Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Collection Roman Collection
Catalog Number 2015.7.105
Object Name Coin
Description Roman Imperial coin, bronze, follis. Struck during the first reign of Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius Augustus (Maximian) in Lugdunum (Lyon), 286-305 C.E. The radiate and cuirassed bust of Maximianus faces right with the inscriptions "IMP MAXIMIANVS AVG" surrounding image. On reverse, the standing figure of Genius, the individual instance of a general divine nature that is present in every individual person, place, or thing, faces left and holds a patera with his left hand over an altar and a cornucopia in his right with the inscriptions "GENIO POPVLI ROMANI" surrounding image and a denomination mark in the right field, no mint mark.
Date range: 286-305 C.E.

Remarks: Faced with revolutions early in his reign, Diocletian realized that the Roman the likelihood of the success of local insurrections would be greatly reduced if there were a number of colleagues sharing imperial power. Therefore, Maximianus, a fellow-countryman of the emperor, was placed in charge of the Western half of the Empire while Diocletian administered the Eastern provinces. Seven years later (293) the system of imperial colleagues was further extended with the appointment of two Caesars, each allocated several provinces to govern and defend and thus came into being the organization known as the First Tetrachy.

Maximianus was Caesar under Diocletian from 285-286, his first reign as emperor was as Augustus of the West, with Diocletian as Augustus of the East, from 286-305, until his reluctant first abdication. He proclaimed himself Augustus in 306-308, until he abducted a second time after he was deserted by many of his soldiers and fell into his opponent's hands. His third reign was as self proclaimed Augustus in 310 in rebellion against Constantine the Great, his son-in-law. Later that year he was captured by Constantine and was encouraged by the later to commit suicide which he did in July 310. Maximianus' coins were minted in London, Treveri, Lugdunum, Ticinum, Aquileia, Rome, Carthage, Siscia, Serdica, Thessalonica, Heraclea, Nicomedia, Cyzicus, Antioch, Tripolis, Alexandria, and possibly Clausentum.

Reference: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values", (Vol IV, 2011), pgs 158-163, and primarily fitting the description of #13237.
Title Maximianus
Date 286-305 CE
Material Bronze
Dimensions Dia-1 inches
Credit line Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas
Place of Origin Europe/France/Lyon
Subjects Roman Empire
Ancient Rome