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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Crisis and Decline| ▸ |Maximinus I||View Options:  |  |  |   

Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - late May 238 A.D.

Maximinus I was a giant of a man, and possessed of natural fighting ability. He rose through the ranks of the Roman army during the reign of Severus Alexander. After a successful governorship in Mesopotamia, he was sent to the Rhine frontier to oversee the regions army recruitment levies. In 235 A.D. he was proclaimed emperor by troops offended by Severus Alexander's peace loving character, and the galling fact that his mother, Julia Mamaea, was the true power in the empire. Maximinus campaigned with great success against the Germanic tribes, but his great cruelty towards the nobility whom he hated, and general ruthlessness inspired several rebellions, notably the failed Gordian rebellion and then the rebellion of Balbinus and Pupienus. Maximinus marched against the latter two, and during the abortive siege of Aquileia his troops deserted and murdered him.


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Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing. She was the goddess of health, cleanliness and sanitation. While her father was more directly associated with healing, she was associated with the prevention of sickness and the continuation of good health. Her name is the source of the word "hygiene."
SH34805. Orichalcum dupondius, RIC IV 65, Cohen IV 88, Hunter III 35, SRCV III -, VF, weight 13.826 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 45o, Rome mint, 235 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SALVS AVGVSTI (to the health of the Emperor), Salus seated left, left elbow resting on throne, with right holding patera and feeding snake coiled around altar, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; scarce denomination for the reign and period; SOLD


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On 18 March 235 Legio XXII Primigenia mutinied and murdered Severus Alexander and his mother Julia Mamaea near Moguntiacum (modern Mainz). On 20 March, Maximinus Thrax, age 62, was proclaimed emperor. He had a Gothic father and an Alan mother. Maximinus a Thracian, was the first foreigner to hold the Roman throne.
SH26623. Silver denarius, Alram MIR 13-3B, RIC IV 16, RSC III 99, BMCRE VI 25, Choice near Mint State, full circle centering, mint luster, weight 2.873 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 3rd emission, 1 Jan - summer 236 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory advancing right, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond over shoulder in left; SOLD


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On 18 March 235 Legio XXII Primigenia mutinied and murdered Severus Alexander and his mother Julia Mamaea near Moguntiacum (modern Mainz). On 20 March, Maximinus Thrax, age 62, was proclaimed emperor. He had a Gothic father and an Alan mother. Maximinus a Thracian, was the first foreigner to hold the Roman throne.
RS89749. Silver denarius, RIC IV 1, RSC III 46, BMCRE VI 11, Hunter III 1, SRCV III 8311, Choice EF, masterpiece portrait, attractive toning, well centered and struck, minor edge split, weight 2.419 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 20 March - Dec 235 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P P P, Maximinus standing half-left, raising right hand in salute, reversed spear/scepter vertical behind in left hand, flanked in each side by a standard; SOLD


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In 237, Maximinus Thrax campaigned on the rivers Danube and Rhine in Germania, defeating the Alemanni. He never visited Rome. He taxed the rich aristocracy heavily and engendered such hostility among them that they plotted against him.
RS79612. Silver denarius, Alram MIR 28-3, RIC IV 4, RSC III 56, BMCRE VI 157, SRCV III 8312 var. (no GERM), Hunter III -, Choice EF, excellent portrait, mint luster, excellent centering and strike, minor die wear, weight 3.401 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 5th emission, 237 A.D.; obverse MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse P M TR P II COS P P (high priest, holder of Tribunitian power for two years, consul, father of the country), Maximinus standing half-left, raising right hand, spear in left, flanked by a standard on each side; SOLD


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An ironic reverse legend for an emperor murdered by his own troops not long after this coin was minted.
SH48398. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 43, Cohen IV 10, BMCRE VI 63, SRCV III 8327, VF, well centered, nice patina, flan crack, typical squared flan, weight 23.158 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, die axis 30o, Rome mint, 235 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse FIDES MILIT (the loyalty of the soldiers), Fides standing half-left, military standard in each hand, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field at center; SOLD


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An ironic reverse legend for an emperor murdered by his own troops not long after this coin was minted.
SH59956. Silver denarius, RIC IV 7A, BMCRE VI 58, RSC III 7a, Hunter III -, SRCV III -, EF, toned, weight 2.739 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 236 - 238 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse FIDES MILIT (the loyalty of the soldiers), Fides standing sightly left, flanked by a military standard in each hand; sharp, superb portrait; SOLD


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Maximinus' first campaign was against the Alamanni, whom he defeated despite heavy Roman casualties. After the victory, he took the title Germanicus Maximus. The Historia Augusta, mentions that Maximinus marched north from Moguntiacum (today's Mainz) about trecenta (300) to quadringenta (400) Roman miles. Since this was thought to be impossible, the passage was often "corrected" to read triginta (30) to quadraginta (40) Roman miles. New evidence indicates Maximinus did launch a campaign deep into Germania and defeated a Germanic tribe in a battle at the Harzhorn pass in Northern Germany. The site of the battle was discovered in 2000 by hobby archaeologists using metal detectors. The latest coins found at the site to date were struck under Severus Alexander. By 2008 it was clear from the artifacts discovered that this was the site of a battle involving a large number of Roman troops. The current hypothesis is that the Roman troops were on their way back from the North German Plain. They found the Harzhorn pass blocked by a large number of Germans, and successfully fought their way through by using their superior technology, Roman artillery.
SH56765. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 90; BMCRE VI 194; Cohen 109, aVF, green patina, weight 23.150 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jan 236 - Apr 238 A.D.; obverse MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG GERM, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VICTORIA GERMANICA (victory over the Germans), Victory standing half left, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond transverse in left, captive seated left at feet on left, S - C (senatus consulto) flanking across field; SOLD


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An ironic reverse legend for an emperor murdered by his own troops not long after this coin was minted.
RS87648. Silver denarius, RIC IV 7A, BMCRE VI 58, RSC III 7a, Hunter III -, SRCV III -, Choice EF, superb portrait, well centered on a broad flan, mint luster, tiny edge chip on obv., weight 2.017 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 236 - 238 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse FIDES MILIT (the loyalty of the soldiers), Fides standing sightly left, head left flanked on each side by a military standard, one held in each hand; SOLD


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On 10 January 236, Pope Fabian succeeded Pope Anterus as the twentieth pope. He is famous for the miraculous nature of his election - a dove is said to have descended on his head to mark him as the Holy Spirit's unexpected choice to become the next pope. Before the end of the year, he sent seven missionaries to Gaul to evangelize in the large cities. Most of his papacy enjoyed amicable relations with the imperial government. Although it is probably false, he is said to have baptized the emperor Philip the Arab and his son. He died a martyr at the beginning of the Decian persecution, and is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church. Fabian's feast day is commemorated on January 20, the same as Saint Sebastian, in whose church his sepulcher lies in Rome.
SH63893. Silver denarius, RIC IV 16, RSC III 99, BMCRE VI 25, EF, weight 2.981 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 235 - 236 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory advancing right, raising wreath in right hand, palm frond over shoulder in left; SOLD


Click for a larger photo
Salus was the Roman goddess of health. She was Hygieia to the Greeks, who believed her to be the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing, and Epione, the goddess of soothing of pain. Her father Asclepius learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RS15362. Silver denarius, RSC III 85, RIC IV 14, BMCRE VI 21, SRCV III 8304, aEF, near full centering, great portrait, weight 3.062 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Mar 235 - Jan 236 A.D.; obverse IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse SALVS AVGVSTI (to the health of the Emperor), Salus seated left, from patera feeding snake coiled around altar, left elbow resting on back of throne; SOLD




  




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|OBVERSE |LEGENDS

IMPMAXIMINVSPIVSAVG
MAXIMINVSPIVSAVGGERM


REFERENCES|

Alram, A. Die Mnzprgung der Kaiser Maximinus I Thrax (235 / 238). (Wien, 1989).
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 4: Septimius Severus to Maximinus Thrax. (Paris, 1884).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & C. Sutherland. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol IV, From Pertinax to Uranius Antoninus. (London, 1986).
Mattingly, H. & R. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. 6: Severus Alexander to Pupienus. (London, 1963).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. III. Pertinax to Aemilian. (Oxford, 1977).
Seaby, H. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume III, Pertinax to Balbinus and Pupienus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values III, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Thursday, December 5, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Maximinus I