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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Tetrarchy ▸ TheodoraView Options:  |  |  | 

Theodora, Augusta, 2nd Wife of Constantius I, Grandmother of Caesars and Emperors

Constantius I divorced his first wife Helena to marry Theodora, the daughter or step-daughter of the emperor Maximianus. Her grandchildren included Delmatius, Hanniballianus, Constantius Gallus, Julian II, Licinius II and Nepotian. Her coins were struck after Constantine's death and after the massacre of most of her descendants. Although the date of her death is unknown, her title Augusta and her coinage were probably posthumous. The reason for her coinage is uncertain, but it may have been directed by Constantine the Great's will.


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Theodora is often referred to as a stepdaughter of Emperor Maximian by ancient sources, leading to claims by historians Otto Seeck and Ernest Stein that she was born from an earlier marriage between Eutropia, wife of Maximian, and Afranius Hannibalianus. This man was consul in 292 and praetorian prefect under Diocletian. Timothy Barnes challenges this view stating that all "stepdaughter sources" derive their information from the partially unreliable work Kaisergeschichte (written in the 4th century), while more reliable sources refer Theodora as Maximian's natural daughter. He concludes that she was born no later than c. 275 to an unnamed earlier wife of Maximian, possibly one of Hannibalianus' daughters.
RL84220. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Trier 91, LRBC I 129, Hunter V 3, Voetter 4, SRCV V 17502, Cohen VII 4, VF, well centered, green patina, nice portrait, reverse struck with a worn die, edge cracks, weight 1.731 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL MAX THEODORAE AVG, draped bust right, wearing diadem, elaborate hairstyle, pearl necklace; reverse PIETAS ROMANA, Pietas standing facing, head right, holding infant at her breast, TRP and branch in exergue; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


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Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man or woman with pietas respected his or her responsibilities to the gods, family, other people and entities (such as the state), and understood his or her place in society with respect to others.
RL79458. Billon reduced centenionalis, SRCV V 17501, Cohen VII 4, VF, attractive portrait, dark green patina, reverse struck with a worn die, areas of light corrosion, weight 1.693 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL MAX THEODORAE AVG, draped bust right, elaborate hairstyle, pearl necklace; reverse PIETAS ROMANA, Pietas standing facing, head right, holding infant at her breast, •TRP[...] in exergue; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


Click for a larger photo
Theodora is often referred to as a stepdaughter of Emperor Maximian by ancient sources, leading to claims by historians Otto Seeck and Ernest Stein that she was born from an earlier marriage between Eutropia, wife of Maximian, and Afranius Hannibalianus. This man was consul in 292 and praetorian prefect under Diocletian. Timothy Barnes challenges this view stating that all "stepdaughter sources" derive their information from the partially unreliable work Kaisergeschichte (written in the 4th century), while more reliable sources refer Theodora as Maximian's natural daughter. He concludes that she was born no later than c. 275 to an unnamed earlier wife of Maximian, possibly one of Hannibalianus' daughters.
RL79460. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V 4 (also 2nd officina), RIC VIII Trier 91, LRBC I 129, Voetter 4, SRCV V 17502, Cohen VII 4, EF, struck with worn dies, small edge crack, light corrosion, slightly off-center on a broad flan, weight 1.257 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL MAX THEODORAE AVG, draped bust right, wearing diadem, elaborate hairstyle, pearl necklace; reverse PIETAS ROMANA, Pietas standing facing, head right, holding infant at her breast, TRS followed by a branch in exergue; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


Click for a larger photo
Constantius I divorced his first wife Helena to marry Theodora, the daughter and step-daughter of the emperor Maximianus. Her grandchildren included Delmatius, Hanniballianus, Constantius Gallus, Julian II, Licinius II and Nepotian. Her coins were struck after Constantine's death and after the massacre of most of her descendants. Although the date of her death is unknown, her title Augusta and her coinage were probably posthumous. The reason for her coinage is uncertain, but it may have been directed by Constantine the Great's will.
RL79462. Billon reduced centenionalis, SRCV V 17500 ff., Cohen VII 4, gVF, well centered on a tight flan, some die wear, weight 1.645 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (Treveri?) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL MAX THEODORAE AVG, draped bust right, wearing diadem, elaborate hairstyle, and pearl necklace; reverse PIETAS ROMANA, Pietas standing facing, head right, holding infant at her breast, mintmark in exergue (off flan); $80.00 (€71.20)
 







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

FL MAX THEODORA AVG
FL MAX THEODORAE AVG


REFERENCES

Bastien, P. Le Monnayage de l'Atelier de Lyon, De la Réforme Monétaire de Dioclétien à la fermeture temporaire de l'Atelier en 316 (294 - 316). Numismatique Romaine XI. (Wetteren, 1980).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Diocletien à Constantin I (284-337). Moneta 1. (Wetteren, 1995).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine...Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 211).
Sutherland, R.A.C. & C.H.V. Carson. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VI, From Diocletian's reform to the death of Maximinus. (London, 1967).
Voetter, O. Die Münzen der romischen Kaiser, Kaiserinnen und Caesaren von Diocletianus bis Romulus: Katalog der Sammlung Paul Gerin. (Vienna, 1921).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).


Catalog current as of Sunday, April 30, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Theodora