More about the First Tetrarchy, 284-305

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Valentinian, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I just added two more pages to my site
    "Introduction to Roman coins of the First Tetrarchy":
    which I announced here recently. That page is a place to begin if you want to learn about coinage during the reign of Diocletian and his co-rulers.

    The new pages are:
    a page about all the follis types of the First Tetrarchy

    and page about SACRA MONETA folles:
    (which is the second most common type).

    There were already several pages devoted to the GENIO POPVLI ROMANI type, which is by far the most common type:

    Maximian, 286-305
    "SACRA MONETA" type
    with Moneta standing left, holding balance and cornucopia.
    28-26 mm. 9.91 grams.
    RIC Aquileia 29b "c. 300"

    The tetrarchy had four rulers at once, making for interesting politics and coinage. Take a look at the main page: and see if you get interested!
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  3. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    I know what I'm doing tomorrow!

    Thanks for the excellent and expanding website Valentinian.
  4. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Yes, great, thorough resource, @Valentinian!! As always!!

    Diocletian, Ruled 285-305 AD
    AE Antoninianus (silvered), Struck 285 AD, Antioch Mint

    Obverse: IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, bust of Diocletian, radiate, draped, cuirassed, right.
    Reverse: IOV ET HERCV CONSER AVGG, Jupiter, standing right, holding globe in right hand and sceptre in left hand, and Hercules, standing left, holding Victory in right hand and club and lion’s skin in left hand, [A?] officina designation above, mintmark XXI.
    References: RIC V 323

    Maximianus, First Reign 286-305 AD
    AE Antoninianus, Struck 293 AD, Antioch Mint

    Obverse: IMP C M A MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, bust of Maximian, radiate, cuirassed, right.
    Reverse: CONCORDIA MILITVM, Maximian, draped, cuirassed, standing right, holding sceptre in right hand and receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter; Jupiter, standing left, holding scepter; ЄΔ below; •XXI in exergue.
    References: RIC V 621, Cohen 54
    Size: 21.8mm, 3.4g

    Galerius as Caesar, Ruled 293-305 AD
    AE follis, Struck 296-303 AD, London Mint

    Obverse: MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES, Laureate and cuirassed bust right.
    Reverse: GENIO POPV–LI ROMANI, Genius standing, facing left, head surmounted by a modius, naked except for chlamys over left shoulder, holding patera in right hand and cornucopia in left arm; no exergue..
    References: RIC VI 15 (London); CT (Cloke & Toone) 2.01.015. Cloke & Toone combine RIC 15 and 21 into one catalogue number due to the presence of continuous variation in bust size; there are not really two distinct bust types as RIC would have it. This falls clearly within the “coarse” style of C&T 2.01.
    Size: 27.6mm, 10.08g
    Ex: James Pickering Romano-Britannic Collection, acquired from Victor Clark, ex Freeman and Sear.
  5. Thanks for sharing your interesting website:

    Maximian Herculis:

    Type: Follis, 26 mm 7.9 grams, A.D. 307

    Obverse: Maximian Herculis, laureate and cuirassed bust facing right

    Reverse: Genius standing left, modius on head, loins draped, chamlys over left shoulder, right hand holding patera, left hand holding cornucopiae

    Mintmark: PLN (Londinium)

    Reference: RIC VI London 85


  6. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Warren, your thread here and your page(s) about the First Tetrarchy made me review my coins of that period (above) as well as those couple I have just after that (the Second Tetrarchy, right?)... I was hugely struggling over this coin because of the name on the obverse and the lack of and GAL VAL or the like, making me think it was the same Max as above. And I'm used to seeing Galerius having the NOB C that, again, the Galerius above has. But, nope, after searching and clicking I came to another page of yours that helped me out with that too.

    Galerius Maximianus (not Maximianus Herculius)
    AE2, Struck 309-310 AD, Siscia Mint
    Obverse: IMP MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right.
    Reverse: GENIO CA-ESARIS: Genius, wearing modius, nude, chlamys draped over left shoulder, standing left, holding patera in right hand and cornucopiae in left hand, crescent in left field, Γ in right field.
    Exergue: SIS
    References: RIC VI Siscia 201a

    To quote your paragraph that helped me:
    "The Augustus we call Galerius was named Galerius Maximianus. His coins which used legends such as IMP MAXIMIANVS PF AVG [1] can easily be confused with coins of Maximianus Herculius . Since Herculius was never titled Caesar on coins and Galerius was, when coins of "MAXIMIANVS" use the title NOB C instead of AVG, they belong to Galerius. Galerius's coins as Augustus can be distinguished by type, size, and sometimes by the legend containing GAL VAL preceding MAXIMIANVS [Coin 2]. However, one must be careful to note that only the extra "A" distinguishes (GAL VAL) MAXIMIANVS (Galerius) from (GAL VAL) MAXIMINVS (Maximinus [Coin 3]), both as Caesar and as Augustus."​

    Here is my other coin from that same time period:
    Maximinus II Daia as “FILIVS AVGVSTORVM”, AE2 Follis
    Struck Dec. 308 – May 310 AD, Thessalonica Mint

    Obverse: MAXIMINVS • FIL • AVGG, Head of Maximinus Daia, laureate, right.
    Reverse: GENIO CA-ESARIS, Genius, wearing modius, sometimes radiate, nude, chlamys draped over left shoulder, standing left, pouring liquid from patera in right hand and holding cornucopiae in left hand, Δ in right field, star in left field.
    Exergue: SMTS
    References: RIC VI 32a

    Thank you, @Valentinian, for your generous resources you write, host, and curate!!
  7. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    Great resources @Valentinian !

    Here's a new (today!) coin:

    Ticinum, 301.
    Ob. IMP C MAXIMIANVS P F AVG Laureate head of Maximian to right.
    Rev. SACRA MONET AVGG ET CAESS NOSTR / TT· Moneta standing to left, holding scales in her right hand and cornucopia with her left.
    RIC 45b
  8. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

    Your pages on the Tetrachy are a real eye-opener. This is a very valuable resource for collectors and your collection is so impressive.

    I like the SACRA MONETA issue a lot, given that Diocletian's famous price controlls (Edict on maximum prices) were such a monumental failure.
  9. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Excellent information at the website, @Valentinian !Thanks for all you do for the hobby.
    TIF likes this.
  10. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Valentinian, I enjoyed browsing through your new pages & copied them for my reference material :D. Another chapter you might consider doing in the future would be the FIDES MILITVM type. I believe all members of the Tetrarchy struck some variation of this type.

    IMG_3645.JPG IMG_3648.JPG
  11. EWC3

    EWC3 (mood: stubborn)

    Really useful write up. Enjoyed the main link

    You are quite right to say

    "As modern economics would tell us, (Diocletian's edits) didn't work"

    Surely absolutely every economist who ever writes on this subject tells us that

    Its not true though, in the general case.

    Ala-ud-Din Muhammed Khalji issued similar price edits and they were apparently rigidly observed. Not the only thing modern economics gets wrong. (As the recently cited Robert Mundell shows, I judge)

    Rob T
  12. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Yes. That is a "Second Tetrarchy" type and, sometime, I will write a web page or more on coins of the Second Tetrarchy.
  13. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    My favorite coins of Diocletian and Maximianus date just before the formation of the Tetrarchy (or at least there are none in the series for the Caesars). I know Valentinian has a preference for the post-reform coins so I'll tack on photos of the 'coded' series which I find so interesting.
    ru3290set.jpg ru3540set.jpg

    Those not familiar with these coins are invited to read my 20 year old page on them:

    Perhaps more appropriate to post here are the earliest coins of the Caesars that formed the Tetrarchy. Pre-reform antoniniani of Constantius I and Galerius Caesares were not issued for a long time before the reform made them obsolete. Still, I believe collectors of coins of the tetrarchy need at least one from this group.

    Constantius I pre-reform antoninianus
    Galerius pre-reform antoninianus
  14. I was unfamiliar with the pre-reform radiates of Constantius and Galerius Doug. Thanks for the post.
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