Featured Maximinus Thrax

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

  1. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing

    Agreed... is it tarnish and toning of the silver sort of impacting the gold around?
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  3. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing

    I found this interesting article about Maximinus, his son, his reign, all surrounding their race in imperial Rome politics.

    Moralee, J. (2008). Maximinus Thrax and the politics of race in late antiquity. Greece & Rome, 55(1), 55-82.

    You might not be too far off!!!

    "...not even his name was remembered properly. In the historiographical sources he is called by his father's name, Maximinus, rather than his epigraphically attested name Maximus (pp. 62-63, Moralee, 2008)."

    After reading a bit of the paper above, I found Maximus (and the whole of the family and situation) to be a little bit more interesting than before... evidently he was unlucky in love (allegedly by his "barbarian" blood).
    "He was first engaged to Junia Fadilla, the great-granddaughter of Marcus Aurelius. But Toxotius, a senator and poet, thus a man of better blood and culture, stole her away. Adding insult to Maximus' broken pride, she also kept the dowry, including necklaces, hats, and dresses studded with precious jewels. A second attempt to marry into the nobility likewise ended in disappointment. While emperor, Severus Alexander intended to offer his sister Theoclia to Maximus for a spouse. For this union the emperor sought his mother's advice in a letter:

    "Mother, were there not an element of the barbarian in the [...] elder Maximinus [si...non aliquid in se barbarum] - he who is our general, and a very good one, too - I had already married your Theoclia to (Maximus). But I am afraid that such a product of Greek culture as my sister could not endure a barbarian father-in-law, however much the young man himself seems handsome and learned and polished in Greek elegance.
    "Just as becoming emperor failed to erase that 'barbarian element' in his father, education failed to erase the racial stain on the son. Culturally, Maximus was beyond suspicion. In racial terms, however, he was the son of a semibarbarus; he, too, had that 'barbarian element in him' (aliquid in se barbarum). The son was therefore a repulsive pastiche of Roman and barbarian, all the more degenerate for his attempt at integration. Like his father he was tall, but not quite so; he was beautiful, but desirable mostly by profligate women (a procacioribus feminis); and, though educated, he was imperious (superbissimus).

    "At the end of the letter, Severus asked his mother if a better fit for Theoclia would be Messalla 'who is a scion of a noble house [ex familia nobili], a very powerful speaker, very learned, and, if I mistake not, a man who would prove himself gallant on the field if occasion should arise'. Although all of this is pure fancy, including the names Junia Fadilla, Toxotius, and Messalla, the author invented these episodes to mark an important difference. Blood and the antiquity of origins mattered... (pp. 63-64, Moralee, 2008)"
    Even if it is 'pure fantasy', I find it interesting that (as it was told) he was offered the sister of the emperor. This, to me, shows that the level of Maximinus as general and leader was very highly regarded, regardless of his racial background. But that either couldn't get around... a racial glass ceiling if you will.

    And here is my version of @Alegandron's Maximus sestertius type:
    Maximus, as Caesar, 235-238 AD
    AE Sestertius, Struck Late 236-237 AD, Rome mint
    Obverse: MAXIMVS CAES GERM, bare-headed bust, draped, right.
    Reverse: PIETAS AVG, emblems of the pontificate: littus, secespita, patera, capis, simpulum, and aspergillum, SC below.
    References: RIC iV 11
    Size: 29mm, 16.97g
    Ex: Warren Esty, Augustus Coins (5/17/20);

    Ken Dorney, Auction 9 (11/29/19), lot #133;
    Ken Dorney, VCoins (n.d.), #4750;
    Owl Coins, Spring-Summer List (1976), Lot #90
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2020
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  4. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing

    The url to the article might be broke ... Here's an updated link...

  5. KeviniswhoIam

    KeviniswhoIam Well-Known Member

    20894B87-14A6-4C31-ADFE-AD7395DD3807.jpeg This may be a more flattering caricature of Max. It's my coin, but not my picture.....dang encapsulation!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
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  6. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I agree!

    Here is one of his early portrait style:


    and here is my site which discusses his three portrait styles:
    TJC, DonnaML, lordmarcovan and 7 others like this.
  7. KeviniswhoIam

    KeviniswhoIam Well-Known Member

  8. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Better late than never. Here's mine from Anchialus with a temple.

    Maximin I O    Thrax.JPG Maxi I temple Anchialus.JPG
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  9. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    This is the Max Thrax from my first collection of Roman Imperials. I think it is the only coin of his I've owned.


    Here's a book on my shelf I was given and have not yet read. I was thinking of finding another Max Thrax coin and pairing that with the book to make a combo gift for my Secret Saturnalia recipient in December, maybe.

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  10. TJC

    TJC Well-Known Member

    Such great history surrounding the "Thracian Giant". He is believed the most likely candidate for the Roman emperor responsible for leading an invasion force deep into Germatic territories that is highlighted at the Harzhorn battlesite. https://coinsweekly.com/the-battle-at-harzhorn-on-display/
    Here is a big green sestertius that is my favorite Thrax coin.

    MaximinusThraxPax339O_edited-1.jpg MaximinusThraxPax339R_edited-1.jpg
    Maximinus I (Long face portrait)
    AE sestertius. AD 235-236.
    O: IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust right
    Rx: PAX AVGVSTI, Pax standing left, holding olive branch and transverse sceptre. S-C across fields. RIC 58; Cohen 34; Sear 8332 var (obv. legend
  11. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    Interesting article, although the very antiquated use of the term "race" as a purely ethnic/geographic/Italian vs. barbarian term, having nothing to do with skin color, took some getting used to. As did the various time shifts in viewpoint -- late antiquity looking back at the 3rd century, Nazi-era German historians looking back on late antiquity looking back at the 3rd century and injecting their own viewpoint on "Germanic" peoples, and so on. In any event, was Maximinus I really the first emperor without Roman/Italian "blood"? What about the Severans? I suppose Septimius Severus (from North Africa) and Julia Domna (from Syria) and the subsequent Severans all had at least some Italian ancestry?
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
  12. Sulla80

    Sulla80 Well-Known Member

    This thread looks like it could use at least one more big Maximinus Thrax Sestertius: Maximinus Thrax Victory.jpg Maximinus I, AD 235-238, AE Sestertius, (30.5mm, 21.84g), Rome mint,2nd emission, AD 236
    Obv: Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right
    Rev: Victory advancing right, holding palm frond and wreath
    Ref: RIC IV 67
    Notes: In 236, Maximinus named his son Maximus as Caesar, his deceased wife Paulina was deified. He spent the winter in Sirmium in Pannonia as he battled against the Dacians and Sarmatians, north of the Danube.
    Roman Collector, TJC, PeteB and 3 others like this.
  13. Alegandron

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

    LOL, @Justin Lee ... based on your write-up:


    :) Anybody remember this guy?
    Maximus Maximinus Thrax JUNIOR
    CE 235-238
    AE Sestertius
    Rome mint
    priestly emblems
  14. osdet

    osdet Active Member

    If any of you are interested in Maximinus Thrax and that era, I suggest you read the series by Harry Sidebottom. 'Throne of the Caesars'. Namely, 'Iron & Rust'; 'Blood & Steel' and 'Fire & Sword'. They are well written and give you an idea of what life was like in those times.
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  15. Bart9349

    Bart9349 Junior Member

    Here is an interesting thread from 2018 on the Harzhorn battle site (including helpful videos):


    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
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  16. willieboyd2

    willieboyd2 First Class Poster

    My Avatar Coin:

    Maximinus Thrax Denarius Salus

    Obverse: Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right / IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG
    Reverse: Salus seated left, feeding from patera a serpent arising from altar / SALVS AVGVSTI
    Silver, 22 mm, 2.59 gm
    Catalog: RIC 14
    Struck: AD 235-238 Rome

  17. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing

    Very nice Salus & snake on your reverse!
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