Featured New Maximus Caesar Sestertius

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Julius Germanicus, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Supporter! Supporter


    MAXIMVS CAES GERM – bare-headed and draped bust of Maximus right
    PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS – Maximus, in military attire, standing left, holding baton and spear, two standards set in ground to right
    Sestertius, Rome September 236- April 238
    31 mm / 20,36 gr
    RIC 13, Cohen 14, BMCR 213, Sear 8411, Banti 6 (207 specimens)
    ex Jean Elsen fixed price list , January-March 2019, Nr.140


    Caius Iulius Verus Maximus was born ca 215 ad as the son of future emperor Maximinus Thrax and his wife Caecilia Paulina.

    He reportedly lived in Rome during the rise of his father was engaged to a young lady named Iunia Fadilla, a descendant of Antoninus Pius. The wedding however never took place as Maximus was ordered to the German frontier to accompany his father on his military campaigns after the Thracian Giant´s succesful coup against Severus Alexander.

    Maximus was raised to the rank of Caesar between 07 January and 16 May 236 and the roman mint began striking coins in his name, with his first emission bearing the obverse legend (C) IVL VERVS MAXIMVS CAES.

    The PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS type as seen on my new Sestertius was by far the more common of the two principal reverse types of Maximus, as it is featured on 80 % of his Sestertii (as attested by 236 of the 302 Sestertii recorded by Banti in I Grandi Bronzi Imperiali and 66 of the 80 Sestertii of Maximus found in the Guelma Hoard in Algeria).

    Maximus´ only other reverse type from the mint of Rome, PIETAS AVG, shows the emblems of the priestly colleges he was to be patron of, as seen here on my other Maximus Sestertius:

    Bildschirmfoto 2019-01-30 um 11.08.34.png

    C IUL VERVS MAXIMVS CAES – bare-headed and draped bust of Maximus right
    PIETAS AVG S C - Lituus, secespita (knife), patera, guttus (jug), simpulum, aspergillum (sprinkler)
    Rome, January-September 236
    RIC 6, BMCRE 119, Cohen 5, Sear 84082, Banti 1 (21 specimens)

    The relative rarity of Sestertii of both reverse types featuring this early obverse legend (51 out of 302 in Banti, 7 out of 80 at Guelma) indicates the relative brevity of their time of issue.

    This can be explained by the fact that when Maximunus Thrax received the honorary title of GERMANICUS after his victorious campaign into Germania Magna up to the Elbe river and the battle at the Harzhorn, this title was also bestowed on the Caesar Maximus and the prince´s obverse legend accordingly changed into MAXIMVS CAES GERM as seen on my new Sestertius, in September 236.

    We see Victoria crowning the victorious Maximinus Germanicus on this specimen:

    Bildschirmfoto 2019-01-30 um 12.37.44.png

    MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM – Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Maximinus I facing right
    VICTORIA GERMANICA, S C in exergue – Maximinus, in military attire, standing facing, head left, raising his right hand, holding spear in left, bound German captive seated at his feet, crowned by Victory standing left behind him, holding a laurel wreath in her right hand and a palm branch in her left
    Sestertius, Rome September 236 - April 238
    21,65gr / 31 mm
    RIC 93, BMCRE 198, Cohen 114, MIR 26-5

    Maximus´ PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS type was struck at Rome until news of the African revolt of the Gordiani reached the capital in April 238 and the Maximini were declared enemies of the state. From the rather mature facial features on the OP coin (there are also some reverses that show him child-like in comparison) I would assume that my specimen is a late example from Maximinus´ 5th or 6th emission of 237/238.

    Maximus was never to see Rome again. When he returned to Italy with his father´s army in early of 238, he was murdered in the imperial tent outside Aquileia. The only part of him that returned to the capital was his head.

    Please show your coins of Maximus!
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  3. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    I’m sorry that I do not have a coin to show. But I am curious about the “ Prince of youth“ reverse type. What exactly did that designation mean? Is that the equivalent of being the crown prince, like the Prince of Wales signifies the next king of England? But if Maximus is already the Augustus, then he should not be the “next” anything.

    Constantine will later use this designation on his early coinage, and with the same perplexing context since he is well in his 30s when he does so, I think. Don’t quote me on that.

    I don’t mean to hijack this thread. It is a lovely coin. I’m just curious as to what it’s reverse might mean.
  4. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  5. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Tribunicia Potestas

    Here's a denarius of Daddy. I still don't have a Maximus - so there is one hole in my collection. Very nice sestertii. FIDES MILITVM was in place for a time, but his soldiers revolted outside the walls of Aquileia and killed him and his son.


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  6. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    Like OP's first excellent coin: Maximus. Caesar, 235/6-238 AD. Æ Sestertius. Rome mint. 3rd emission of Maximinus, 236-237 AD. Obv: Bare headed and draped bust right. Rev: Maximus standing left, holding baton and spear; two signa behind. RIC IV 13; BMCRE 213-7; Banti 6.
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  7. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    Here's one with a different obverse legend:
    Maximus, Caesar, 235/6-238 AD. Æ Sestertius . Rome mint. 2nd emission of Maximinus I, 236 AD. Obv: Bareheaded and draped bust right. Rev: Maximus standing left, holding baton and spear; two signa behind. RIC IV 9; BMCRE 123-4 (Maximinus); Banti 5. Notice the "hand" on the leftmost signa. I have always wondered about the significance of it...if anything. Any ideas?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
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  8. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    A nice parade of sestertii here! I always love seeing your Maximinus Victoria Germanica; your new coin makes a worthy companion for it.

    Here's the denarius version of the OP coin.
    Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 8.20.03 PM.jpg
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  9. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    you have a couple of beautiful coins and your sesterius of Maximinus with that Tiber patina gives me goosebumps.
    I am currently reading a book entitled Maximinus Thrax - from common soldier to emperor of Rome; author Paul N. Pearson. It is very well written and geared to the general population interested in Roman history. This most interesting period of the 3rd century is dealt with exciting clarity. His book begins with Maximinus' rise in the ranks during the time of Septimius Severus. The civil war and subsequent rise and fall of father and son Gordiani is discussed in detail.Many coins are depicted. 8jDQqkF2z3sH7B6eZBp5nL9WNrk6ai.jpg 21q.jpg 943708.jpg dB7CDmQ3y6GC2FJjxL5W4oPiL9Ptpf.jpg z52900.jpg With coins like yours I'm sure you would enjoy it.

    Attached Files:

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  10. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks for asking, Gavin! I notice that I forgot this aspect in my writeup!

    „Princeps Iuventutis“ was a formal rank not connected to any concrete powers, bestowed upon a presumptive heir who appeared too young to be already endowed with imperial powers.

    It was Augustus who formally organized the knightly young men (and partly the youthful members of the nobility) as „Iuventus“ and formally declared his grandsons and presumptive successors Gaius and Lucius Caesar as leaders of this order (he propagated this in an extensive coin series, which showed the two with honor shields and spears). Later, amongst others, Germanicus, Tiberius Gemellus, Nero, Domitian and Commodus held this title.

    Since Septimius Severus the relationship of the title to the knights (equites) dieappeared and during the imperial crisis of the 3rd century, many soldier emperors almost regularly awarded the title to relatives. The last Princeps Iuventutis was Valentinian II (who was also the last who held the title „Caesar“, I believe).

    The Princeps Iuventutis may or may not have held the titles of Caesar or even (junior) Augustus, which would have been the equivalent to a "crown prince".

    As far as we know, Maximus was never elevated to the rank of Augustus by his father Maximinus, not even during the revolt of the Gordians, i.e. in a situation of acute crisis, when other emperors did take this step (Macrinus declared Diadumenianus co-Augustus during the revolt of Elagabalus, Decius promoted Herennius Etruscus before his final battle against the Goths, Saloninus was elevated to Augustus while under siege in Cologne).
    Even if Maximus HAD been declared Augustus in this situation, we might not know, because Maximinus had lost control over the roman mint by then.
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  11. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Beautiful OP coins @Julius Germanicus with a good style on your new acquisition

    Son and parents :

    Maximus, Sestertius - Rome mint AD 236-238
    MAXIMVS CAES GERM, Draped bust of Maximus right
    PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS, Maximus standing left with two standards behind him, SC in field
    18.64 gr
    Ref : RCV #8411, Cohen #14

    Maximinus, Denarius - Rome mint AD 236
    IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, Laureate and draped bust of Maximinus right
    PAX AVGVSTI, Pax standing left, holding an olive tree branch
    3.33 gr
    Ref : Cohen #31, RCV #8310

    Paulina, Denarius - Rome mint AD 236
    DIVA PAULINA, Veiled and draped bust of Paulina right
    CONSECRATIO, Paulina on peacock flying
    3.3 gr
    Ref : RCV #8400, Cohen #2

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  12. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Many art critics have argued the the finest Roman coin portraiture ended in the 2nd century of the Christian era, they couldn't be more wrong. The beautiful sestertii in this thread prove otherwise ;).
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  13. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that generous and informative response.
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  14. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Supporter! Supporter

    Yes, I do have that book and it is indeed great!!! I have visited the Harzhorn battlefield myself after reading it.

    P.S. If those coins you are all yours, then I am quite envious :)
  15. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Superb coins!

    My Maximus Sestertius isn't much, but it was dirt cheap!

    Maximus Caesar sestertius PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS.jpg

    I do someday hope to score a nice Maximus denarius, along with Paulina to complete this little dynasty.
  16. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    Awesome to actually see that battlefield! I love the history of the third century - it had an enormous impact on the empire and western civ's future.
    And yes, the coins are indeed mine collected over more years than I care to count.
  17. Julius Germanicus

    Julius Germanicus Supporter! Supporter

    I totally agree and would go so far to say that most coin portraits of the Soldier Emperors at least from 235 until 251 in terms of artistic quality and realism easily surpass most products of the reigns of Marcus Aurelius, Commodus and Elagabalus (and their respective wives) who (especially on Denarii) often feature googly eyes and silly expressions.

    It only got generic during the later 3rd century (it is hard to tell Claudius Gothicus, Aurelian and Probus apart from one another, same goes for the Gallic Emperors or the Tetrarchs), abstract (due to the influence of Christianity) during the 4th, and outright dadaistic (sometimes inferior to barbarian imitations) during the 5h century.
  18. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Here's my contribution with a sestertius of Maximinus:

    Maximinus Thrax, Rome, AD 235-238
    AE, sestertius, 31mm, 20g; 12h; AD 235-236
    Obv.: IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG; laureate, draped bust right
    Rev.: PROVIDENTIA AVG; Providence standing left with cornucopiae and wand over globe at feet, S-C across field
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