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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


Byzantine Empire, Constans II, September 641 - 15 July 668 A.D., Overstruck on an Arcadius AE2

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Overstruck on an Arcadius AE2! This coin was overstruck on a maiorina of the Roman emperor Arcadius, struck more than 250 years earlier (25 Aug 383 - 28 Aug 388), at Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey).

Only II is visible in the regnal date, which is more common than not for the type. Despite that, references agree this scarce type was only struck in regnal year 3.
BZ85347. Bronze follis, DOC II, part 2, 62; Morrisson BnF 14; Sommer 12.47, SBCV 1002; W -; T -; R -; undertype: RIC X Cyzicus 25(c) (Arcadius, maiorina, 383 - 388 A.D.), Choice gF, well centered, attractive desert patina with red earthen highlighting, extraordinary undertype effects, weight 5.323 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Constantinople mint, 643 - 644 A.D.; obverse EN To?TO NIKA (In this, be victorious), Constans, standing facing, wearing crown and chlamys, long scepter topped with Christogram in right, globus cruciger in left; undertype: legend, VIRTVS EXERCITI, and mintmark, SMKA (Cyzicus mint, 1st officina); reverse large m (40 nummi), ANA above, cross above and below III (regnal year 3) left, NEOς right and curving below, B (2nd officina) below; undertype: legend, D N A[RCADIVS P F AVG] (A with open top resembling H); rare overstrike; $225.00 (200.25)


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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.
SH37579. Gold solidus, RIC X Arcadius 7 (S), Depeyrot 55/1, SRCV V 20706, DOCLR 207- 217 var. (none from 4th officina), Hunter V 33 - 34 var. (same), VF, scratch in obverse field, weight 4.402 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 397 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl diademed, cuirassed, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with a horseman riding down and spearing a fallen enemy; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG ∆ (harmony between the two emperors, 4th officina), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, long scepter in right hand, Victory on globe offering wreath in left hand, right leg bare, right foot on prow, CONOB in exergue; ex CNG 173, Lot: 524 (sold for $957 plus fees); ex Alain Lagrange Collection; scarce; SOLD


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The unusual reverse legend, dedicating the coin to "the new hope of the Republic," would seem better suited to the newly crowned Theodosius. But the legend is unique to Arcadius. How could Arcadius be the "new hope" after he had already ruled for twenty years?
SH90888. Gold solidus, RIC X Arcadius 22 (R3), Depeyrot 54/2 (22 specimens), DOCLR 237 var. (seated on cuirass only), SRCV V 20712, VF, bumps and scrapes, weight 4.392 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 402 - c. 403 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, helmeted bust facing, pearl diademed, cuirassed, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with a horseman riding down and spearing a fallen enemy; reverse NOVA SPES REIPVBLICAE (new hope of the Republic), Victory seated right on cuirass and shield, inscribing XX / XXX on shield resting on her left knee, CONOB in exergue; ex HD Rauch, e-auction 14, part of lot 595; very rare; SOLD







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

DNARCADIVSPFAVG
DNARCAPIVSPFAVG


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).
Grierson, P. & M. Mays. Catalogue of Late Roman Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection. (Washington D.C., 1992).
Hahn, Wolfgang. Moneta Imperii Romani-Byzantinii. (Vienna, 1989).
Kent, J. P. C. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume X, The Divided Empire and the Fall of the Western Parts, AD 395 - 491. (London, 1994).
King, C.E. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
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).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Ranieri, E. La monetazione di Ravenna antica dal V all' VIII secolo: impero romano e bizantino, regno ostrogoto e langobardo. (Bologna, 2006).
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 Wednesday, September 20, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Arcadius