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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Recovery of the EmpireView Options:  |  |  |   

Roman Coins of the Recovery of the Empire

Numerian, February or March 283 - October or November 284 A.D.

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When Augustus ruled Rome, he was not called emperor or king, he was the Princeps, the "first of men." In the empire, the designated successors to the emperor were named caesar and also given the title Princeps Juventutis, the "first of youths." This is the origin of the English word prince, meaning the son of a monarch.
RB71623. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 8 (also 5th officina, unbroken rev. leg.), RIC V, part 2, 366; Venèra IV 418 (24 ex.); Pink VI-2 p. 24; SRCV III 12219; Cohen VI 76, Choice EF, excellent centering, much silvering, some porosity, weight 3.529 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, as caesar, Nov/Dec 282 - Feb/Mar 283 A.D.; obverse M AVR NVMERIANVS NOB C, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PRINCIPI IVVENTVT (to the Prince of Youth), Numerian walking left, baton in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, VXXI in exergue; $300.00 (€267.00)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Adventus reverse types commemorate the emperor's arrival at Rome, either at the commencement of his reign or on his return from a distance. They may also refer to his arrival in some other city or province of the empire. At their accession, emperors were not conveyed in a chariot nor in any other vehicle, but went on horseback or on foot when they made their first public entry into the capital of the Roman world.
RA76334. Billon antoninianus, RIC V, part 2, 904 (S); Cohen VI 69; Pink VI-1, p. 43; Hunter IV 311 var. (1st officina); cf. SRCV III 11195 (Rome mint, etc.), gVF, green patina with some silvering remaining, weight 4.393 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, 2nd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 2nd emission, end 276 - beginning 277 A.D.; obverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), radiate, helmeted, and cuirassed bust left, spear in right hand over right shoulder, oval shield decorated with charging horseman on left arm; reverse ADVENTVS PROBI AVG (the arrival of Emperor Probus), Probus on horseback left, raising right hand in salute, long scepter in left hand, horses' right foreleg raised over bound captive seated left, B in exergue; scarce; $280.00 (€249.20)


Magnia Urbica, Augusta Mid 283 - Mid 285 A.D.

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It was Sulla who in a dream first saw Venus as Venus Victrix (victorious Venus), with the weapons of Mars. He made her to his personal patroness. Pompey was inaugurating the cult of Venus Victrix in Rome. In the night before the battle of Pharsalus 48 B.C. Pompey was dreaming of Venus Victrix - seemingly a lucky sign -, whereas Caesar was sacrificing to Venus Genetrix, but issued as watchword 'Venus Victrix', and defeated Pompey!
RA85025. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV, p. 216, 2; RIC V, part 2, 343 (S); Cohen VI 17; SRCV III 12424, VF, full circles centering, traces of silvering, corrosion, weight 3.845 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Rome mint, 284 - 285 A.D.; obverse MAGN VRBICA AVG, diademed and draped bust right, crescent behind shoulders, hair brushed in straight lines, plait carried up the back to top of head and running under stephane; reverse VENVS VICTRIX (victorious Venus), Venus standing left, helmet in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, grounded shield at feet on left, KAς in exergue; scarce; $270.00 (€240.30)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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In 278, Probus defeated the Alamanni, expelled the Franks from Gaul, reorganized the defenses on the Rhine, resettled the Germanic tribes in the devastated provinces of the Roman Empire, and adopted the titles of Gothicus Maximus and Germanicus Maximus.
RA76279. Silvered antoninianus, Pink VI-1, p. 63; RIC, part 2, V 376 (S) var. (cuirass); Cohen VI 283 var. (same); Hunter IV 131 var. (same, and obv legend); SRCV III 11984 (same), Choice aEF, some mint luster, most silvering remains, fantastic heroic bust, light corrosion, weight 3.341 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 4 emission, 278 A.D.; obverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), radiate bust left from behind, spear left in right hand, back bare but for balteus over right shoulder and rectangular Aegis shield with square corner in on left shoulder; reverse HERCVLI PACIF (to Hercules the pacifier), Hercules standing left, raising branch in extended right, club and Nemean Lion skin in left, VXXT in exergue; very rare; $260.00 (€231.40)


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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In 278, Probus defeated the Alamanni, expelled the Franks from Gaul, reorganized the Roman defenses on the Rhine and resettled the Germanic tribes in the devastated provinces. He adopted the titles Gothicus Maximus and Germanicus Maximus.
RA76944. Silvered antoninianus, Hunter IV 32 (also 3rd officina); RIC V, part 22, 185; Cohen VI 530; Pink VI-1, p. 56-57/4; SRCV III -, Choice EF, near full silvering, superb portrait, light marks, weight 4.097 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, emission 4, 279 A.D.; obverse IMP PROBVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ROMAE AETER (eternal Rome), statue of Roma seated facing inside a hexastyle temple, head left, Victory in right, long scepter in left hand, R pellet in crescent with horns up Γ in exergue; $225.00 (€200.25)


Carus, Early September 282 - c. July or August 283 A.D.

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An interesting reverse inscribed "The Peace of the Army" and displaying the goddess Pax holding a military standard. The message was perhaps analogous to the renaming of the U.S. Department of War to the Department of Defense in 1949.
RB71580. Billon antoninianus, Cohen VI 56; Pink VI-2, p. 26; RIC V 75 var. (no drapery); Hunter III 14 var. (slight drapery); SRCV III 12175 var. (obv. legend), Choice aEF, near full silvering, excellent centering and strike, unusual bust, a few small encrustations, very light corrosion, weight 3.312 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, Oct - Dec 282; obverse IMP CARVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PAX EXERCITI, Pax standing slightly left, head left, raising olive branch in right hand, standard vertical behind in left hand, PXXI in exergue; rare bust variant; $200.00 (€178.00)


Carinus, First Half 283 - Spring 285 A.D.

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When this coin was struck in 282, Carinus was still the Prince of Youth, full of promise. Later he would be remembered as one of the worst Roman emperors. This infamy is, however, likely part fiction, supported by Diocletian himself. For example, the (unreliable) Historia Augusta has Carinus marrying nine wives, while neglecting to mention his only real wife, Magnia Urbica, by whom he had a son, Nigrinianus. After his death, Carinus' memory was officially condemned in the Roman proceeding known as Damnatio Memoriae. His name, along with that of his wife, was erased from inscriptions.
RS71588. Billon antoninianus, Venèra IV 390 (LV 4227); RIC V, part 2, 182; Cohen VI 97; Hunter III 71; Pink VI-2, p. 28; SRCV III 12302, Choice EF, most silvering remains, well centered and struck, nice portrait, some porosity, weight 4.627 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 2nd issue as caesar, 282 - 283 A.D.; obverse M AVR CARINVS NOB CAES, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINCIPI IVVENTVT (to the Prince of Youth), Carinus standing left, globe in extended right hand, spear vertical behind in left hand, bound captive seated left at feet on left, QXXI in exergue; $200.00 (€178.00)


Aurelian, August or September 270 - October or November 275 A.D.

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In 274, Rome greeted Aurelian as Restitutor Orbis ("Restorer of the World") and accorded him a magnificent triumph (victory procession), which was graced by his captives Tetricus I and his son Tetricus II. Aurelian's conquests of the Palmyran Empire and the Gallic Empire reunited the Roman Empire.
RA83500. Billon denarius, MER-RIC 1854, RIC V 73, Venèra 1503, BnF XII 260, Cohen VI 257, Choice VF, excellent centering, silvering, weight 2.756 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 11th issue, early - Sep 275 A.D.; obverse IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVG (the victory of the Emperor), Victory walking left, wreath extended in right, palm frond in left, bound captive in Parthian garb seated left on left at Victory's feet, head turned back looking at Victory, B in exergue; scarce; $200.00 (€178.00)


Palmyrene Empire, Aurelian and Vabalathus, 270 - 275 A.D.

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Vabalathus, son of the Palmyran king Odenathus and Zenobia, was declared Augustus but Aurelian defeated his forces. He and Zenobia were then taken to Rome where they lived in great comfort. The abbreviated titles of Vabalathus most likely were, Vir Clarissimus Romanorum (or Rex) Imperator Dux Romanorum. The portraits of Vabalathus are interesting because they display both the Roman laurel and the Hellenistic royal diadem.
RA85177. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3106, BnF XII 1246, Göbl MIR 353a4, RIC V 381, Cohen VI 1, SRCV III 11718, Hunter IV -, Choice EF, bold full circles strike, weight 3.563 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, Nov 270 - Mar 272 A.D.; obverse IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust of Aurelian right, from the front, ∆ below; reverse VABALATHVS V C R IM D R, laureate, diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust of Vabalathus right, from behind; $190.00 (€169.10)


Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

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The officina is an interesting notation of five, using U instead of the usual V or E. This notation only became common on Byzantine coins, at a much later date. RIC 163 also records officina six for the type, written in Latin, VI. MER-RIC lists this type as sixth officina (UI).
SH77276. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3449, RIC V 163, BnF XII 1704, Venèra 1928 - 1949, SRCV III 11812, Choice EF, excellent portrait, well centered, near full silvering, weight 4.052 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 345o, 5th officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 2nd emission, early-mid 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRIT PERP (everlasting security), Securitas standing left, raising right hand to head, resting left elbow on column, U in exergue; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; $180.00 (€160.20)




  







Catalog current as of Tuesday, June 27, 2017.
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Recovery of the Empire