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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.


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

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On 25 August 383, Gratian, age 24, was assassinated at Lugdunum (modern Lyon), leaving a young widow Laeta. Pannonia and Africa maintained their allegiance to co-emperor Valentinian II, now 12, whose mother, Justina, ruled in his name.
RL85610. Bronze half centenionalis, RIC IX Rome 51(a)2 (S), LRBC II 763, SRCV V 20152, Cohen VIII 75, Hunter V -, VF, well centered and struck, brown tone, with bare metal high spots, light marks, minor flan cracks, weight 1.981 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 9 Aug 378 - 25 Aug 383 A.D.; obverse D N GRATIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VOT / XV / MVLT / XXX in four lines within wreath, SMRB exergue; ex Mediterranean Coins (2007); scarce; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00


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Gratian aroused the contempt and resentment of his Roman troops by taking a bodyguard of barbarian Alans and appeared in public in the dress of a Scythian warrior. General Magnus Maximus took advantage of this feeling to raise a revolt in Britain and invaded Gaul with a large army. Gratian, who was then in Paris, was deserted by his troops and fled to Lyon where he was delivered by the governor to rebel general, Andragathius, and assassinated on 25 August 383.
RL86909. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Antioch 46(a)2, LRBC II 2695, SRCV V 20023, Cohen VIII 3, gVF, well centered on a tight flan, nice portrait, desert patina with buff earthen fill, weight 2.431 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) 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), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, globe in right hand, spear in left hand, right leg bare, Θ left, Φ over K at sides, ANTA in exergue; $38.00 SALE PRICE $34.20


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Gratian was the son of Valentinian I by Marina Severa, and was born at Sirmium (now Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) in Pannonia. He was named after his grandfather Gratian the Elder. Gratian was first married to Flavia Maxima Constantia, daughter of Constantius II. His second wife was Laeta. Both marriages remained childless. His stepmother was Empress Justina and his paternal half siblings were Valentinian II, Galla and Justa.
SH46445. Gold solidus, RIC IX Constantinopolis 24 (R2); Depeyrot, p. 236, 21/3; SRCV V 19899, Cohen VIII 28, Choice gF, full circles centering on a nice round flan, light obverse graffiti, reverse mark, weight 4.273 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 24 Aug 367 - 17 Nov 375 A.D.; obverse D N GRATIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINCIPIVM IVVENTVTIS, Gratian standing half-right, nimbate, wearing military dress, spear transverse in right hand, globe in left hand, *CONS followed by wreath in exergue; rare; SOLD







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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 Thursday, February 22, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Gratian