Object Record

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Collection Roman Collection
Catalog Number 2015.7.103
Object Name Coin
Description Roman Imperial coin, bronze, follis. Struck during the reign of Gaius Aurelius Valerius Dicoletianus Augustus in Alexandria, 284-305 C.E. The laureate head of Diocletian faces right in profile, on obverse with the inscriptions "IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P F 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 in his left hand and a cornucopia in his right with the inscriptions "GENIO POPVLI ROMANI" surrounding image, "XXI-B" on left and right of image, and "ALE" in the exergum (denoting place of origin, Alexandria 294-295 CE). Reverse slightly off struck.
Date range: 295-305 C.E.

Remarks: Diocletian instituted a number of coin reforms. Coins resembling anotoniniani continued to be struck but they contained no trace of silver, whereas the pre-reform antoniniani contained 4% of that metal. The absence of the XXI mark on these post-reform radiates and the transference of this mark to the follis, which contained a small percentage of silver, lends weight to the theory that the true meaning of the XXI mark, introduced by Aurelian, is 20 parts of copper and 1 part of silver. Diocletian's 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), #12799, pg 109.
Title Diocletian
Date 295-305 CE
Material Bronze
Dimensions Dia-1 inches
Credit line Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas
Place of Origin Africa/Egypt/Alexandria
Subjects Roman Empire
Ancient Rome