Romans I've never heard of

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by John Conduitt, Nov 26, 2020.

  1. John Conduitt

    John Conduitt Well-Known Member

    When I started collecting Roman coins, I was impressed by how many I emperors knew. I can barely name a dozen British prime ministers, and I’ve lived through 9 of them. I think. But rulers from 2000 years ago? No problem. Caesar, Caligula, Hadrian, Nero etc.

    But since collecting, I’ve realised I knew nothing. Quite a few emperors I’d heard of but knew nothing about. Diocletian, Antoninus Pius, Septimius Severus, Julian… They’re like family now. Others I’d never heard of. The likes of Carausius, Tetricus I and Constans. But I thought I’d reached the bottom of it. I have a list of them to collect after all.

    Yet still more come out of the woodwork. Who on Earth is Delmatius? I asked, just as I bought this coin earlier this month:

    Delmatius bronze follis, 335-337, Trier, second officina. 15mm, 1.64g. FL DELMATI-VS NOB CAES. GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS. From the Nether Compton Hoard, Dorset, England (RIC VII 594).

    Flavius Dalmatius Caesar was, apparently, a nephew of Constantine I. He was Caesar of Thracia, Achaea and Macedonia until he was killed by his own soldiers as part of Constantius II’s purge. It seems he didn’t have many coins struck at Trier, and being a collector of coins found in Britain (which often come from Trier), I hadn’t come across him before.

    Then not so long ago, I posted a barbarous Helena on here. Immediately @Ryro came back and suggested it might instead be Theodora. Theodora? Who’s she? The Explorer? Not Justinian’s saintly wife anyway…

    Theodora/Constantinopolis barbarous hybrid, c340AD. Found in Britain. 13mm, 0.95g.
    The blundered legend is backwards, as if copied from the impression of another coin. So ZPT in exergue might originally have been TRS for Trier.

    It was sold as Helena and looks like Helena (bearing in mind it’s barbarous), who’s more familiar to me as a collector of London coins. But the legend includes two Os, separated by the top of her head. Theodora's Trier coins have the legend FL MAX THEO-DORAE AVG, which looks like the HO-O AIIG on this coin (read backwards). Thank you @Ryro.

    Flavia Maximiana Theodora, it turns out, was Constantius Chlorus’s second wife (after Helena - a bit creepy they look so similar) and possibly Maximian's daughter. Oh that Theodora. It so happens she was also Dalmatius’s grandmother.

    Coins continue to educate me. How else would I know all the English monarchs in order? Or the geographical extent of the Parthian Empire? But they also reveal the chasm of my ignorance. Has anyone else found their collection full of Romans they’d never heard of?
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  3. Alegandron

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

    Good for you, @John Conduitt ! It is amazing how many obscure or lesser-known Roman Emperors there are.

    I have about 151 of the various Roman Emperors and Rulers. Do I know them? No. I enjoy focusing on the Roman Republic and the Empires / States that interacted with them. I kinda fell into getting several of the Emperors because some were given, some I just "ran across", some I felt would be fun to have.


    RI Delmatius 335-337 CE Quarter Folles CHI RHO banner flanked by 2 soldiers Sear 3131

    RI Delmatius 335-337 CE Quarter Folles CHI RHO banner flanked by 2 soldiers

    LOL, the only way I seem to remember Delmatius is because of an American brand of canned vegetables and fruit!
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  4. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member true John...just wait until you get into the usurpers...:D...
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  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    I know how you feel, @John Conduitt. When I first took up the hobby back in the '80s, I hardly knew any of the figures on Roman coins, but thanks to ancient numismatics, I know about several dozen of them in depth and have a passing familiarity with a couple hundred more!

    My most photogenic Delmatius:

    Delmatius, as Caesar, AD 335-337.
    Roman billon reduced centenionalis, 1.47g, 16.4 mm, 1 h.
    Siscia, AD 336-337.
    Obv: FL DELMATIVS NOB C, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Rev: GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two soldiers standing facing each other, each resting on on spear and shield, one standard between them; BSIS in exergue.
    Refs: RIC vii, p. 458, 256; LRBC 758; Cohen 4; RCV 16894.

    And speaking of Trier and Theodora:

    Theodora, Augusta posthumously (?)
    Roman billon reduced centenionalis; 1.42 g, 13.8 mm, 10 h
    Trier, AD 337-340
    Obv: FL MAX THEODORAE AVG, diademed and draped bust, right
    Rev: PIETAS ROMANA, Pietas standing facing, head right, holding infant; in exergue TR P (+/- palm branch; off the flan).
    Refs: RIC viii, p. 144, 79 or 91; LRBC I 120; Cohen 4; RCV 17500 or 17502.
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  6. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    You will find them all in ERIC-II/ most upto date reference work on Imperial Rome/ many revisions.
  7. Ryro

    Ryro They call me the 13th Caesar Supporter

    Theodora the explorer! Bahahaha :hilarious: great line:)
    Glad the you could gain from my learning experience. You see, I had the exact same experience... except in reverse:wacky:
    The first coin of that rare empress Theodora that I bought (Ebay, of course) turned out to have actually been a cruddy Helena!:banghead:
    Not that helena is cruddy, but rather Theodora's coins generally are much more barbarous looking. Which was the first tell for me when I saw you new beauty. And as you apply pointed out the legend tells the rest of the story. Great find. Coingrats!
    One of the Roman rulers that I hadn't heard of until I started collecting, who is now a favorite, is Pertinax:punch:
    Son of a freed slave, soldier and senator with a track record of winning and no frivolity. Pertinax had all the ear marks of being thre next GREAT ruler of Rome.
    Due to his lack if frivolity and bringing back discipline the praetorian guard offed him and sold the purple to the highest bidder:eek:. One of the empire's darkest days.
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  8. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Here's a Delmatius...



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  9. Archeocultura

    Archeocultura Well-Known Member

    Clodius Albinus is not a very well-known emperor:
    Decimus Clodius Albinus (c. 150 – 19 February 197) was a Roman general, senator and usurper who claimed the imperial title several times between 193 and 197. He was proclaimed emperor by the legions in Britain and Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula, comprising modern Spain and Portugal) after the murder of Pertinax in 193 (known as the "Year of the Five Emperors"), and who proclaimed himself emperor again in 196, before his final defeat the following year
    RIC 62 sestertius IV-I Clodius Albinus 062 Concordia sestertius.jpg
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  10. Archeocultura

    Archeocultura Well-Known Member

    Didius Julianus is even more obscure:
    (from Wikipedia)
    Marcus Didius Julianus 29 January 133 or 137 – 1 June 193) was Roman emperor 8 nr 74 Didius Julianus RIC 3.jpg from March to June 193, during the Year of the Five Emperors.

    Julianus had a promising political career, governing several provinces, including Dalmatia and Germania Inferior, and successfully defeating the Chauci and Chatti, two invading Germanic tribes. He was even appointed to the consulship in 175 along with Pertinax as a reward, before being demoted by Commodus. After this demotion, his early, promising political career languished.

    Julianus ascended the throne after buying it from the Praetorian Guard, who had assassinated his predecessor Pertinax. A civil war ensued in which three rival generals laid claim to the imperial throne. Septimius Severus, commander of the legions in Pannonia and the nearest of the generals to Rome, marched on the capital, gathering support along the way and routing cohorts of the Praetorian Guard Julianus sent to meet him. Abandoned by the Senate and the Praetorian Guard, Julianus was killed by a soldier in the palace and succeeded by Severus.
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  11. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Some coins of Delmatius spell his name Dalmatius. This one was from Thessalonika mint.
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  12. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    And there are the usurpers:
    Martinian. Usurper, AD 324. Æ Follis. Nicomedia mint, 1st or fourth officina. Obv: D N M MARTINIANVS P F AVG. Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right. Rev: IOVI CONS – ERVATORI Jupiter standing left, holding Victory on globe in right hand, scepter in left; to left, eagle standing left, head right, holding wreath in its beak. To right, bound captive kneeling right; in field right: X/IIΓ. In ex.: SMNA or SMNΔ . RIC VII 45.
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  13. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member coin @PeteB ! :)
  14. bcuda

    bcuda Supporter! Supporter

    My Delmatius.
    Delmatius AE4.
    335-337 AD.
    laureate & cuirassed bust right
    Rev: GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two
    soldiers holding spears &
    shields with one standard
    between them, O on banner.
    SMANI in ex. Antioch
    RIC VII Antioch 112,
    1.69 grams
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