Featured Theodosius, Son of Maurice - Extremely Rare Siliqua - Tricky dating: Coronation or Emergency Issue?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by The Trachy Enjoyer, Aug 17, 2021.

  1. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    Theodosius, with Maurice Tiberius and Constantia. 590-602. AR Half Siliqua
    Light weight issue. Carthage mint. Struck 597-602. Helmeted, draped, and cuirassed bust of Theodosius facing DN TEODOSIVS PP A (Our lord Theodosius, eternal Augustus)/ Crowned and draped busts of Maurice and Constantia facing; long cross potent between; small cross to left and right; AGTI (Emperors) in exergue
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    Theodosius' reign was rather tragic. Although being the first heir born to a reigning emperor in almost 200 years, his sole reign never came to be. Theodosius was elevated to the status of coemperor in the year 590 at the age of 5 or 7. One theory for the dating of these siliqua is that during this coronation period, these siliqua were minted in carthage to celebrate the occasion. Theodosius is shown as emperor on the obverse with his father and mother on the reverse.

    In 602, the general Phocas lead a revolt against the imperial family. Capturing Maurice and most of his children, Phocas had the imperial family executed in front of Maurice before killing the emperor last. Theodosius was able to escape and fled east to Persia. A few days later, however, he too was captured and killed. Alternative dating for these siliqua comes from the British Museum which states, "Rare coins struck at Carthage in his name upon the death of his father, news of Theodosius's simultaneous death not having been received." This would have a loyal Carthage mint producing coinage on behalf of the sole reigning emperor, Theodosius.

    To further complicate the dating of these issues, a man claiming to be Theodosius showed up in Byzantine Mesopotamia and was handed over to the Persian court for aid. Here, enlisting the help of the Shah (who himself was reinstated on the throne by Theodosius' father Maurice decades before), Theodosius fought against Phocas on behalf of the Persians. Normally, such claims of a deceased emperor surviving are dismissed as cynical propaganda attempts. However, this Theodosius-in-exile was actually able to convince multiple Byzantine cities both of his regnal identity and to have them surrender. This unusual success gives credence to the idea that Theodosius might have actually escaped from Phocas' clutches and made his way to the east. The third main theory for dating the siliqua of Theodosius falls during the start of this window with Byzantine Mesopotamia's initial revolt against Phocas before Theodosius-in-exile made his way to Persia.

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    ultprice, seth77, Factor and 14 others like this.
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  3. sand

    sand Well-Known Member

    That's an interesting Byzantine silver coin, with an interesting story.
    "the first heir born to a reigning emperor in almost 200 years"
    That is quite interesting. I didn't know that. Interestingly, the Byzantine Empire did pretty well, during those 200 years.
    I've never seen, a coin of Theodosius son of Maurice Tiberius, before.
    And another NGC photo certificate.:cool:
    I have very few Byzantine silver coins. In fact, I only have one, a John VIII stavraton.
    And no Byzantine gold coins. In fact, no ancient gold coins at all.
    But, I have plenty of Byzantine bronze coins.
    Here is one of my Byzantine bronze coins, the father of Theodosius, the Emperor, Maurice Tiberius.
    Maurice Tiberius 40 Nummus. Sear 532. Minted during regnal year 3, which was approximately 585 AD. Minted in Antioch, which was also called "Theoupolis". Diameter = 28 mm. Weight = 12.7 grams.
  4. Ryro

    Ryro Trying to remove supporter status Supporter

    Very interesting byz silver!:wideyed::bookworm::cigar:

    Here's a busy Byzantine coin of papa:
    Maurice Tiberius
    582-602. Æ half follis (24 mm, 4.27 g, 6 h). Constantinople mint, year 4 = 585/586. D N MAVR TIBER PP AV, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, holding globus cruciger and shield / Large K, ANNO to left, cross above, IIII to right, B in exergue. SBV 497; DOC 49b

    Some people, my wife mainly, call me Maurice...
  5. sand

    sand Well-Known Member

    Here's an interesting Youtube video, which shows a map of the Romans, including the Byzantine Empire, every year from 753 BC to 1479 AD.

    For example, here is a map of the Byzantine Empire, in the year 600 AD.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2021
  6. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    I see that the NGC guarantee does not apply to this coin so we should not require the certificate to spell Constantia correctly. While criticizing the certificate I would ask if the grade F correctly describes the amount of wear on the coin. I would agree that the coin would be fine under old standards when the overall grade would be lowered by the obvious surface problems seen here but I thought NGC only considered wear when assigning the letter grade. Am I wrong? All three faces have intact noses. Maurice even has his distinctive trefoil crown shown. That is one excellent coin even if it is fairly 1/5 for surfaces. Can a coin be EF 4/5 1/5? Maybe that is too liberal. The portrait of Constantia seems especially noteworthy.
    DonnaML, The Trachy Enjoyer and sand like this.
  7. The Trachy Enjoyer

    The Trachy Enjoyer Well-Known Member

    Nice catch. I didn’t even notice NGC misspelled/misidentified this coin. I’m not a big fan of grading for the reasons above. Why would I pay money to receive an inconsistent and inaccurate grade with information which isn’t even correct all the time...
    DonnaML likes this.
  8. Raxc

    Raxc Member

    Very impressive coin. There is only a few varites of Carthage silver that has Theodosius as obverse image and a few Cherson bronze with Theodosius on reverse.

    The Cherson dating is also an issue, some attribute them to Maurice Tiberius' reign, others, to Phocas' reign as an act of resistance. Then to complicate things, there are cherson bronze with the inscription XEPCWNOC, some claims that to be Justin II, Sophia and Tiberius II and others claim Maurice Tiberius, Constantina and Theodosius.

    I guess any coin with Theodosius has some uncertainty that reflects the time.
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