Theodosius I

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by seth77, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    I noticed that there is no thread dedicated to Theodosius I and rather few coins of him are showed here. So maybe we start a thread to exemplify the copious coinage that was minted during his reign. Ruling from 379 to 395, he minted and had minted for him a wide range of AE coinage, from AE2s of differing modules and weights to AE3s and AE4s.

    Here is an example that should be very common but I haven't seen too often:


    AE3 18x17mm 1.81g centenionalis/maiorina, minted at Siscia, cca. autumn 384-summer 387.
    DN THEODO - SIVS PF AVG; pearl-diademed draped cuirassed bust r.
    GLORIA RO - MANORVM; Emperor to right, holding labarum and dragging captive towards right.
    ASISC in exergue
    RIC IX Siscia 38b

    The popular type introduced by Valentinian I and Valens in 364 was revived by Valentinian II after recovering Illyricum from Theodosius as a result of the understanding between Theodosius and Maximus in the autumn of 384. The purpose was to use it as propaganda tool to remind the citizens of his illustrious father and uncle and the happier times of the 360s and early 370s.

    The issues at Siscia during this last period are fewer and the mint had an overall smaller output than during the previous decade, when it minted scores of issues for Valentinian I, Valens and Gratian. Eventually the issues of the mint at Siscia dried out around mid 387 when the mint was likely closed. It is possible that the AE3 GLORIA ROMANORVM for the three emperors Valentinian II, Theodosius and Arcadius continued until the closing of the mint.

    This particular specimen is of great style for the type and has a pleasing old collection toning.

    Please add your interesting Theodosius I specs.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Here's another GLORIA ROMANORVM , different type and different mint.

    Theodosius I
    Ae2 23 mm. 5.76g Cyzicus 379-383 AD
    Theodosius on galley, victory at helm, wreath in left field.
    SMKA. RIC IX 14c
  4. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Another of similar type. I agree that Theodosius "the Great" is not posted about too often.

    Theodosius I 379-395 A.D.
    AE 23, 4.8 grams - Cyzicus A.D. 379-383

    Diademed, helmeted, draped, and cuirassed bust right, holding spear and shield

    Theodosius standing left on galley, head right, raising hand, Victory at helm, wreath in left field

    Mintmark: SMKB

    Reference: RIC IX 14c.2, pg. 242

    From the collection of Doug Smith (thanks Doug!)


  5. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    I have the same galley type as well
    Theodosius gloria romanorvm.jpg

    By the time Theodosius was in power, Rome was already starting to circle the drain, and most coin designs were phoned in and not made well, even compared to a century earlier under Constantine. His gold is expensive, the silver is usually heavily clipped, and finding a nice AE is difficult, which is likely why we don't see him much around here.

    Personally, I hold him among the worst emperors because he was the one who gave the order to pull the plug on Hellenistic culture's life support by closing the pagan temples and kicking off the persecutions that ended with the total annihilation of Greco-Roman polytheism.
  6. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    I think your coin is in great shape and likewise style. The AE coinage (at least in the 380s and 390s) was still of decent quality and workmanship, the types were quite distinct and stimulating and the engraving and quality of the metal was of a high standard. These coins are definitely better than the ones minted at the height of the 3rd century crisis for instance. And more varied than the coinage of the 330s and 350s. I'd say the many types and modules in use during the last two decades of the 4th century were the most varied since the abolition of traditional copper-orichalcum denominations.

    So, nice coin and thank you for posting it!
    Roman Collector and DonnaML like this.
  7. Brian Bucklan

    Brian Bucklan Well-Known Member

    Here's another Ae2 type, with the VIRTVS EXERCITI, Emperor and Captive reverse.

    Theodosius I VIRTVS EXERCITI.jpg

    This is an Ae3 type; GLORIA ROMANORVM with Emperor on horseback

    Theodosius I GLORIA ROMANORVM Horseback.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  8. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Here's my Theo with R2D2 and Princess Leia on the reverse :D

    Theodosius I, AD 379-395.
    Roman AE half centenionalis, 0.86 g, 12.8 mm.
    Dagobah, AD 388-392.
    Obv: D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
    Rev: SALVS REIPVBLICAE, Princess Leia advancing left, raising right arm and dragging R2-D2, Admiral Ackbar's ship above, Christogram in left field.
  9. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Thanks for starting a thread on an emperor not done here over and over again. I wish we had a count of who has been featured and who has not.

    I did not need three even though the mints were not the same. There was a time I was buying coins I did not want but 'needed' because they were a different mint. That was a mistake. You should never buy a coin because you 'need' it unless you also 'want' it.

    I believe this Alexandria coin was once illustrated in an article in the Numismatist 10/81 but I have lost the clipping from the magazine tha came with it (mostly of interest since they failed to mention the spelling error GLORAI).Does anyone have that issue? I dropped my ANA membership years before that because they ran so little on ancients.
    Alexandria without water
    Nikomedia with water
  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    This is my only coin of Theodosius I, minted in Alexandria. It's the very last coin listed in my chronological catalog of the ancient coins I own. I've never had the occasion to post it before in my six months here, because so far as I know there hasn't been a thread about him:

    Theodosius I, AE3 (Sear: Centenionalis), 379-383 AD, Alexandria mint, 3rd Officina. Obv. D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG - Diademed (Pearls), draped, and cuirassed bust right / Rev. CONCORDIA AVGGG - Constantinopolis, helmeted, seated facing on throne, head right, holding spear and globe, right foot on prow. ALE(Γ) [gamma] in exergue. RIC IX 11 (p. 300), Sear RCV V 20535. 17.72 mm, 1.9 g.

    Theodosius I Ae3 - CONCORDIA AVGGG - Alexandria Mint jpg version.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  11. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Such a list would be fair only if it were limited to the last year or six months or so. A lot of people have joined in that period of time. Even if people didn't join so recently, why should they have to feel that there's something wrong with revisiting a particular emperor or empress -- knowingly or otherwise -- when they have a coin they want to show? Even if it's not for the first time? I don't mind looking at coins I've seen before, and I've certainly posted some of my own coins multiple times when they fit the topic!
    hotwheelsearl likes this.
  12. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    There is nothing wrong with posting what interests you. Considering that my posts outnumber my coins by a factor of six, I suspect I have posted some favorites a dozen times hopefully in places where they were pertinent. Of course, many posts show no coins but others show ten (the CT limit).

    The problem is, I don't have much to say about every coin. Theodosius is, however, a most interesting person in the move to eradicate paganism from the Empire. His coins have personifications but no gods. I am surprised only one below has a Christian symbol (cross-rho).
    ry7770bb0328.jpg ry7775bb2907.jpg ry7780bb1470.jpg ry7785xx2766.jpg ry7810bb1840.jpg
  13. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    Theodosius I
    A.D. 388- 392
    17x18mm 2.2g
    D N THEODO-SIVS P F AVG; pearl-diademed and cuirassed bust right.
    SPES REI-PVBLICAE; Emperor, head right, holding labarum and globe, right foot on captive.
    In ex. R Q
    RIC IX Rome 63b

    Ex Giovanni Dattari Collection of Late Roman Bronzes

    5egMBb4cKsG2Y36q9dK87WHwoz9Z3J (1).jpg

    Theodosius I
    A.D. 383- 388
    12mm 1.2gm
    DN THEODO-SIVS PF AVG; pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed.
    VICTORIA AVGGG; two victories facing each other, each holding wreath; dot over dot in center.
    In ex. RQ
    RIC IX Rome 57c

  14. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    I've got 2 in my collection, one that matches a couple already shared above, and one that hasn't appeared yet.

    Theodosius I, AE2
    Struck 383-388 AD, Cyzicus Mint
    Obverse: DN THEODO-SIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
    Reverse: VIRTVS E-XERCITI, Emperor standing right, holding standard in right hand and globe in left; left foot on captive. Mintmark SMKA.
    References: RIC IX Cyzicus 25B, LRBC II 2565

    Theodosius I, AE2
    Struck 392-395 AD, Cyzicus Mint
    Obverse: D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, Pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
    Reverse: GLORIA ROMANORVM Theodosius standing right, holding labarum and globe.
    Exergue: SMKA
    References: RIC IX 27a, LRBC 2546

    Just yesterday I had found and watched a pretty cool short form animated documentary on YouTube about Stilicho, General under Theodosius I, appointed caretaker of Theodosius' youngest son, Honorius, and heavily involved in much of the fallout after Theodosius' death.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  15. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    Nice coins everyone! I'm glad to post some of my Theos... they don't get much love. Theo is one of those emperors that I don't spend much money on but will pick up new reverses if I can find them cheaply. I have a few I really like and some dogs. I have one of the REPARATIO REIPVB reverse too... but it was so ugly that getting a photo that was worth showing was not happening.

    Constantinople 52c
    Cyzicus 25b
    Cyzicus 29a
    Siscia 39a
    Siscia 38b
    Nicomedia 46a
    Constantinople 57d
    Alexandria 13c
  16. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    Apropos of the fact that Theo gets overlooked, I have owned dozens of coins of Theodosius I, yet I have kept only this one:
    (Bronze) AE II
    Constantinople mint, A.D. 383-388
    Rev: GLORIA RO-MANORVM - Emperor, standing on galley, facing right, holding globe; Victory at helm
    CONA in exergue; T in left field
    RIC 79(b)
    21mm, 5.3g
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  17. Alwin

    Alwin Supporter! Supporter


    THEODOSIUS I, Siliqua
    TRPS Treveri, 388-395
    1.66 g - 18.5 mm
    S 4176 - C 57 - RIC IX 94b
    DN THEODOSIVS PF AVG, Pearl-diademed bust right
    VIRTVS ROMANORVM, Roma seated left on cuirass
  18. Alegandron

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

    THEO !

    RI Theodosius I 379-395 CE AE 18mm Concordia


    RI Aelia Flacilla w Theodosius I 373-388 CE 21mm 5.7g Victory Christogram shield Antioch RIC IX 61


    RI Aelia GALLA PLACIDIA Augusta Regent for Valentinian III 423-437 CE d of Theodosius Æ4 Bust E - cross CID visible
    ex: Frank Robinson FSR 102
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  19. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    And ruling in the west alongside Theodosius I in the east was Gratian, for whom the eastern mints also struck coins alongside those of their emperor:

    Gratian, AD 367-383.
    Roman Æ maiorina, 5.90 g, 21.4 mm, 11 h.
    Constantinople, AD 383.
    Obv: D N GRATIA-NVS P F AVG, helmeted, draped and cuirassed bust, right, holding spear and shield.
    Rev: GLORIA RO-MANORVM, Emperor standing facing, head right, on ship, raising right hand. Victory seated at helm. No wreath in field; in exergue, CONΓ.
    Refs: RIC 52a (unlisted officina).
  20. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    That Antioch worn AE2 was among the first ancients I bought in the early 80's. For the records it's ex @Alwin !
    I still have it even though it's now in the "to be sold" tray.

    Theodosius I, AE2 - Antioch mint, 4th officina
    DN THEODOSIVS P F AVG, diademed and draped bust right
    GLORIA ROMANORVM, Emperor standing, holding globe and standard, ANT delta at exergue
    4.25 gr
    Ref : Cohen # 18

    Here are the ones I keep, a siliqua, an AE2 and an AE4, the AE4, despite its small size being the most appealling of the lot

    Theodosius I, Siliqua - Treveri mint, 2nd officina
    D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
    VIRTVS RO MANORVM, Roma seated left, holding Victory and spear, TRPS at exergue
    Ref : Cohen # 57, Roman coins # 4176

    Theodosius I, AE2 - Heraclea mint, 1st officina
    DN THEODOSIVS PF AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
    GLORIA ROMANORVM, Theodosius standing, head right, holding standard and globe. SMHA at exergue
    6,38 gr
    Ref : Cohen # 18, Roman coins #4181, LRBC # 1986

    Theodosius, AE4 - Cyzicus mint, 2nd officina
    DN THEODO SIVS P F AVG, draped and diademed bust of Theodosius right
    SALVS REI PVBLICAE, Victory walking left, dragging captive. Christogram in field, SMKB at exergue
    1.41 gr
    Ref : Cohen #30, LRBC # 2569, Roman coins #4188v, RIC IX Cyzicus 26b

  21. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    My Theodosius I's came in lots and I recall how surprised at how big some of them were - I thought they'd all be the usual tiny LRBs.

    Here is the only big one I can find a photo for:

    Theodosius I - AE VIRTVS lot Jun 2018 (0).jpg

    Theodosius I Æ 2
    (383-388 A.D.)
    Cyzicus mint

    DN THEODOSIVS PF AVG draped, cuirassed bust right / VIRTVS E-XERCITI, Emperor standing facing, foot on captive, holding labarum and globe. Mintmark SMKB.
    RIC IX 25(b)2; LRBC 2565.
    (6.44 grams / 22 mm)
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page