at feet left, panther standing left, catching drips from the jug.
    Refs: RIC 32; BMCRE 64-65; Cohen 301; RCV 6307; Hill 84.

    Domna VENERI VICTR Sestertius.jpg
    Julia Domna, AD 193-217.
    Roman oricalchum sestertius, 21.41 gm, 28.8 mm, 12 h.
    Rome, AD 193.
    Obv: JULIA DOMNA AVG, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: VENERI VICTR SC, Venus, naked to waist, standing right, holding apple and palm, resting left elbow on column.
    Refs: RIC 842; BMCRE 488; Cohen 195; RCV 6631; Hill 113.
    Xodus, gogili1977, Spaniard and 7 others like this.
  9. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Congrats on the set, some rare figures I would love to own in your set.
    Finn235 likes this.
  10. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Thanks all!

    @Doug, I have honestly never really looked for an early Domna, although I suspect I will get around to it eventually. I've always been drawn to the portraiture on the coinage from later in her husband's reign
    Julia Domna pietas.jpg
    Julia Domna denarius fortuna.jpg

    Or especially the no-nonsense portrait from after she was widowed
    (Mother of the Emperors, Mother of the Senate, Mother of the whole earned country - and dont you forget it!)
    Julia domna mat avgg mat sen m patr.jpg
    Julia domna denarius diana lvcifera.jpg

    Also, although it happened well after 193, I do also have a denarius of Albinus' ill-fated rebellion, an early acquisition that I got a great deal on
    Clodius albinus augustus genio lugdunum.jpg

    If he only minted coins for his *first* claim to the purple, too!
  11. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @Finn235 .....Wonderful set!! A really tough group to acquire especially on a budget...
    An area I'm very weak in only have one but hits the 193 criteria you might recognise it..
    Finn235, gogili1977, Bing and 4 others like this.
  12. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator



    So do you have the Year of Four Emperors, too?

    And what about the Year of Six Emperors?
    Finn235 likes this.
  13. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member


    I do have the Year of Four Emperors, although not quite as impressive

    Galba denarius virtvs.jpg
    Otho denarius.jpg
    Vitellius denarius libertas.jpg
    Vespasian denarius cos viii mars.jpg

    Considering that 69 AD started with Galba's last 15 days and ended with Vespasian's first 1 1/2 months, I'm not sure that it's possible to get coins minted only in that year?

    Year of six emperors, I'm missing Gordian I and II... considering how much it costs to get *any* coin of theirs, I will probably save up to get a nice one... which could take a while.

    For 238 AD
    Maximinus' TR P IIII issues were minted mostly in 238

    I don't think we have a way to attribute the coinage of Maximus to this year
    Maximus Caesar sestertius PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS.jpg

    Of course these two
    Pupienus antoninianus caritas mvtva avgg.jpg
    Balbinus antoninianus concordia avgg.jpg

    I am working on hunting down a Gordian III caesar, but I have noticed that these Providentia issues are usually heavier (5-6g) and have a distinctly Balbinus-like face
    Gordian iii early providentia avg.jpg

    Now might also be a good time to reflect on why we never talk about the *other* "Year of X Emperors"

    - Decius
    - Herennius Etruscus
    - Hostilian
    - Gallus
    - Volusian

    - Gallus
    - Volusian
    - Aemilian
    - Valerian
    - Gallienus

    - Valerian
    - Gallienus
    - Saloninus
    - Postumus
    - Macrianus
    - Quietus
    - Regalianus(?)

    - Galerius
    - Constantius Chlorus
    - Constantine (briefly? No coins as AVG in 306)
    - Severus
    - Maxentius
    - Maximian

    - Constantius II
    - Constans
    - Vetranio
    - Magnentius
    - Decentius (caesar)

    - Honorius
    - Theodosius II
    - Constantine III
    - Constans II
    - Maximus
    - Priscus Attalus

    There were a lot more chaotic years than just 69, 193, and 238!
    Orange Julius, DonnaML, Bing and 4 others like this.
  14. Xodus

    Xodus Well-Known Member

    This is a great thread. I've heard of very few of these people and had even less of their coins. This gives me hope of people to look for though :) thanks Finn!
    Finn235 likes this.
  15. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Wow, those Pupienus and Balbinus ants are sweeeet!
    Finn235 likes this.
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