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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Late Empire ▸ GratianView Options:  |  |  | 

Gratian, 24 August 367 - 25 August 383 A.D.

Gratian, son of Valentinian I, became the sole ruler of the Western empire in 375 A.D., and after the catastrophic defeat of the Roman forces at Hadrianopolis, the Eastern empire also came under his rule. To better cope with the empire, he elevated general Theodosius to the Eastern throne. Because of a shortage of coinage to meet the payroll, Gratian was abandoned by his troops during the revolt of Magnus Maximus. He was overtaken and killed while fleeing to the Alps.


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In England, where many siliquae are found clipped, silver Roman coins apparently continued to circulate long after the Empire abandoned the island. Clipping may not have been primarily intended to deviously obtain a little silver. Clipping may have actually been performed primarily to make the weight and value equivalent to contemporary coins in the medieval period.
RL84419. Silver siliqua, SRCV V 19966 ff. (various mints), RSC V 87 (same), aVF, clipped, weight 0.946 g, maximum diameter 12.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (mintmark off flan) mint, c. 375 - 379 A.D.; obverse D N GRATIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VRBS ROMA (City of Rome), Roma seated left on cuirass, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, reversed spear behind in left; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


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On 19 January 379, Emperor Gratian elevated Flavius Theodosius at Sirmium, giving him the title Augustus with power over all the eastern provinces. Theodosius came to terms with the Visigoths and settled them in the Balkans as military allies (foederati).
RL77942. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Constantinopolis 52(a)3, LRBC II 2150, SRCV V 19997, Cohen VIII 25, gF, well centered, a little rough, weight 5.839 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 19 Jan 379 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, helmeted, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, transverse spear in right hand, shield on left arm; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), emperor standing left on galley, head right, wearing helmet and military garb, paludamentum flying behind, raising right hand, Victory seated steering at stern, wreath left, CONB in exergue; larger bronze for the period; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00


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Gratian was the son of Emperor Valentinian by Marina Severa, and was born at Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) in Pannonia. He was named after his grandfather Gratian the Elder.
RL84221. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Siscia 15(c)xi (R), LRBC II 1310, SRCV V 20108, Cohen VIII 34, VF, dark blue-green patina, weight 2.401 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 24 Aug 367 - 17 Nov 375 A.D.; obverse D N GRATIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE (security of the Republic), Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, D left, *ASISC in exergue; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00


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They look similar, but there is a significant physical difference between angels and Victory. Angels are all male. Victory (Nike) is female. On Byzantine coinage, the male angel replaced the female Victory after the reunion with Rome was concluded on 28 March 519 A.D.
RL84218. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Rome 24(c)xvi (S), LRBC II 726, SRCV V 20106, Cohen VIII 34, VF, well centered, green patina, scratches, edge crack, weight 2.035 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 24 Aug 367 - 17 Nov 375 A.D.; obverse D N GRATIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed draped and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Emperor holding labarum (Chi-Rho standard) in left and dragging kneeling barbarian captive with hands bound behind his back, SM leaf RP in exergue; $28.00 SALE PRICE $25.20


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In 382, Gratian appropriated the income of the Pagan priests and Vestal Virgins, forbade legacies of real property to them and abolished other privileges belonging to the Vestals and to the pontiffs. He confiscated the personal possessions of the colleges of Pagan priests, which also lost all their privileges and immunities. Gratian declared that all of the Pagan temples and shrines were to be confiscated by the government and that their revenues were to be joined to the property of the royal treasury.
BB83811. Bronze centenionalis, SRCV V 20014, aF, edge cracks, weight 0.991 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N GRATIANVS P F AVG, pearl diademed draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVGGG (harmony among the three emperors), Roma seated facing, head right, spear vertical in right hand, globe in left hand, right leg bare, uncertain mintmark in exergue; $1.99 (1.77)







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

DNGRATIANVSAVG
DNGRATIANVSAVGGAVG
DNGRATIANVSPFAVG


REFERENCES

Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 8: Nepotian to Romulus Augustus, plus tesserae & cotorniates. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Constantin II Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
Hahn, Wolfgang. Moneta Imperii Romani-Byzantinii. (Vienna, 1989).
King, C.E. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Pearce, J.W.E. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume IX, Valentinian I - Theodosius I. (London 1933).
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. V: The Christian Empire...Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Sunday, April 23, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Gratian