Got a Carausius

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by ancient coin hunter, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter in hoc signo vinces

    New. A coin of the separatist Roman-British empire struck under Carausius. Generally, Carausius coins are somewhat rare and will set you back a bit when in the better conditions. This one came out of @John Anthony 's auction of last week and I was delighted to get it for a good price. His successor Allectus was eventually defeated by Constantius Chlorus who then struck his famous gold medal with the REDDITOR LVCIS AETERNAE legend on the reverse.


    Carausius, A.D. 286-293

    AE antoninianus, 23mm 3.6 grams

    Uncertain mint

    Obverse: IMP CARAVSIVS AVG; Radiate, draped and cuirassed but right

    Reverse: PAX AVG; Pax standing left holding branch and scepter

    Reference: RIC Vb p. 535-538 for all Pax varieties of Carausius


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  3. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing

    I literally just came across this video posted yesterday about this very man.

    Coins from Roman London, Brexit 286 AD. Coin of the Week.
  4. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I have two coins of Carausius
  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Carausius (287 - 293 A.D.)
    Æ Antoninianus
    O: IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    R: PAX AVG, Pax standing left, holding olive-branch and sceptre; S in left field; P in right field.
    Camulodunum(?) Mint
    RIC 475
  6. Alegandron

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

    Cool capture @ancient coin hunter !


    RI Carausius usurper in Britain CE 287–293 BI Ant 4.7g 24mm London radiate cuirassed - PAX AVG Pax stndg l branch scepter S—P RIC V 475
  7. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter in hoc signo vinces

    Here's the medallion, as well, adding a bit to the history...

  8. jamesicus

    jamesicus Calligrapher Supporter

    The political and military turmoil of the third century spawned numerous external assaults on the Roman Empire. One of these was the incessant seafaring piracy in the waters surrounding the Roman occupied island outpost of Britain. In 286 Maximian Herculius, in his capacity as Dyarch Augustus of the West, designated a highly regarded military commander named Marcus Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius, of Flemish descent, to head a fleet of ships who's mission was to eliminate, or at least severely curtail, this piracy. Carausius had distinguished himself by outstanding leadership and military prowess, especially as a naval "Admiral", in the Gallic campaigns.

    Carausius established his operational base at the coastal city of Boulogne (Gesoriacum) in Roman occupied northern Gaul. Carausius did indeed accomplish his mission, but reports of corruption and extortion led Maximian Herculius to dispatch a fleet of ships in order to remove Carausius from command. However, Carausius proved too strong and he repulsed the attack. Carausius subsequently used his continental base to launch an invasion force to occupy and subjugate Britain. Landing in the north, Carausius secured the support of the native Picts and, advancing south, confronted and defeated the forces of the Roman Governor. Having thus conquered the Island, he proclaimed himself Augustus of a Secessionist Britain, becoming an effective and efficient Administrator using the Roman Imperial governmental framework as a model. He maintained control of Boulogne and coastal northern Gaul.

    The Mints established by Carausius

    Carausius established Mints at London (Londinium) and Colchester (Camulodunum - Clausentum) -- "C" Mint -- and across the Channel in Gaul which began to produce coins of distinctive style in gold, silver and bronze. The coins depicted in this section were minted in Britain at either the London (Londinium) or the "C" (Colchester/Camulodunum/Clausentum) Mints.

    Coinage produced in Britain by Carausius


    RIC V (2), Carausius, Antoninianus, No. 355:

    IMP C CARAVSIVS P AVG .............................................. PAX - A - VGGG | S .....P |
    C in reverse exergue

    Coin reverse legend ends in AVGGG - an attempt by Carausius to indicate that he, Diocletian and Maximian Heculius were a fraternity of co-equal Roman Emperors - not accepted by them.
    Draped, radiate, bust
    Colchester (Camulodunum/Clausentum) - "C" Mint
    3.8 gm.

    RIC V (2), Carausius, Antoninianus, No. 5

    IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P AVG .............................................. PAX AVGGG | S P
    M L XXXI

    Cuirassed, radiate, bust
    London Mint.
    Struck by Carausius in the name of Diocletian.
    3.8 gm.

    RIC V (2), Carausius, Antoninianus, No. 20

    IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P AVG ....................................... PAX AVGGG | S P
    C in reverse exergue

    Cuirassed, radiate, bust
    Colchester (Camulodunum/Clausentum) - "C" Mint.
    Struck by Carausius in the name of Diocletian.
    3.4 gm.

    RIC V (2), Carausius, Antoninianus, No. 34

    IMP C MAXIMIANVS P AVG .............................................. PAX AVGGG | S P
    M L XXXI in reverse exergue

    Cuirassed, radiate, bust
    London Mint.
    Struck by Carausius in the name of Maximian Herculius (Maximianus).
    3.95 gm.

    RIC V (2), Carausius, Antoninianus, No. 434

    IMP C MAXIMIANVS PF AVG .............................................. PAX AVGGG | S P
    M L XXXI in reverse exergue

    Cuirassed, radiate, bust
    London Mint.
    Struck by Carausius in the name of Maximian Herculius (Maximianus).
    3.8 gm.

    RIC V (2), Carausius, Antoninianus, No. 475:

    IMP C CARAVSIVS PF AVG ......................................... PA - X - AVG | S .....P

    Draped, radiate, bust
    London Mint.
    3.9 gm.

    Assassination of Carausius by Allectus

    In 293, Allectus, who was the chief minister of Carausius, assassinated him (or orchestrated his assassination) and proclaimed himself Augustus of Secessionist Britain.

    The coinage produced by Allectus

    Allectus continued operation of the London and "C" mints and coins were issued in his name and bearing his portrait. In addition to the silver washed copper Antoninianus of Carausius, Allectus issued a copper coin of reduced size bearing the letter Q in the exergue, which has been interpreted to mean Quinarius (half antoninianus) denominaion.
    London Mint.


    RIC V (2), Allectus, Antoninianus, No. 33:

    IMP C ALLECTVS P F AVG ............................. PA - X - AVG ..... S (Pax standing left) A
    M L in reverse exergue.

    Cuirassed, radiate, bust
    London mint
    5.1 gm.

    RIC V (2), Allectus, Quinarius, No. 55:

    IMP C ALLECTVS P F AVG ............................. VIRTVS AVG ..... (Galley)
    Q L in reverse exergue.

    Allectus "Q" coin issue - The reverse depicts a Roman galley - symbolic of the dominant sea power emphasized by the Usurper Augusti.
    Cuirassed, radiate, bust
    London Mint.
    2.8 gm.

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter in hoc signo vinces

  10. jamesicus

    jamesicus Calligrapher Supporter

    You are very welcome @ancient coin hunter. I hope you do not mind me adding the following to your excellent original post:

    In 296 Constantius launched a powerful naval invasion force against Britain in two divisions: one led by himself, which sailed from Boulogne and the other led by the Praetorian Prefect of Maximian Herculius, Asclepiodotus, which sailed from the mouth of the river Seine. The mission of Constantius was to remove Allectus from power and restore Britain to the Empire. This mission was accomplished and although Constantius was in overall command of the operation, some historical sources assert it was the force under Asclepiodotus that did most of the fighting on land and in fact it was they who defeated and killed Allectus during the decisive battle. Constantius subsequently entered the city of London to proclaim his conquest as restorer of the eternal light of the Roman Empire: Redditor Lucis Aeternae.

    The following photograph of a bronze copy of the famous ten aurei multiple (RIC VOLUME VI, TREVERI, No. 34), the original of which presently resides in the museum at Arras, commemorates the restoration of Britain to the Roman Empire by Constantius in 296. It depicts the personification of Londinium (LON) kneeling and supplicating to Constantius (on horseback) outside of the City Fortification while a galley with Roman soldiers waits on the river Thames(?).

    LON (reverse right) PTR (reverse exergue)

    The London Mint re-opened by Constantius

    Constantius re-opened the London Mint, 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.
  11. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    As you may have realized by looking at the coins posted in this thread so far, PAX types are relatively common for Carausius, depending on mint and field marks. Non-PAX coins are remarkably rarer. I've read estimates that PAX types makeup one-half of all Carausius' coin output, with all non-PAX types (combined) making-up the other half. Here are a few, rare, Non-PAX types:

    73239q00.jpg 73245q00.jpg 73236q00.jpg 73243q00.jpg
  12. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter in hoc signo vinces

    Carausius likes this.
  13. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    Thanks @ancient coin hunter . Here's another Carausian rarity, from the Rotomagnus (Rouen) Mint. A very distinctive portrait style with a TVTELA reverse:

    roman155abv.jpg roman155rev.jpg
  14. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I would have guessed way more than that. I might guess that Pax and Providentia make up 80-90% but that is just a guess and not based on study. There are certainly rare types that are Pax including the PAX AVGGG coins issued to convince Diocletian and Maximianus that Carausius was a brother emperor. Most collectors would rather have a Pax because 90% of the others I have seen are worse than the five @Carausius showed above. If you want a rarity, you will pay a lot or accept coins with a problem or three. Part of the problem is people like me who have a spare are not willing to sell them for the price of a common junker and non specialists don't see paying extra for coins that look like most of these. I have a spare Maximianus by Carausius from London which I was going to send to JA for auction but decided it would be a waste of effort since all here who would want one probably already have one or two. Below is my best condition Carausius and slightly scarce due to minor legend variations (PFI on the obverse and AVGGG on the reverse). Oh, how I wish it were the bull.

    While I doubt any of us have one, the ultimate Carausius coin is the one he issued showing his portrait jugate with his two 'Brother Augusti'. I don't care if it is a Pax. I want one. I won't get one.

    Sale: Triton VI, Lot: 1074. Estimate $10000.
    Closing Date: Monday, 13 January 2003.
    Sold For $25000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

    CARAUSIUS, DIOCLETIAN and MAXIMIANUS. 287-293 AD. Æ Antoninianus (4.16 gm). Camulodunum mint, struck circa 292-293 AD. CARAVSIVS ET FRATRES SVI, jugate radiate and cuirassed busts of Maximianus, Diocletian and Carausius left / PAX AVGGG, Pax standing left, holding olive-branch and vertical sceptre; S P/C. RIC V pt. 2, 1; N. Shiel, "Carausius et Fratres Sui," BNJ 48 (1978), pg. 8, 10; R.A.G. Carson, "Carausius et Fratres Sui: A Reconsideration," in SPNO, 5. EF, choice dark green patina. Rare, and one of the finest known specimens. ($10,000)
    According to Shiel, this issue portrays Carausius' propaganda policies within his own sphere of influence. It was important not so much the way he was viewed by those outside of his domain, but rather how he was perceived by his own subjects, and thus the fraternal aspect of the obverse portraiture.
  15. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    This same coin sold for about 2x as much at Aureo & Calico in 2012 where Clio Clio'd me and a few others who were willing to pay what I thought was an absurd amount, but ultimately not enough. Alas...
  16. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    I think I've mentioned before on CT that I once, foolishly, passed on a rough but reasonable example of the jugate bust type for around $2k. I've regretted it since.
    ancient coin hunter likes this.
  17. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    If it doubled from 2003 to 2012, what year does it hit $100k? ...or 10K?
  18. jamesicus

    jamesicus Calligrapher Supporter

    Amen to that! Me too! The only occasion I had a chance to own one was many years ago here in Tucson. A U of A professor and fellow ancient coin collector had a specimen and I tried every way I could to get it from him via cash plus coins (and a pound of my flesh !!!) but I couldn’t sway him. Now he, and the coin, are long gone.

    Edit: I couldn’t get the smilies to work within the brackets.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  19. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    I'd be much happier if it remained in the 10-20K level rather than going up higher. That "feels" right for a decently nice example of the type. That said, I haven't seen a comparable one since so it could end up again being a case of it costing whatever it costs and depending which two bidders "need" one that day and who hasn't bought a private island in the last month.

    It's possible that we passed on the same example: the last one I saw was in January 2015 at NYINC. It's also been a regret of mine: it was by no means perfect but certainly not bad. By the time I came back, it had sold.
  20. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    Yep, that's the one. I think Barry had it.
  21. Jbruce

    Jbruce Well-Known Member

    @dougsmit I’ve seen the bull reverse on FAC but only in F condition.
    ancient coin hunter likes this.
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