Featured Diocletian: Two Interesting Coins and a Legacy of Reform

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Curtisimo, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    That is high praise that means a lot coming from such a knowledgeable collector! Thank you Z! I definitely recommend Split to anyone who has a mind to go. Croatia in general is one of the coolest places I have ever been. I will go back again someday :)

    Thanks Brian! Nice additions.

    I'm not sure I have the mindset for marketing... I tend to give stuff away before trying to sell/market it :) I better stick to my numbers!

    Thank you Kevin!

    Thank you @Mikey Zee ! That is an awesome argenteus!
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  3. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    From where do you get that there was any output from Lugdunum under Claudius II Gothicus? As far as I was aware the mint had been closed until it was re-opened by Aurelian.
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  4. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Good catch... fixed.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  5. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Congrats your thread is now a featured thread, well deserved, Curtisimo.

    My small contribution:

    P1180763 Diocletianus.jpg

    P1180760 galerius silvered 2.jpg
  6. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Roman Renaissance in Progress Supporter

    You're standing straight and the building is crooked. Right?

  7. Youngcoin

    Youngcoin Everything Collector

    Congratulations on the feature! I knew a well deserved thread like this would make it! Amazing write up again! :angelic::hungry::snaphappy:
    Curtisimo likes this.
  8. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    The portraiture of Diocletian at Lugdunum is not entirely homogenous across the range of issues (using Bastien dating).
    Here is a selection from my collection. I have many other issues too but this sample gives an indication of the range of styles.

    Issue 1
    Issue 2
    Issue 3
    Issue 4
    Issue 5
    Issue 7
    Issue 11
    Issue 12
  9. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I was hoping you would post something like this! It's very helpful!
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  10. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Great collection @maridvnvm. Your first issue example is especially nice :) This must be one of your areas of focus! The portrait style seems to become more conventional over time. RIC had the following to say about the style of the early reign from Lugdunum.

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  11. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Thanks Andres. Really great examples :)

    Thanks Jacob.

    Absolutely what was going on! This explains why this picture was kinda blurry... It definitely was not that my fiance was having trouble working the camera... definitely not. :)
  12. jamesicus

    jamesicus Well-Known Member

    Very nice presentation indeed @Curtisimo with lots of excellent information - congratulations! My own emphasis is on the Britannic Coinage & the Tetrarchy which includes the coinage produced in Britain by the usurper Augusti, Carausius and Allectus and the British invasion coinage produced in Gaul by Constantius.

    I am posting the following much abridged and condensed extract from my Britannic coinage and the Tetrarchy web page:


    ..... in order to depict a few examples of Tetrarchic unreduced folles produced by the London Mint.

    The reformed AE coinage (folles) of Diocletian:

    Bronze with a silver wash as cataloged in THE ROMAN IMPERIAL COINAGE (RIC), Volume VI.

    I employ the Imperial name forms used in the headers by Sutherland throughout this web site. The following depiction includes the alternate name forms frequently used by collectors, dealers and some authors of historical texts and reference documents:

    DIOCLETIAN ........................... (no other names commonly used)
    MAXIMIAN HERCULIUS ...... Maximianus, Herculius
    CONSTANTIUS ....................... Constantius I, Constantius Chlorus
    GALERIUS MAXIMIAN ......... Galerius
    SEVERUS .................................. Severus II,
    MAXIMINUS ............................ Maximinus II, Maximinus Daia, Daza
    CONSTANTINE ........................ Constantine I, Constantinus

    Note: Caution should be exercised when attributing folles of Galerius Maximian (Caius Galerius Valerius Maximianus) & Maximian Herculius (Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus) due to the similarity of their titulature. Galerius Maximian was both Caesar and Augustus during this time period whereas Maximian Herculius was always only Augustus. Therefor coins bearing the titulature MAXIMIANVS plus NOBIL CAES, NOB CAES, NOBIL C, etc., can only be those of Galerius Maximian. There is a special problem with Galerius as Augustus coins: The titulature is mostly exactly the same as that of Maximian Herculius and frequently the only way to differentiate between the two is by the portraiture on the coin obverse.

    The London Mint re-opened by Constantius after his invasion of secessionist Britain and restoration to the Empire:

    Constantius re-opened the former London Mint of Carausius/Allectus now as an official facility with one officina (workshop), which continued to operate, somewhat sporadically, until its closure in 325. It seems very likely that initially the work force consisted of British die engravers and other workers, formerly employed by the Carausius/Allectus Mints, now supervised and mixed in with Lugdunese mint workers who accompanied the Constantius invasion force.

    The London Mint continued to produce folles exclusively, first under Constantius and then under Constantine, until its closure in AD 325.

    Initial re-opened London Mint coinage:

    The obverses of the initial production coin series have cuirassed right facing busts with the long laurel ribbon tie laying on the neck and with small and compact inscriptional lettering.


    RIC Volume VI, Londinium, No.1a, Diocletian, Augustus of the East:

    LON in reverse exergue

    As depicted in RIC Volume VI, Plate 1.
    Subsequent coinage after this series (RIC VI, Londinium, Nos. 1-5) was unmarked (i.e. no LON mint mark) until the issue of reduced size/weight folles after the death of Constantius.
    9.8 gm.

    Intermediate London Mint coinage (Bastien):

    The coin obverses and reverses in this series replicate those of the Constantius Invasion coinage although in some instances the obverse busts are cuirassed (including some with elaborate consular features) and have London mint style small and compact inscriptional lettering. These intermediate style folles were issued immediately following the LON marked coins.


    Intermediate series coin (Bastien), not in RIC, Galerius Maximian, Caesar of the East:

    C VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB C ........................... GENIO POPV -- LI ROMANI

    Laureate with truncated bare neck bust.
    Long wreath ribbon tie laying on neck
    10.1 gm.

    Subsequent London Mint coinage:

    The coin obverses follow an almost standard pattern - right facing laureate, cuirassed busts with short wreath ribbon ties secured behind the neck. The reverses depict what is by now the standard representation of the Genius of the Roman People standing, facing left, head surmounted by a modius, naked except for a chlamys over the left shoulder, holding a patera in the right hand and cradling a cornucopia in the left arm. Both the obverse and reverse inscriptional lettering is somewhat thick and compact with the legends reading clockwise around the periphery of the coin. The reverse legend is almost always GENIO POPVLI ROMANI. There is no mint mark in the exergue.


    RIC VI, Londinium, No. 28a, Diocletian, Augustus of the East:

    IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG ................................. GENIO POPV -- LI ROMANI

    Laureate, cuirassed, bust.
    11.5 gm.

    RIC VI, Londinium, No. 33, Galerius Maximian, Caesar of the East:

    MAXIMIANVS NOBIL C ......................... GENIO POPV -- LI ROMANI

    Laureate, cuirassed, bust.
    11.9 gm.

    Abdication of Diocletian and Maximian Herculius:

    On 1 May 305, Diocletian and Maximian Herculius abdicated to become Seniore (retired) Augusti.

    The successor Tetrarchs:

    On 1 May 305, Constantius succeeded Maximian Herculius as Augustus of the West and Galerius Maximian succeeded Diocletian as Augustus of the East. Flavius Valerius Severus(Severus), a close friend of Galerius Maximian, was appointed Caesar of the West by Constantius and Galerius Valerius Maximinus Daia (Maximinus Daza) was appointed Caesar of the East by Galerius Maximian.

    Coinage of the successor Tetrarchs:


    RIC VI, Londinium, No. 47, Constantius, Augustus of the West:


    Earliest obverse legend style.
    Laureate, cuirassed, bust.
    9.9 gm.

    RIC VI, Londinium, No. 42, Galerius Maximian, Augustus of the East:

    IMP C MAXIMIANVS P F AVG ......................... GENIO POPV -- LI ROMANI

    Laureate, cuirassed, bust.
    Identical obverse inscription (2C) to the primary one of Maximian Herculius.
    9.7 gm.

    RIC VI, Londinium, No. 63a, Severus, Caesar of the West:

    SEVERVS NOBILIS C ........................................ GENIO POPV -- LI ROMANI

    Fully silvered but pitted.
    Draped, laureate, bust.
    As depicted in RIC Volume VI, Plate 1.
    11.3 gm.

    RIC VI, Londinium, No. 65, Maximinus (Daia), Caesar of the East:

    MAXIMINVS NOBILI CAES ......................... GENIO POPV -- LI ROMANI

    Draped, laureate, bust.
    8.8 gm.

    The death of Constantius:

    Constantius died at Eboracum (York) in Britain during a campaign against the warlike tribes of the North on 25 July 306. Just before he died, Constantius conferred Imperium on his son, Flavius Valerius Constantinus (later Constantine the Great). The army commanded by Constantius wanted Constantine proclaimed Augustus to succeed his father, however, Galerius Maximian, the now de-facto senior Augustus elevated Severus to Augustus of the West and affirmed Constantine as Caesar (of the West?).

    Author note: I believe that the Tetrarchy began to fall apart at this point in time. Surely Severus should automatically have assumed the title of Augustus of the West and then selected his own Caesar in accordance with precedent. Of course, Constantius conferring Imperium on his son and Galerius Maximian subsequently affirming him as Caesar threw a monkey wrench in the works and Galerius Maximian was stuck with the task of sorting it all out.

    Coinage of Severus as Augustus and Constantine as Caesar:


    RIC VI, Londinium, No. 46 (variant), Severus, Augustus of the West:

    IMP SEVERVS PIVS FEL AVG ........................... GENIO POPV - LI ROMANI

    Draped laureate bust.
    Obverse legend variation: PIVS FEL instead of PIVS FELIX.
    9.4 gm.

    RIC VI, Londinium, No. 89b, Constantine, Caesar of the West (?):

    FL VAL CONSTANTINIVS NOB C ........................... GENIO - POP ROM
    PLN in reverse exergue

    Draped, laureate, bust.
    Genius with head towered and loins draped.
    Issued shortly after the death of Constantius following recognition as Caesar by Galerius.
    9.3 gm. .
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  13. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!


    Fantastic write up @Curtisimo ! You and @jamesicus presentations of the tetrachs have been very helpful to me. Those dang ALTERNATE names keep messing me up still.

    Here's one I can always keep straight...


    Diocletian, Alexandria, potin tetradrachm

    OBV: A K Γ OΥAΛ ΔIOKΛHTIANOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right REV: Eirene standing left, holding olive branch and scepter, L - B (year 2, Aug 285 - Aug 286 A.D.) across fields Milne 4774 20mm 8.2g
  14. jamesicus

    jamesicus Well-Known Member

    Just FYI for my fellow Coin Talk friends:

    I have been absent from the Forum for awhile. I took a heavy fall recently - head first into the wall entering the Men's bathroom at our monthly Tucson Antique Arms Collectors meeting venue - 911 response etc. No broken bones but badly bruised rib cage - I am laid up until my ribs heal - they are sore and tender - hurt like the Devil!
    GerardV and LaCointessa like this.
  15. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Fantastic write-up and so worthy of a featured article! Congrats!
    Curtisimo likes this.
  16. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Wow @jamesicus I am so sorry to hear about you getting hurt. I'm glad it wasn't more serious.

    Thank you also for your kind words and more importantly for your amazing addition to the thread. I have had a lot of fun reading through your website while researching Diocletian and the tetrarchy. A fantastic resource.

    Thank you RC! I was excited to see this get featured! :D More importantly I'm humbled and happy that some of you seem to have found it interesting and entertaining. The hobby is a great deal more fun with CT friends to share information with.
    Mikey Zee and Roman Collector like this.
  17. jamesicus

    jamesicus Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your nice words and warm regards @Curtisimo. I intended to congratulate you on having this wonderful thread featured on the Forum home page in my previous post, but I forgot - a common thing with me these days unfortunately - I apologize for the oversight.
    Mikey Zee, Alegandron and Curtisimo like this.
  18. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    That is a nice, clear code O, Ancient Aussie.
    Curtisimo likes this.
  19. jamesicus

    jamesicus Well-Known Member

    Reduced London Mint folles of Imperial claimants as Augustus


    RIC VI, Londinium, No. 209b, Maximinus (Daia) as Augustus:

    IMP MAXIMINVS PF AVG ..............................................
    PLN in reverse exergue

    RIC VI, Londinium, No. 209c, Licinius as Augustus:

    IMP LICINIVS PF AVG ................................................. GENIO -- POP ROM
    PLN in reverse exergue

    RIC VI, Londinium, No. 234, Constantine as Augustus:

    CONSTANTINVS PF AVG .......................................... SOLI iNVIC TO COMITI
    PLN in reverse exergue
    TJC, randygeki, Cucumbor and 6 others like this.
  20. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    Oh my, I'm sorry to hear that but I'm glad you're healing up @jamesicus!
    Mikey Zee and Curtisimo like this.
  21. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Yeah, I hope you heal fast and complete. Keep your spirits up coin buddy.
    Mikey Zee and Curtisimo like this.
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