Retirement issues of Diocletian, AD 305-310

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

  1. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I am a big fan of the retirement issues of Diocletian and Maximian. I got a remarkably small one in the mail.

    We have discussed retirement issues on CT and in June I showed one:
    The June example is the one on the left here and the new example is on the right. The first photo is intended to show you their relative sizes. The new one is not in nice shape, but it was part of a large lot, inexpensive, and different enough to interest me.


    Old example: 28-27 mm, the normal size. They were minted at 13 mints and quite common. (This one is from London--see the old thread.)
    New example, 23-22 mm. Examples this small are not common.
    The obverse legend of the coin on the left is
    Laureate bust right in imperial mantle, holding olive branch (symbolizing peace) and mappa (a cloth dropped by the emperor to start chariot races).

    The coin on the right is similar with legend:

    But it is not the difference in obverse legend that is most interesting to me.


    The reverse legend is a tiny bit different in a significant way. Instead of
    Providential and Quies standing facing each other
    it is
    PROVIDENTIA DEORVM QVIES AVG, with one G. Maximian does not participate in this issue. It is issued so late that Maximian is either dead or considered no longer in good standing. That explains why RIC dates it to 310. (Maximian was forced to retire a second time in late 308 (by the Conference at Carnuntum) and executed by Constantine in 310.)

    Coins in the period 305ff were getting rapidly smaller. Coins that had been 11 to 9 grams in 305 were being minted at 6 grams by 310. This coin is 5.88 grams.

    Diocletian. 284-305.
    RIC VI Antioch 136 "R3" "310".

    When a coin has low condition like that, even rarity does not make it valuable. You see a lot of dealers touting lousy coins as "rare" with high prices--often several times what similar coins actually sell for. I doubt they ever sell at those high levels. If they were EF+ that would make a different story. However, this small example is not worth much and I don't claim to have gotten a great bargain by spotting it in a large lot. If you see an EF coin of this small type in an auction, let me know.

    I have a web page on retirement issues and this coin has already been added to it:

    Show us something related!
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Recently posted.

    Diocletian, As Senior Augustus, (305-311/2 A.D.)
    Æ Follis
    Abdication Issue
    O: D N DIOCLETIANO BAEATISS, laureate bust right, wearing imperial mantle, holding olive branch and mappa.
    R: PROVIDENTIA DEORVM, Providentia standing left, extending branch to Quies standing opposite who holds a scepter; Є/KP between, ALE in exergue.
    Alexandria mint, struck A.D. 308-310.
    RIC VI 109

    Maximianus (286-305 A.D.)
    Æ Follis
    O: D N MAXIMIANO FELICISS SEN AVG, laureate bust of Maximianus right in imperial mantle, olive branch in right hand, mappa in left.
    R: PROVIDENTIA DEORVM QVIES AVGG, Providentia standing right, extending right hand to Quies standing left, branch in right hand, leaning on scepter with left; S-F across fields, RT in exergue.
    Rome Mint, 3rd officina, 305 AD
    RIC 119b(R2)
  4. John Conduitt

    John Conduitt Well-Known Member

    Interesting to see the size shrink with the number of Gs!

    Mine do the opposite. My Diocletian retirement issue has the typical 2 Gs:

    But this was one G fewer than the smaller (non-retirement) issue of the previous decade, when Carausius was trying to push himself as a third emperor:

    Diocletian (struck under Carausius), 292-293, London, 22mm, 4.34g. IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG. PAX AVGGG, S - P, MLXXI
  5. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Very nice small retirement issue, @Valentinian! Just yesterday I made a purchase of a Maximian retirement issue with the BAEATISSIMO obverse legend from Trier similar to your type 1 on your page for him. When I receive it (expected Monday, 11/16), I'll give it a snap and post. :D

    And thank you for your page, as it is great to see all the info and coins in one place.
    nicholasz219 and Valentinian like this.
  6. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I have a very amateur question. What about the coins indicates the abdication?

    my meager Latin skills notwithstanding, is this clearly marked as abdication, and would the educated Roman have been able to tell?

    also, did these have the same nominal value as other contemporary folles in terms of buying power? Obviously they were in different sizes; but were similar sized ones equal to each other?
    Justin Lee likes this.
  7. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

  8. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the link. Just when I think I’ve read the whole site someone shows me
    Another corner of it! I can’t wait to settle down for the night with a beer and an article.
  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Here's mine. I've shown it before but here goes.

    Diocletian (A.D. 284-305) AE Follis

    Weight: 6.90 grams

    Diameter: 23 mm

    Mint: Follis struck at Alexandria (ALE Mintmark) between 308 and 310, after his abdication.

    Obverse: DN DIOCLETIANO BAEATISS, laurel-wreathed bust right wearing mantle, holding olive branch and holding mappa in the other hand.

    Reverse: PROVIDENTIA DEORVM, Providentia standing right, extending right hand to Quies, standing left, holding branch and sceptre.

    Reference: Sear 12922, RIC VI Alexandria 80 corr.

  10. nicholasz219

    nicholasz219 Well-Known Member

    Great coins and post @Valentinian. Also excellent contributions by @Mat and others. I find these issues fascinating. I appreciate your webpage and enjoy reading more about them. No luck in finding a decent one for myself but I have my eyes open.
  11. Fugio1

    Fugio1 Supporter! Supporter

    Here is another smaller coin calling out in a less obvious way (QVIES reverse type but no "SEN" in the obverse legend) the second retirement of Maximianus. Maximianus QVIES 2nd Reign 5.85g hd rauch-blk lighter.jpg
    Maximianus Herculeus - QVIES
    Denomination: Follis
    Era: C. 308 CE
    Metal: AE
    Obverse: MAXIMIANVS P F AVG. Cuirassed Bust r. with laurel wreath.
    Reverse: Quies standing in a long robe, facing, head turned to the left, holding scepters in the right branch and branch in the left.
    Mint: Trier
    Weight: 5.85 gm.
    Reference: RIC 788 (Treveri)
    Provenance: HD Rauch, 29-FEB-2020, Ex Numismatik Lanz, Nov 20, 2000

    Comments: Maximianus after Carnuntum conference. QVIES, the personification of tranquility, indicating 2nd retirement.
  12. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    That’s beautiful
  13. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    Here is a Half Follis.

    Maximianus Herculius

    Obv:– DN MAXIMIANO FELICIS, Laureate and mantled bust right, holding olive-branch and mappa
    Rev:– PROVIDENTIA DEORVM, Providentia standing right, extending hand to Quies standing light, holding branch and leaning on scepter
    Minted in Alexandria (Delta //ALE). A.D. 308
    Reference:– RIC VI Alexandria 91a

    about 21 mm and less than 4 gms

  14. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    And another


    Obv:– DN DIOCLETIANO FELICIS, Laureate and mantled bust right, holding olive-branch and mappa
    Rev:– PROVIDENTIA DEORVM, In field: Gamma; In ex: ALE, Providentia standing right, extending hand to Quies standing light, holding branch and leaning on scepter
    Minted in Alexandria (Gamma //ALE). A.D. 308
    Reference:– RIC VI 93a

    21.01 mm. 3.4 gms.

  15. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    I really like these issues.

    AE Follis
    305 - 306 A.D., Heraclea Mint, 3rd Officina
    8.25g, 27.5mm, 6H

    Bust of Maximian, laureate, wearing imperial mantle, right, holding olive branch in right hand and mappa in left hand

    Providentia, draped, standing right, extending right hand to Quies; Quies, draped, standing left, holding branch in right hand and leaning on sceptre with left hand; in left field, S; in right field, F

    Exergue: -/-//HTA

    Provenance: Ex. Frank S. Robinson, Auction 101 Lot 398

    Reference: RIC VI Heraclea 27b
  16. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    I received it this morning:
    27mm, 8.5g
  17. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    My one Diocletian abdication/retirement issue:

    Diocletian, billon abdication Follis, 305-307 AD, Trier Mint. Obv. Laureate bust right in imperial mantle (trabea), holding olive branch and mappa, D N DIOCLETIANO BAEATISSIMO SEN AVG / Rev. Providentia standing right, holding [scroll or short scepter?] and drapery with left hand and extending right hand to Quies standing left, holding branch downward with right hand and leaning on scepter with left hand, S - F across fields, PROVIDENTIA DEORVM QVIES AVGG; PTR in exergue. 27x28 mm., 9.6 gm. RIC VI Trier 673a (p. 208), Sear RCV IV 12927. [Die match to example sold by Numismatik Naumann in 2015; see]

    Diocletian abdication follis, Trier mint, jpg image.jpg
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