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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Late Empire| ▸ |Theodosius I||View Options:  |  |  | 

Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D.

Theodosius I, also known as Theodosius the Great, was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and western halves of the Roman Empire. The son of the famed general Count Theodosius, he was made emperor in the east by Gratian after the death of Valens at the disastrous Battle of Hadrianople, at a time when the East was ravaged in every direction by the Goths. He defeated them, but the Goths secured control of Illyricum establishing a homeland south of the Danube within the Empire's borders. Theodosius defeated the usurpers Magnus Maximus and Eugenius. He ending Roman slavery and inaugurated a feudal society, a pivotal transformation in European history. He effectively made Nicene Christianity the official state church and fostered the destruction of some prominent pagan temples including the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, the Serapeum in Alexandria, and the Vestal Virgins in Rome. In 393, he banned the Olympics in Ancient Greece. It was not until the end of the 19th century, in 1896, that the Olympics were held again. After his death, Theodosius' sons Arcadius and Honorius inherited the East and West halves respectively, and the Roman Empire was never again re-united.The Roman Empire 395 AD


Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D.

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This type of lead conical bulla seal is commonly attributed to Theodosius I with his sons, Arcadius and Honorius. While the attribution is not certain, there is reason behind it. The form is correct for the period and the type is very common for a seal. Forum has handled a few examples and there are at least four on Coin Archives. The large number of specimens supports attribution to the emperor, in whose name there was a lot of correspondence. Theodosius and his two sons are the best imperial fit for these three facing busts.
AS89555. Lead bulla (tag seal), conical type, commonly attributed to Theodosius I and his sons Arcadius and Honorius, VF, gray and buff surfaces, weight 9.316 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, obverse three bare-headed and draped busts facing, center bust larger, two flanking busts smaller; reverse domed back, pierced for the cord; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 504; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


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On 24 August 358, a little more than 25 years before this coin was struck, Nicomedia was destroyed by a major earthquake followed by a fire. The city was rebuilt, but on a smaller scale.
RL88697. Bronze half centenionalis, RIC IX Nicomedia 45(b)5, LRBC II 2413, SRCV V 20560, Cohen VIII 30, F, scratches, corrosion, a little rough, weight 1.391 g, maximum diameter 12.9 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 28 Aug 388 - 15 May 392 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS REIPVBLICAE (health of the Republic), Victory walking left, trophy of captured arms over shoulder in right, dragging captive with left, cross left, SMNA in exergue; very scarce; $14.00 SALE |PRICE| $12.60


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On 24 November 380, Theodosius I made his adventus, or formal entry, into Constantinople.
SH26925. Gold solidus, RIC IX Constantinopolis 43b (R2), Depeyrot 29/2, SRCV V 20392, Cohen VIII 9, Choice aEF, weight 4.439 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 380 A.D.; obverse D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA AVGGG (harmony among the three emperors), Constantinopolis seated facing on high-backed throne, turreted, looking right, right foot on prow, long scepter vertical in right hand, globe in left hand, CONOB in exergue; rare; SOLD







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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 Saturday, August 24, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Theodosius I