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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 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.
RL84416. Silver siliqua, RSC V 27e; RIC IX Treveri, p. 33, 106c (S); Hunter V p. 466, 1; DOCLR 195; SRCV V 20761, VF, toned, bumps and scratches, dark deposits, struck with worn and cracked dies, clipped, weight 1.079 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 0o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 15 May 392 - 17 Jan 395 A.D.; obverse D N ARCAPIVS P F AVG (D in Arcadius appears P-like), pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse VIRTVS ROMANORVM (courage of the Romans), Roma seated left on cuirass, helmeted and draped, Victory on globe offering wreath in Roma's right hand, reversed spear vertical behind in her left hand, TRPS in exergue; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


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The hand of God offering the diadem asserts that Arcadius derived the right to rule directly from the will of God. He claimed the divine right of kings, the political and religious doctrine that royal legitimacy was God's mandate.
RL77946. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Heraclea 22.1, DOCLR 32, LRBC II 1972, SRCV V 20782, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, VF, green patina, weight 3.478 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 25 Aug 383 - 28 Aug 388 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, holding spear and shield, hand of God above offering diadem; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), emperor standing facing, head left, labarum in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield at side, captive kneeling left, T with the bottom curving left in the left field, SMHB in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00


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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 SALE PRICE $36.00


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Large bronze for the period (AE 2).
RL78078. Bronze maiorina, RIC IX Antioch 68(c), DOCLR 179, LRBC II 2781, SRCV V 20796, Tolstoi 90, Ratto 72, VF, well centered, flan cracks, light corrosion, weight 4.663 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 15 May 392 - 17 Jan 395 A.D.; obverse D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), emperor standing facing, head right, vexillum in right hand, globe in left hand, ANTB in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $36.00 SALE PRICE $32.40







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

DNARCADIVSPFAVG
DNARCAPIVSPFAVG


REFERENCES

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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).
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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 Tuesday, February 28, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Arcadius