Featured Maximinus Thrax

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Justin Lee, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing

    I've recently added a couple Maximinus coins to my collection and took the opportunity to do a little more research on the guy from many online sources. Here's what I found out:
    • He was born in 173 AD (or 172 AD).
    • Was of a 'mixed-barbarian' ethnic background (Gothic & Alanic?).
    • Thrax means "the Thracian", but was not used until the 4th century and not contemporary.
    • Is thought to have acromegaly.
    • Joined the army in 190 AD (or so).
    • Rumored to have met Septimius Severus and due to his limited Latin instead of talking to him he performed feats of strength for the emperor. Septimius took special interest in him and he rose through the ranks.
    • In 231 AD, Severus Alexander rose a legion, Legio IV Italica, and placed Maximinus as commander.
    • Maximinus led the legion in Egypt in 232 AD, was governor of Mesopotamia, and then led his legion in the German campaigns in West.
    • The legion/army didn't like the softness and passivity of Severus' approach with the Germanic people. They killed Severus and his mother and proclaimed Maximinus as emperor in March 20, 235. The Senate approved his ascension due to the army's backing, though they did not like his status and ethnical background.
    • With Maximinus being a lifelong soldier, he continued to conduct successful campaigns and in doing so spent lots of money, of which the Senate did not like.
    • Taxes were increased to support the campaigns, hurting Maximinus' popularity.
    • In 238 AD, the populace of Africa revolted naming their own governor (Gordian I) and his son (Gordian II) as emperors.
    • The Senate, disliking Maximinus, supported this uprising making both Gordians as Augustus.
    • Maximinus began to then march on Rome to reclaim his rule.
    • The Gordians were hated by the governor of the neighboring region and raided Carthage killing Gordian II, after which Gordian I killed himself.
    • The Senate, after their vocal backing of the Gordians, decided to then back young Gordian III declaring him as Caesar, while in Rome Balbinus and Pupienus were elected as co-emperors.
    • Maximinus continued his march on Rome, but when Aquileia refused to offer them shelter. He initiated a siege on the city.
    • The siege was unexpected and drawn out, and as a result, the soldiers were getting sick and tired (no, literally) of the situation. In May 238 AD, members of the army assassinated Maximinus, his son, and other leadership. They placed their heads on poles and marched them to Rome.
    • Was the first of the 3rd century soldier emperors.

    Here is my new sestertius (shipped from Germany with about a 30 day travel time):
    Maximinus Thrax, Ruled 235-238 AD
    AE Sestertius, Struck 236 AD, 2nd emission, Rome mint
    Obverse: IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
    Reverse: PAX AVGVSTI, Pax standing left, holding olive branch and scepter.
    References: RIC IV 58
    Size: 30-31mm, 17.2g

    And my new denarius from April/May:
    Maximinus Thrax, Ruled 235-238 AD
    AR Denarius, Struck 236 AD, Rome mint

    Obverse: IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Reverse: P M TR P II COS P P Maximinus, in military dress, standing left between two standards, raising his right hand in salute and holding spear in his left.
    References: RIC 3
    Size: 21mm, 2.95g

    And here is my other sestertius from late last year:
    Maximinus Thrax, Ruled 235-238 AD
    AE Sestertius, Rome Mint
    Struck 235-236 AD, 2nd Emission
    Obverse: IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right.
    Reverse: VICTORIA AVG, Victory, winged, draped, advancing right, holding wreath in extended right hand and palm in left hand, S-C across fields.
    References: RIC IV 67
    Size: 30mm, 17.0g

    Please share any missing or mistaken info about my man Max-Thrax, share a coin, etc!
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coins and informative write-up, too!

    Here's a Max Thrax sestertius. Dude looks really acromegalic on this one:

    Maximinus I, AD 235-238.
    Roman Æ Sestertius, 26.7 mm, 18.01 gm.
    Rome, AD 236-238.
    Obv: MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM, Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust, right.
    Rev: SALVS AVGVSTI SC, Salus enthroned left, feeding snake arising from altar.
    Refs: RIC-85; BMCRE-175, Sear-8338; Cohen-92.
    Sulla80, TJC, galba68 and 19 others like this.
  4. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    I'll say!! (Roman Collector beat me to it):
    Maximinus I. 235-238 AD. Æ Sestertius. (29x26mm; 18.91 gm; 12h). Rome mint, 5th officina. 4th-6th emissions, autumn 236-spring 238 AD. Obv: MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind. Rev: SALVS AVGVSTI, Salus seated left on throne, feeding serpent rising from altar to left; SC in exergue. RIC IV 85; Banti 24.
    TJC, TIF, cmezner and 18 others like this.
  5. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Well-Known Member

    Here's my big bronze of this BIG guy (8 feet tall...)
    GeorgeM, TJC, TIF and 18 others like this.
  6. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    And a denarius, with pronounced jaw:
    Maximinus I. 235-238 AD. AR Denarius (20mm; 2.82 gm; 7h). Rome mint. 3rd emission, late 236-237 AD. Obv: Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right. Rev: Providentia standing left, holding baton over globe and cornucopia. RIC IV 20; RSC 75.
    GeorgeM, Restitutor, TJC and 22 others like this.
  7. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Only one Max Thrax in the Frog collection...and it's not even legit!
    Maximinus I Denarius, Forgery RIC 99.jpg
    TJC, TIF, Johndakerftw and 13 others like this.
  8. Alegandron

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

    THRAX and SON


    Oh, wait... that's not right...

    Here we go:

    THRAX and SON

    RI Maximinus Thrax 235-238 CE AR Denarius Victory stndg

    RI Maximinus Thrax JUNIOR 236-238 AE Sestertius Rome mint priestly emblems
    TJC, galba68, TIF and 18 others like this.
  9. Cachecoins

    Cachecoins Historia Moneta Supporter

    Reports of his size I believe are probably highly exaggerated but I think there is a kernel of truth there that he was probably a big guy.
  10. Shea19

    Shea19 Supporter! Supporter

    This one is my avatar coin, and one of my favorites.

    Maximinus I (Thrax), AR Denarius (20 mm, 3.04 g), Rome, 236-237. MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Maximinus I to right/ Rev. VICTORIA GERM Victory standing front, head to left, holding wreath in her right hand and palm frond with her left; German captive at feet. RIC 23
    Restitutor, TJC, galba68 and 19 others like this.
  11. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Well-Known Member

    Cachecoins likes this.
  12. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Max Thrax made some big provincials too. 38mm!!

    maximinus thrax synth.jpg
    AE Hexassarion. 20.44g, 38mm. CILICIA Anazarbus, circa AD 235-238. Ziegler 663 (Vs2/Rs4), SNG Levante 1480 (same obv. Die); RPC VI temp 7446/2 (this coin). O: AY K G IOY OYH MAZIMEINOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right. R: ANAZ END MHTRO B/G, female figure (Synthysia), holding bipennis over shoulder, standing left before bull standing left, CYNQYCIA OI/KOYMENHC, (ME and NH ligate).
    Ex Kelly J. Krizan, M.D. Collection; ex Classical Numismatic Group 53 (15 Mar 2000), lot 1130
    TJC, TIF, galba68 and 19 others like this.
  13. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    My one Maximinus Thrax, also depicting him as very acromegalic:

    Maximinus I Thrax AR Denarius, 236/38 AD. Obv. Laureate bust right, draped & cuirassed, MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM/ Rev. Fides stdg., facing, head left, holding standard in each hand, FIDES MILITVM. RIC IV-2 18A, RSC III 9, Sear RCV III 8307. 20 mm., 2.77 g.

    Maximinus I Thrax AR Denarius RIC 18A, RSC 9.jpg

    And his son, showing a slightly pronounced chin, but nothing like Dad's:

    Maximus Caesar (son of Maximinus I) AR Denarius, 235-38 AD. Obv. Draped bust right, IVL VERVS MAXIMVS CAES / Rev. Sacrificial implements: lituus [curved augural staff], knife, jug, simpulum [ladle] & sprinkler, PIETAS AVG. RIC IV-2 1, RSC III 1, Sear RCV III 8404, BMCRE 118. 19 mm., 1.7 g. (Purchased from Frank S. Robinson.)

    Detail Maximus AR denarius, PIETA AVG (2).jpg
    Restitutor, TJC, TIF and 20 others like this.
  14. Alegandron

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

    I am not so sure... I think he was every bit of legend and more in height...

    TJC, TIF, ancient coin hunter and 9 others like this.
  15. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    Justin, there is a very good book out I think you might enjoy... Maximinus Thrax, from common soldier to emperor of Rome, by Paul N. Pearson, 2016, Skyhorse Publishing. You can get it on Amazon. Well written and really good overview of this period.

    couple of my bronzes of him and his son Maximus...

    8jDQqkF2z3sH7B6eZBp5nL9WNrk6ai.jpg 943708.jpg 1760244.jpg dB7CDmQ3y6GC2FJjxL5W4oPiL9Ptpf.jpg z52900.jpg
    TJC, TIF, galba68 and 18 others like this.
  16. Cachecoins

    Cachecoins Historia Moneta Supporter

    Do not look up...
    Alegandron likes this.
  17. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Well-Known Member

    My coin minted under Maximinus Thrax for his son Maximus, is in nice condition but more notable for being from the Gonzaga collection, a 16th century collection known by the inlays placed on the pieces. It'd be heresy to modify coins like this today but I can forgive collectors from centuries ago:

    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
    TJC, TIF, galba68 and 21 others like this.
  18. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    That's not a Maximinus Thrax, that's his son Maximus Caesar.
  19. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Wow! A Gonzaga!!! :wideyed:
    Justin Lee likes this.
  20. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    That is really cool! The inlay makes it that much cooler!
    Justin Lee likes this.
  21. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    Maximus, his son.
    DonnaML likes this.
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