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

Arcadius, 19 January 383 - 1 May 408 A.D.

Flavius Arcadius was the son of Theodosius I and Aelia Flaccilla. Born in 377 A.D., Arcadius was raised to the rank of Augustus by his father at the age of six. Upon the death of Theodosius in 395 A.D., Arcadius was given the Eastern half of the Roman empire while his brother Honorius received the Western half. Arcadius inherited none of his great father's skills and was under the influence of variously Rufinus the Praetorian prefect, Eutropius a courtier eunuch, the Goth Gainas, Empress Eudoxia and another Praetorian prefect Anthemius. His greatest personal accomplishment in life was his beautiful handwriting. Arcadius died in 408 A.D. and was succeeded by his young son Theodosius II. The Roman Empire 395 AD


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In Spring 451, Attila gathered his vassals (Bastarnae, Gepids, Heruls, Ostrogoths, Rugians, Scirians, Thuringians, and others) and smashed through Germany, causing widespread panic and destruction. He arrived in Belgica with an army of 50,000 men and crossed the Rhine. In April and May, Attila destroyed Strasbourg, Worms, Mainz, Trier, Cologne, Reims, Tournai, Cambrai, Amiens and Beauvais. In June, Attila laid siege to Aurelianum (modern Orléans). The Roman magister militum Flavius Aetius moved from Italy into Gaul, and joined forces with the Visigoth king Theodoric I. On 20 June, at the Battle of Châlons, the Roman-Visigoth coalition defeated the Huns. Theodoric I was killed in the encounter. This was the last military victory of the Western Roman Empire.
RL79947. Bronze half centenionalis, RIC X Marcian 543 (R), LRBC II 2249, DOCLR 495, MIRB 29, SRCV V 21395, VF, near full obverse legend, green patina, some earthen deposits, light marks, slight porosity, light earthen deposits, weight 1.410 g, maximum diameter 10.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 24 Aug 450 - 31 Jan 457; obverse D N MARCIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse Marcian's monogram (RIC monogram 2) in wreath, wreath tied at the bottom, cross above, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; rare; $180.00 (€160.20)
 


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In 400, the Great Palace in Constantinople was burned to the ground in riots. In the chaos, the Gothic leader Gainas attempted to evacuate his soldiers out of the city but 7,000 armed Goths were trapped and killed by order of Arcadius. After the massacre, Gainas escaped across the Hellespont, but his rag-tag ad hoc fleet was destroyed by Fravitta, a Gothic chieftain in imperial service. In winter, Gainas led his remaining Goths back to their homeland across the Danube where they were attacked and killed by the Huns. Uldin, the Hun chieftain, sent Gainas' head to Arcadius as a gift.
RL84222. Bronze centenionalis, RIC X Arcadius 60, DOCLR 218, Ratto 115, Tolstoi 1119, LRBC II 2205, SRCV 20829, VF, well centered, a bit rough, weight 2.626 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 395 - 401 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS EXERCITI (courage of the army), emperor standing facing, head right, spear vertical in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, crowned by Victory standing left behind, CONSA in exergue; $40.00 (€35.60)
 


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In 402, Germanic settlers laid siege to Milan. Honorius transferred the capital of the Western Empire from Milan to Ravenna. General Stilicho recalled troops from the frontiers of the Empire to defend Italy. On April 6 he defeated the Visigoths at the Battle of Pollentia. The Visigoths left Italy for Illyricum after Stilicho defeated them at the Battle of Verona in June 403.
RL83774. Bronze centenionalis, RIC X Arcadius 97 (S), LRBC II 2797, SRCV V 20807, aF, porous, weight 2.311 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 401 - 403 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, helmeted, pearl-diademed, and draped bust facing, spear in right hand over right shoulder, shield decorated with cross on left arm; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG (harmony between the two emperors), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, right foot on prow, head right, long scepter vertical in left hand, Victory standing on globe and offering wreath in right hand, ANTΓ in exergue; scarce; $30.00 (€26.70)
 







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

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DNARCAPIVSPFAVG


REFERENCES

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Ranieri, E. La monetazione di Ravenna antica dal V all' VIII secolo: impero romano e bizantino, regno ostrogoto e langobardo. (Bologna, 2006).
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Catalog current as of Thursday, March 30, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Arcadius