Featured Three nice maiorinae from 392-395

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by seth77, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    These AE2 maiorinae are the last large Imperial denomination before the reform of Anastasius in the late 490s. Unlike the coinage of Cherson or the pre-Visigothic maiorinae from Septimania and Barcino, which are by definition local in scope and purpose, these Imperial maiorinae were legal tender throughout the Empire to sometime past the mid 390s or even to 400, pushed to be hoarded by the less worthy money issued after the death of Theodosius I and the problems that would pile up by 400. They are also extremely common (GLORIA ROMANORVM Emperor standing facing with standard and globe, Esty Type 41), being minted from six mints for three to four years for all three emperors: Theodosius and his heirs Arcadius and Honorius.

    The purpose of this post is to show three coins of great quality, one for each member of the Theodosian dynasty, spectacular each in its own right. I have picked Nicomedia products, because the style of Nicomedia die-cuttership is particular and almost recognizable throughout the 4th century. But in the 390s there is an epitome of the specifically moon-shaped emperor faces, as it was the tendency there.

    Coins are:

    1. Theodosius I AE2 22mm 5.58g SMNA in exergue RIC 46a with light green, glossy, luscious and homogeneous patina:


    Arcadius AE2 21mm 5.10g SMNB in exergue RIC 46b with dark green and blueish heavy encrustations over black metal details:


    Honorius AE2 22mm 5.66g SMNΓ in exergue RIC 46c with toned metal color and very clear devices, which makes it really easy to follow the details of the emperor's military attire:


    This entire post cost 80EUR, which goes to show at the same time how little price the bulk of collectors put on late roman copper, oftentimes regardless of condition, and how lucky late roman copper enthusiasts, collectors and numismatists are because of that.

    This thread is an open invitation to pile late roman AE2s and AE1s free for all.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
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  3. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    I have a couple of AEIIs in my collection that are worth sharing:
    Theodosius I ("the Great")
    Augustus, A,D, 379-395
    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

    There are many smaller examples of this reverse type. The larger sized ones are less common:
    Aelia Flaccilla
    Augusta, A.D. 383-386
    AE II
    Heraclea mint, A.D. 378-383
    Rev: SALVS REI-PVBLICAE - Victory seated, facing right, writing Chi-Rho on shield resting on column
    SMHA in exergue
    RIC 13
    22mm, 6.3g.

    Magnus Maximus
    Augustus, A.D. 383-388
    AE II
    Arlate mint, A.D. 383-388
    Rev: REPARATIO REIPVB - Emperor, standing, facing left, holding Victory on globe and raising kneeling turreted woman
    PCON in exergue
    RIC 26(a)
    22mm, 4.2g.
  4. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    The Theodosius I Emperor on galley is especially nice.
  5. Alegandron

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

    AND... THE, FANS, GO, WILD!!!

    RI Julian II CE 360-363 AE1 maiorina Diademed R - SECVRITAS REIPVB 2 stars Apis Bull stg R ANT-Gamma 2 palms ANTIOCH RIC 217 LRBC 2641

    RI Verina w Leo I AE2 20mm 457-475 Victory inscribing CHI RHO - RIC X 656 R3

    That's all I got! :)
  6. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Arcadius, A.D. 395-408
    AE22, 5.7 grams, Antioch mint

    Obverse: D N ARCADI-VS P F AVG
    Rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right

    Emperor standing facing, head right, holding standard and globe

    Mintmark: ANT

    Reference: RIC IX Antioch 68C, pg. 294


  7. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    I figured collectors would not flock to vibe with a(nother) post about late Romans. I was actually surprised when so many went with my last post raising awareness on the coinage of Theodosius I.

    Keeping with the general era, here is the AE2 coinage for Arcadius in 383, after he was raised to Augustus by his father and the dynastic ambitions of Theodosius became evident:

    AE2 24mm, 3.48g copper maiorina, minted at Constantinople, cca. 383(?)
    DN ARCAD - IVS PF AVG; pearl-diademed, draped cuirassed bust r. holding forward-pointing spear and shield, Hand of God above holding wreath.
    GLORIA RO - MANORVM; Emperor standing facing, head to left, holding standard in right hand and resting left hand on shield; to his left kneeling captive head to right.
    CONΓ in exergue
    RIC IX Constantinople 53a, C

    Notes: This type was introduced for Arcadius only, soon after his proclamation as Augustus by his father Theodosius I in January 383. The dynastic tendency shown by Theodosius and the issuing of new and distinct AE2 types, while also discontinuing the Western types introduced by Gratian showed a clear move towards the independence of the East under the new Theodosian dynasty.

    Although considered common in RIC, this earlier variation with no field marks is scarce, possibly on the account that it was minted only up until the death of Gratian (late August 383) or soon after. The later issue (RIC 80) adds field marks.

    From an old collection, one of the coins from Andre Cichos that I was so surprised to receive this week.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  8. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    As I recall (though my memory is a bit sketchy on this), Grierson says the AE2 denomination from this period is a double centenionalis, with the AE3 being the centenionalis. Do you agree with that regimentation?

    Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 9.50.32 AM.jpg

    Valentinian II:
    Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 9.50.48 AM.jpg

    Magnus Maximus:
    Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 9.51.05 AM.jpg

    Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 9.51.35 AM.jpg

    I am thinking I need some more AE2's. I love them, thanks for the thread!
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  9. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    When I grow up, I want to have a Magnus Maximus AE2 minted by Theodosius I at Constantinople.
  10. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    @Severus Alexander I am not sure if we have different denominations that are in a relation to each other or just just a colloquialism "maiorina" and a technical term and the name of a denomination "centenionalis" (100 to something). One could be the popular name for the other and/or the popular name assigned to any base metal coinage that was large and heavy at the time, regardless if it was the centenionalis proper, a multiple of the centenionalis, or even related to the centenionalis at all.

    The reason why I call these maiorinae is that they were the largest and heaviest copper-based coinage of the Empire at that time and they seem to have remained in the collective mentality in different places -- such as the Narbonensis and Barcinonensis or Cherson -- as a coinage of some relative value in itself even after 400.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
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  11. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I guess I should post my Cherson examples:

    Theodosius II:
    Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 2.44.21 PM.jpg

    Valentinian III:
    Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 2.44.38 PM.jpg

    Leo I:
    Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 2.44.50 PM.jpg

    A bit of tooling on the first and third, sadly - quite common for these.
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  12. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    I have just posted some on @Valentinian 's thread, so I'll just add the bulkiest and weirdest flan possible for an AE2 of Theodosius II, local coinage of/for Cherson:


    And two pre-Visigothic AE2s from Barcino and thereabouts ca. 400-415(?):

    1. 19mm 2.72g copying the REPARATIO REIPVB type, that saw in Septimania - Aquitaine - Narbonensis - Barcino areas more circulation than just during the later part of Gratian's reign, as the type was continued by Magnus Maximus to around 387:


    2. AE2 22mm 5.01g possibly copying the maiorinae of Maximus of Barcino (409-411), which in turn were based on the two AE2 types of Magnus Maximus: REPARATIO REIPVB and VICTORIA AVGG (387); this is an extremely well-crafted unofficial variation of the Maximus coinage, up to the bearded bust and the SM[BA] mintmark but, unfortunately, illiterate:


    These were in use in Septimania and Narbonensis, due to lack of official coinage and faltering Imperial administration, when the Visigoths arrived there on the Mediterranean coast around 415. And with them, an ad-hoc copper-silver system on Roman basis was put into place when the small Visigothic siliquae were minted at first for the break-away rebel Priscus Attalus and then for the rightful emperor Honorius by the Visigothic interests. My post on the Visigothic siliquae of Septimania can be read here.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
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  13. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    More Western AE2s:


    AE2 23mm, 4.02g copper maiorina, minted at Arelate-Constantiana, cca. autumn to end of 384.
    DN MAG MAXI - MVS PF AVG; pearl-diademed, draped cuirassed bust r.
    VICTORI - A AVGG; Emperor standing front, face left, holding Victory on globe and standard.
    TCON in exergue
    cf RIC IX Arelate 27b

    Notes: Naming two Augusti and being an AE2 maiorina rather than the smaller AE4 denominations from the later part of the 380s, this type is likely referring to the rapprochement between Maximus and Theodosius in the autumn of 384, when the two emperors recognized each other for a brief period. The type was likely introduced to circulate in parallel with the REPARATIO REIPVB, that had been introduced around 380 by Gratian, possibly to mark the recognition and understanding between the two emperors (AVGG). As the understanding did not last, this type was very soon discarded, possibly before 385.

    A scarce type with an unlisted officina. Two other specs recorded in BND.
  14. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    One of my favorite LRB AE IIs:

    Aelia Flaccilla, AD 379-386.
    Roman AE Maiorina (AE 2), 4.78 gm, 21.55 mm, 6 h.
    Antioch, AD 383-386.
    Obv: AEL FLACCILLA AVG, diademed and draped bust, right.
    Rev: SALVS REIPVBLICAE, Victory seated r., inscribing chi-rho onto shield set on cippus. T in field r, ANTЄ in exergue.
    Refs: RIC 61.3; Sear 20616; Cohen 4; c.f. LRBC II 2747.
  15. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    let me introduce again

    Valens, Eastern Roman Empire (AD 364-378). AE2 (22mm, 4.43 gm, 5h). NGC XF★ 5/5 - 3/5. Trier, AD 367-375. D N VALEN-S P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Valens right, seen from front / GLORI-A ROMA-NORVM, campgate with six rows, two turrets, no doors; S above, SMTR in exergue. RIC IX 29b.

    Valens campgate.jpg
  16. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    Great coins, @seth77 !

    My own Arcadius AE2 from Nicomedia is in an attractive state of preservation and shows the skilled engraving you mentioned in the original post. The reverse unfortunately is a little off center, but I like the coin nonetheless:

    Rom -Arcadius, AE2, stehender Kaiser, Gloria Romanorum.png
    Arcadius, Roman Empire, AE2, 392–395 AD, Nicomedia mint. Obv: D N ARCADI-VS P F AVG; bust of Arcadius, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed, r. Rev: GLORIA ROMANORVM; emperor, head r., standing facing, holding standard and globe. Ref: RIC IX Nicomedia 46B. 21.5mm, 5.23g.
  17. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  18. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Two of the same reverse type, Siscia and Arles

    I forgot I have a Gratian AE 2:

    Gratianus AE 2, 379-383, 23mm 6.2 grams

    Obverse: D N GRATIANVS P F AVG - Diademed bust right, draped and cuirassed

    Reverse: REPARATIO REIPVB - Gratian standing front, head left, raising kneeling, turreted female holding Victory on a globe.

    Reference: RIC IX 26a

    Mint: Siscia



    And Magnus Maximus:

    Magnus Maximus, 383 - 388 A.D.

    AE 2, 24mm 5.7 grams

    Diademed head right, draped and cuirassed

    Maximus standing left, crowned by Victory, raising kneeled, turreted figure of a woman

    Mintmark: TCON (Arles)

    Reference: RIC IX, 26A, Sear 20650


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  19. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Valentinian II image(1).jpg
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  20. Brian Bucklan

    Brian Bucklan Well-Known Member

    Here's a big Jovian Ae1 (28mm, 8.1gms):
    Obv: DN IOVIANVS PF PP AVG; Bust right
    Rev: VICTORIA ROMANORVM; Emperor standing, head right, holding a standard and crowning victory, TESA in exergue
  21. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member



    and ・TESΓ・

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