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A.D. 388 and the End of Empire


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Background:

In 387, Magnus Maximus used a barbarian invasion of Raetia to move troops past the armies of Valentinian II into northern Italy. Maximus's forces quickly turned on Valentinian's troops and seized the mountainous passes into the Italian peninsula, thus securing them for the main body of Maximus's army. The move was relatively bloodless and had accomplished in a month what Theodosius I and St. Ambrose had worked for four years to prevent; the complete domination of the Western Roman Empire by Magnus Maximus. Valentinian II and his court managed to escape the clutches of Magnus Maximus narrowly and fled to Thessalonika under the protection of the Eastern Emperor Theodosius I. Theodosius I, for his part, was probably as surprised by Maximus's quick advance as Valentinian II was. After taking the Western Roman Empire, Maximus sent envoys to Theodosius I arguing that he was the legitimate Orthodox Emperor of the West. Theodosius seems to have vacillated between inaction and mobilizing for war but was finally wooed into action by a marriage alliance to Valentinian II's sister, Galla. Magnus Maximus, for the most part, seemed to have wanted to avoid a major confrontation with Theodosius I, perhaps out of the memory of the disastrous civil war between Magnentius and Constantius II a few decades before. However, he nonetheless made ready to march east. After securing Italy and North Africa, Maximus finally moved east after 18 months of complete control of the Western Roman Empire.

 

Gameplans:

Maximus's plan for victory seemed rather conservative compared to his adversary: he would march into Illyria and besiege the local settlements until Theodosius's army arrived; then, he would defeat the latter in a pitched battle and move on from there. Theodosius I, however, was the more creative of the two Emperors and sent false signals that he was planning an invasion of Italy via the sea to distract Maximus. In addition, while the main body of the Eastern Roman army and allies would be under Theodosius's command, a smaller but still significant army would be led by the Romanized Frank, Arbogast, with the intention to flank Maximus's army and head to Trier(Maximus's capital). 

 

So Begins the Bloody Business of the Day:

Both armies had the same approximate strength, and a large contingent of German foederati and vassal troops was also brought. Some estimates put the total troop numbers at around 80,000-90,000 soldiers. Magnus Maximus had with him large contingents of the field armies from Britannia, Gaul, and Hispania, along with large amounts of Alemanni allies. On the other hand, Theodosius I had the field armies of the Balkans and Orient at his disposal, along with many Hunnic and Alani mercenaries and a large contingent of Gothic foederati.

Maximus marched his forces into Illyria and captured Siscia, while Theodosius marched west to meet him. Maximus's and Theodosius's armies met for battle on the Sava river. The action started when Theodosius's mounted mercenary units began crossing the river; Maximus's troops were taken by surprise by the crossing and were severely mauled in the initial skirmish. However, his forces managed to extract themselves from the river in one piece and set up camp away from the crossing. The next day both forces met for a pitched battle that lasted all day long. Eventually, Theodosius's horse archers made the difference, and Maximus's troops were beaten back. To prevent an all-out rout, Maximus ordered his brother, Marcellinus, to conduct a counterattack to allow the army's remnants to escape back to Italy. It is unknown how many Romans and their allies died during the battle. Still, the casualties suffered by the gothic contingents were enough for a revolt to break out against Theodosius I in 390, led by a certain Goth named Alaric. Maximus eventually made his way back to the city of Aquileia, where he received news that the Franks had taken advantage of his redeployment of the field armies on the Rhine and had conducted a series of raids near Cologne. 

From Bad to Worse:

While Maximus was being pursued to Aquileia, the Franks, under a warlord named Marcomer, began a series of raids on the Rhine frontier. The raids were severe enough that there was a genuine fear that the Franks would sack the city of Colonia Agrippina(Cologne). To Maximus's credit, he didn't remove all military formations from the Rhine, as he had left the generals Nanninus and Quintinus with a small contingent of crack troops from the Ioviani legion. The generals caught a large contingent of the raiders on their way back across the Rhine river and massacred them. However, Quintinus, going against the advice of Nanninus, launched a punitive expedition against the Franks that ended in disaster and resulted in the deaths of many elite Roman soldiers. 

From Death to Founding a Nation: 

Theodosius I eventually tracked Maximus to the Italian city of Aquileia and began a siege of the city. Demoralized by the defeat on the Sava river and with news of the Frankish raids reaching the city, Maximus's soldiers gave him up to Theodosius I in chains. Maximus is said to have begged for mercy but received none. However, his death by beheading was relatively quick and painless, which counts for something. Shortly after the death of Magnus Maximus, Arbogast arrived at Trier to tie up the last loose end; he had Flavius Victor strangled and replaced Nanninus and Quintinus with the generals Charietto and Syrus. With the death of Magnus Maximus in 388, direct Imperial involvement in northern Europe came to an end. While the areas would be under nominal Roman authority until the Germanic crossing of the Rhine in 406/7, many areas north of Lugdunum began to devolve into local administration. Maximus, for his part, would later be considered something of a founding father to the Welsh people and would live on through their national mythos to the present day.

No Winners: 

If it isn't apparent enough, there were no winners from the Roman civil war of 388. While Valentinian II ended up getting the Western Roman Empire back, he was confined to only a ceremonial role and murdered by Arborgast or committed suicide. Theodosius I, for his part, indirectly set himself up for another bloody civil war by not responding to Arborgast's requests for a new Emperor in the summer of A.D 392. In the end, the two Roman civil wars of 388 and 394 would have disastrous effects on the Western Roman army, with some estimates putting the total casualties at around 2/3rd of the professional army. Indeed, we see Flavius Stilicho having to impress slaves and strip the Rhine frontier of all troops, to scrape together a measly 20,000 soldiers to face the Vandal invasion of Italy in A.D 405. While it is hyperbole to suggest that the Western Roman Empire began its decline in A.D. 388, that year's disastrous civil war certainly sped up its demise.

Below is a list of the significant persons listed from this period and what fate befell them: 

Magnus Maximus: Died via beheading in the autumn of 388.

Flavius Victor: Died via strangulation in the autumn/winter of 388.

Marcellinus: Unknown, likely killed in the counterattack, or executed by Theodosius I. 

 Nanninus and Quintinus: Unknown, replaced by two of Arborgast's generals in late 388.

Valentinian II: Died via suicide or murder in 392.

Justina (Mother of Valentinian II): Died before Theodosius's victory over Magnus Maximus.

Galla (Sister of Valentinian II): Died in childbirth in 394. 

Theodosius I: Died of edema shortly after defeating Eugenius and Arbogast, in 395. 

Arbogast: Died by falling on his sword after the defeat at the battle of the Frigidus river in 394. 

Marcomer: Captured by the Romans and sent into exile in Italy.

 

The Coin:

I recently picked up this lovely siliqua of Magnus Maximus, which inspired this post. If you think you have seen this coin before, you are right(to an extent), as it is the fourth obverse die match I have of the type.

Image 0

Magnus Maximus. AD 383-388. AR Siliqua (18mm, 2.22 g, 6h). Treveri (Trier) mint. Pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Roma enthroned facing, head left, holding globe and scepter; TRPS. RIC IX 84b.1 corr. (listed as spear); RSC 20†a corr. (same). Lightly toned. EF.

And the coin in hand.

131794134_IMG_5668(1).JPG.e298c762cb40eed7edfa4d91976a230d.JPG

 

 

IMG_5669.JPG.e0ff41747aa6151490e6873ec724eb06.JPG

IMG_5696.jpg.bf4ef921e175c65427753cd7f276b50f.jpg

 

Please post your coins of this period down below!
 

 

 

 

Edited by Magnus Maximus
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I believe there's also a version where Maximus was winning, but was betrayed or killed in battle, I forget which.

One wonders why Flavius Victor didn't flee to Britain or to north of the river?

Valens (364-378). AR Siliqua (18mm, 1.60g, 6h). Treveri, 367-375. Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust r. R/ Roma seated l., holding Victory on globe and spear; TRPS•. RIC IX 27e; RSC 109†b  edge chip.  Ex London Ancient coins.8Mgbn9xD6FttQs3z2CmFLbc7JZ4jrK.jpg.248b3b6b9a53b11388f9d8f7e73ca257.jpg

 

Not counting some really decrepit AE3's bought as uncleaneds, I have very few coins from that period.

The Valens has a really dark patina.  I wonder if that's the original hoard patina?

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8 minutes ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

 

I believe there's also a version where Maximus was winning, but was betrayed or killed in battle, I forget which.

 

Nice Valens! 
I believe you are thinking of the Battle of the Frigidus River in 394, where on the first day of battle Eugenius and Arbogast were winning, until a unit defected and a wind anomaly turned the tide the next day. 

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I can't remember where (one of my history teachers called me 'the master of minutiae'), but I remember reading it.  The History of Rome podcast on Maximus may have also mentioned the alternate ending. Winning and being betrayed was somewhat of an ancient trope, so such an account is in the minority.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-history-of-rome/id261654474

I also remember reading somewhere 20 years ago, that the AE2's were called a decargyrus nummus, or similar.  Is that so?

Edited by Nerosmyfavorite68
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great article/coin!....makes me wanna break out my box o 4th century stuff and maybe go that way...:)..here's one of sumbody from that there era,,..i ain't sure who...i think i took this pic for the big eye stare  😛

IMG_0709.JPG

IMG_0710.JPG

Edited by ominus1
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

I can't remember where (one of my history teachers called me 'the master of minutiae'), but I remember reading it.  The History of Rome podcast on Maximus may have also mentioned the alternate ending. Winning and being betrayed was somewhat of an ancient trope, so such an account is in the minority.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-history-of-rome/id261654474

I also remember reading somewhere 20 years ago, that the AE2's were called a decargyrus nummus, or similar.  Is that so?

Interesting, I'll definitely look into it. 

Yes, I believe you are correct regarding the AE-2 name being called "decargyrus nummus".

Edited by Magnus Maximus
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Here are some coins from this periode, i have no silver to show

 

Magnus Maximus

1.jpg.796d4b449063ca5526ca9cb1d278f44e.jpg

 

Flavius Victor

2.jpg.aa9ab261f4ed70f2ce6462c8a54d603a.jpg

 

Valens3.jpg.54173fc4ae622dc8fd91c444e2b717ea.jpg

 

Valentinianus I4.jpg.ac77d5f8728f666411b2bd6883198a43.jpg

 

Valentinianus II

5.jpg.b5c4f0f32a0eab773bc94f638baf4eee.jpg

 

and Theodosius 7.jpg.6b17f655aa10f296c62348ce4a1719cc.jpg

 

 

6.jpg

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31 minutes ago, ominus1 said:

great article/coin!....makes me wanna break out my box o 4th century stuff and maybe go that way...:)..here's one of sumbody from that there era,,..i ain't sure who...i think i took this pic for the big eye stare  😛

IMG_0709.JPG

IMG_0710.JPG

 

 

That's Constantius II

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3 hours ago, Magnus Maximus said:

Background:

In 387, Magnus Maximus used a barbarian invasion of Raetia to move troops past the armies of Valentinian II into northern Italy. Maximus's forces quickly turned on Valentinian's troops and seized the mountainous passes into the Italian peninsula, thus securing them for the main body of Maximus's army. The move was relatively bloodless and had accomplished in a month what Theodosius I and St. Ambrose had worked for four years to prevent; the complete domination of the Western Roman Empire by Magnus Maximus. Valentinian II and his court managed to escape the clutches of Magnus Maximus narrowly and fled to Thessalonika under the protection of the Eastern Emperor Theodosius I. Theodosius I, for his part, was probably as surprised by Maximus's quick advance as Valentinian II was. After taking the Western Roman Empire, Maximus sent envoys to Theodosius I arguing that he was the legitimate Orthodox Emperor of the West. Theodosius seems to have vacillated between inaction and mobilizing for war but was finally wooed into action by a marriage alliance to Valentinian II's sister, Galla. Magnus Maximus, for the most part, seemed to have wanted to avoid a major confrontation with Theodosius I, perhaps out of the memory of the disastrous civil war between Magnentius and Constantius II a few decades before. However, he nonetheless made ready to march east. After securing Italy and North Africa, Maximus finally moved east after 18 months of complete control of the Western Roman Empire.

 

Gameplans:

Maximus's plan for victory seemed rather conservative compared to his adversary: he would march into Illyria and besiege the local settlements until Theodosius's army arrived; then, he would defeat the latter in a pitched battle and move on from there. Theodosius I, however, was the more creative of the two Emperors and sent false signals that he was planning an invasion of Italy via the sea to distract Maximus. In addition, while the main body of the Eastern Roman army and allies would be under Theodosius's command, a smaller but still significant army would be led by the Romanized Frank, Arbogast, with the intention to flank Maximus's army and head to Trier(Maximus's capital). 

 

So Begins the Bloody Business of the Day:

Both armies had the same approximate strength, and a large contingent of German foederati and vassal troops was also brought. Some estimates put the total troop numbers at around 80,000-90,000 soldiers. Magnus Maximus had with him large contingents of the field armies from Britannia, Gaul, and Hispania, along with large amounts of Alemanni allies. On the other hand, Theodosius I had the field armies of the Balkans and Orient at his disposal, along with many Hunnic and Alani mercenaries and a large contingent of Gothic foederati.

Maximus marched his forces into Illyria and captured Siscia, while Theodosius marched west to meet him. Maximus's and Theodosius's armies met for battle on the Sava river. The action started when Theodosius's mounted mercenary units began crossing the river; Maximus's troops were taken by surprise by the crossing and were severely mauled in the initial skirmish. However, his forces managed to extract themselves from the river in one piece and set up camp away from the crossing. The next day both forces met for a pitched battle that lasted all day long. Eventually, Theodosius's horse archers made the difference, and Maximus's troops were beaten back. To prevent an all-out rout, Maximus ordered his brother, Marcellinus, to conduct a counterattack to allow the army's remnants to escape back to Italy. It is unknown how many Romans and their allies died during the battle. Still, the casualties suffered by the gothic contingents were enough for a revolt to break out against Theodosius I in 390, led by a certain Goth named Alaric. Maximus eventually made his way back to the city of Aquileia, where he received news that the Franks had taken advantage of his redeployment of the field armies on the Rhine and had conducted a series of raids near Cologne. 

From Bad to Worse:

While Maximus was being pursued to Aquileia, the Franks, under a warlord named Marcomer, began a series of raids on the Rhine frontier. The raids were severe enough that there was a genuine fear that the Franks would sack the city of Colonia Agrippina(Cologne). To Maximus's credit, he didn't remove all military formations from the Rhine, as he had left the generals Nanninus and Quintinus with a small contingent of crack troops from the Ioviani legion. The generals caught a large contingent of the raiders on their way back across the Rhine river and massacred them. However, Quintinus, going against the advice of Nanninus, launched a punitive expedition against the Franks that ended in disaster and resulted in the deaths of many elite Roman soldiers. 

From Death to Founding a Nation: 

Theodosius I eventually tracked Maximus to the Italian city of Aquileia and began a siege of the city. Demoralized by the defeat on the Sava river and with news of the Frankish raids reaching the city, Maximus's soldiers gave him up to Theodosius I in chains. Maximus is said to have begged for mercy but received none. However, his death by beheading was relatively quick and painless, which counts for something. Shortly after the death of Magnus Maximus, Arbogast arrived at Trier to tie up the last loose end; he had Flavius Victor strangled and replaced Nanninus and Quintinus with the generals Charietto and Syrus. With the death of Magnus Maximus in 388, direct Imperial involvement in northern Europe came to an end. While the areas would be under nominal Roman authority until the Germanic crossing of the Rhine in 406/7, many areas north of Lugdunum began to devolve into local administration. Maximus, for his part, would later be considered something of a founding father to the Welsh people and would live on through their national mythos to the present day.

No Winners: 

If it isn't apparent enough, there were no winners from the Roman civil war of 388. While Valentinian II ended up getting the Western Roman Empire back, he was confined to only a ceremonial role and murdered by Arborgast or committed suicide. Theodosius I, for his part, indirectly set himself up for another bloody civil war by not responding to Arborgast's requests for a new Emperor in the summer of A.D 392. In the end, the two Roman civil wars of 388 and 394 would have disastrous effects on the Western Roman army, with some estimates putting the total casualties at around 2/3rd of the professional army. Indeed, we see Flavius Stilicho having to impress slaves and strip the Rhine frontier of all troops, to scrape together a measly 20,000 soldiers to face the Vandal invasion of Italy in A.D 405. While it is hyperbole to suggest that the Western Roman Empire began its decline in A.D. 388, that year's disastrous civil war certainly sped up its demise.

Below is a list of the significant persons listed from this period and what fate befell them: 

Magnus Maximus: Died via beheading in the autumn of 388.

Flavius Victor: Died via strangulation in the autumn/winter of 388.

Marcellinus: Unknown, likely killed in the counterattack, or executed by Theodosius I. 

 Nanninus and Quintinus: Unknown, replaced by two of Arborgast's generals in late 388.

Valentinian II: Died via suicide or murder in 392.

Justina (Mother of Valentinian II): Died before Theodosius's victory over Magnus Maximus.

Galla (Sister of Valentinian II): Died in childbirth in 394. 

Theodosius I: Died of edema shortly after defeating Eugenius and Arbogast, in 395. 

Arbogast: Died by falling on his sword after the defeat at the battle of the Frigidus river in 394. 

Marcomer: Captured by the Romans and sent into exile in Italy.

 

The Coin:

I recently picked up this lovely siliqua of Magnus Maximus, which inspired this post. If you think you have seen this coin before, you are right(to an extent), as it is the fourth obverse die match I have of the type.

Image 0

Magnus Maximus. AD 383-388. AR Siliqua (18mm, 2.22 g, 6h). Treveri (Trier) mint. Pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Roma enthroned facing, head left, holding globe and scepter; TRPS. RIC IX 84b.1 corr. (listed as spear); RSC 20†a corr. (same). Lightly toned. EF.

And the coin in hand.

131794134_IMG_5668(1).JPG.e298c762cb40eed7edfa4d91976a230d.JPG

 

 

IMG_5669.JPG.e0ff41747aa6151490e6873ec724eb06.JPG

IMG_5696.jpg.bf4ef921e175c65427753cd7f276b50f.jpg

 

Please post your coins of this period down below!
 

 

 

 

Magnus M. That's a lovely coin & excellent writeup ☺️! I think there were real winners in Rome & the country of Italy, thanks to Theodoric the Great, AD 493-526. He did create a level of stability in Italy, & gave the barbarians hope for a future, until Justinian l launched his war to recovery the "Old Roman Empire". Theodoric was so admired his mausoleum still stands in Ravenna today. 

1388744740_2101304-003AKCollection.jpg.b39f24ddf1df102444c258471b57a852.jpg

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Great 'write-up', Mag Max. I really enjoy reading your 'write-ups'. Makes me feel like I was there.

 

Here is a Valens siliqua of mine

VALENS RIC IX.Trier 27e Siliqua

(4) VALENS RIC IX.Trier 27e Siliqua.jpg

and MAGNUS MAXIMUS RIC IX. Lyons 32

MAGNUS MAXIMUS RIC IX. Lyons 32.png

Edited by Topcat7
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Posted (edited)

All of the die matches I have of the type. I quite like how they depict Magnus on this issue, as he looks rather young and fit. It’s likely the real Magnus Maximus looked nothing like his portrait however, as he would have been in his 50’s when these coins were minted.
867791B4-97A7-4854-A7FA-FCE5AF74688C.jpeg.e27cc16b39ac4edddf112bc470c21e32.jpeg

FF3D77AD-0C15-4827-BBB9-FC1359982CE9.jpeg.330b745cb346312a76b4ae144e2a2ecc.jpeg

A2F2CB4A-6BD4-40CC-BA04-E07A59A5EEF8.jpeg.c1351611890287a924ea86bb8d3af8e7.jpegF18DE3A9-32BB-4D67-A586-D6F6D6DDFC69.jpeg.abb0b9d107337dc7c6fb4a4b0e9ff3d0.jpeg

Edited by Magnus Maximus
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On 10/2/2022 at 3:26 PM, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

I also remember reading somewhere 20 years ago, that the AE2's were called a decargyrus nummus, or similar.  Is that so?

A law of AD 395 preserved in the Codex Theodosianus (9.23.2) mentions the decargyrus nummus, believed to be the Theodosian AE2:

“We command that only the centenionalis nummus shall be handled in public use and that the larger money shall be abolished. No person, therefore, shall dare to exchange the decargyrus nummus for another, and he shall know that the aforesaid money, which can be seized if found in public use, will be vindicated to the fisc.”

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One of the few with a beard. He must've been really old.

Eugenius Siliqua, 392-394
image.png.b6a3f3d090c9b8347c7291976ad92947.pngTrier. Silver, 1.72g. Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; D N EVGENI-VS P F AVG. Roma seated left on cuirass, holding reversed spear and Victoriola on globe; VIRTVS RO-MANORVM; TR PS in exergue (RIC IX, 106(d); Ghey 78, this coin). From the Vale of Pewsey Hoard 2020, Portable Antiquities Scheme: BM-7D34D9.

Edited by John Conduitt
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On 10/3/2022 at 6:36 PM, DLTcoins said:

“We command that only the centenionalis nummus shall be handled in public use and that the larger money shall be abolished. No person, therefore, shall dare to exchange the decargyrus nummus for another, and he shall know that the aforesaid money, which can be seized if found in public use, will be vindicated to the fisc.”

That means the AE3 was a centenionalis nummus :classic_smile:.

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Great writeup and even better coin

My own MM siliqua with spelling error

405062f1851a4e06aeb03a0a418c021b.jpg

Magnus Maximus, Siliqua - Treveri, 2nd officina
D N MAG MAX IMVS P F AVG, draped, cuirassed and diademed bust right
VIRTVS RO MASORVM (sic !!) Roma seated facing, holding globe and spear.
TRPS at exergue
1.91 gr
Ref : Cohen # 20 var, Roman coins # 4201

 

Q

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9 hours ago, Qcumbor said:

Great writeup and even better coin

My own MM siliqua with spelling error

405062f1851a4e06aeb03a0a418c021b.jpg

Magnus Maximus, Siliqua - Treveri, 2nd officina
D N MAG MAX IMVS P F AVG, draped, cuirassed and diademed bust right
VIRTVS RO MASORVM (sic !!) Roma seated facing, holding globe and spear.
TRPS at exergue
1.91 gr
Ref : Cohen # 20 var, Roman coins # 4201

 

Q

That's quite a peculiar coin. Roma looks very strange. The reverse legend, the globe and Roma's legs are huge.

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I have only owned one:-

Magnus Maximus, AR Siliqua

Obv:– D N MAG MAX-IMVS P F AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev:– VIRTVS ROMANORVM, Roma enthroned facing, head left, holding globe & spear
Minted in Trier (TRPS), A.D. 383-388
Reference:– RIC IX, 84b1. RSC 20a

RI_185a_img.jpg

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Valentinian II 375-379 AD.   The son of Valentinian I.  Proclaimed Augustus on 22 November 375 AD, five days after his father’s death.  This Solidus may have been issued between Valen’s death at the battle of Adrianople on 9 August 378 and the accession of Theodosius I on 19 January 379, which would make the second Augustus on the reverse Gratian.   Valentinian II was murdered by Arbogast.  

Mediolanum mint. 

Acquired from Arnie Saslow, 11/92.   image.jpeg.d0cde31387afb24b63435c0278dad8bb.jpegimage.jpeg.ac1e99d3d448f2709917384b8b4e9457.jpeg

 Next isimage.jpeg.d3a1e69025a8e13a8de4a5ee19153e5b.jpegimage.jpeg.11cb8d137d1760cff64718f60c4a46c1.jpegTheodosius I the Great. 379-395 AD.   Obverse shows the Emperor facing right with pearl diadem, cuirass and cloak.  DNTHEODO SIUSPFAUG.  Reverse shows Constantinopolis with mural crown, seated right, foot on prow, holding long scepter and a plain globus.  The mural crown is uncommon.  CONCOR DIAAUCCC dot.  In exergue, CONOB

Theodosius I fathered Arcadius and Honorius by his first wife, and Galla Placidia by his second.  His reign was troubled by the revolts of Magnus Maximus and Eugenius (creature of Arbogast) in the West.  He settled the Goths as foederati after some inconclusive warfare with them, which proved a fateful decision.  Champion of Nicean orthodoxy, and a saint of the Eastern church.  He signed the Edict of Thessalonica on February 27, 380 AD, making Catholic Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. 

Purchased from Ed Waddell, Ltd at the Bay State coin show

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1 hour ago, Hrefn said:

Valentinian II 375-379 AD.   The son of Valentinian I.  Proclaimed Augustus on 22 November 375 AD, five days after his father’s death.  This Solidus may have been issued between Valen’s death at the battle of Adrianople on 9 August 378 and the accession of Theodosius I on 19 January 379, which would make the second Augustus on the reverse Gratian.   Valentinian II was murdered by Arbogast.  

Mediolanum mint. 

Acquired from Arnie Saslow, 11/92.   image.jpeg.d0cde31387afb24b63435c0278dad8bb.jpegimage.jpeg.ac1e99d3d448f2709917384b8b4e9457.jpeg

 Next isimage.jpeg.d3a1e69025a8e13a8de4a5ee19153e5b.jpegimage.jpeg.11cb8d137d1760cff64718f60c4a46c1.jpegTheodosius I the Great. 379-395 AD.   Obverse shows the Emperor facing right with pearl diadem, cuirass and cloak.  DNTHEODO SIUSPFAUG.  Reverse shows Constantinopolis with mural crown, seated right, foot on prow, holding long scepter and a plain globus.  The mural crown is uncommon.  CONCOR DIAAUCCC dot.  In exergue, CONOB

Theodosius I fathered Arcadius and Honorius by his first wife, and Galla Placidia by his second.  His reign was troubled by the revolts of Magnus Maximus and Eugenius (creature of Arbogast) in the West.  He settled the Goths as foederati after some inconclusive warfare with them, which proved a fateful decision.  Champion of Nicean orthodoxy, and a saint of the Eastern church.  He signed the Edict of Thessalonica on February 27, 380 AD, making Catholic Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. 

Purchased from Ed Waddell, Ltd at the Bay State coin show

Beautiful coins. That's the first time I've heard Arnie Saslow's name in decades. I bought a number of coins and antiquities from him back in the 1980s and 1990s, at shows and at his store in New Jersey.

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34 minutes ago, DonnaML said:

Beautiful coins. That's the first time I've heard Arnie Saslow's name in decades. I bought a number of coins and antiquities from him back in the 1980s and 1990s, at shows and at his store in New Jersey.

Dr. Saslow is still around; he was at the most recent Bay State coin show.   He doesn’t carry so many beautiful ancient coins as he once did, but my collection is the beneficiary of quite a few choice specimens purchased from him in years past. 

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Bronze coin (AE 2) minted at Nicomedia during the reign of VALENTINIAN II between 383 - 388 A.D. Obv. D.N.VALENTINIANVS.P.F.AVG. Pearl-diademed, draped & cuirassed, r. Rev. VIRTVS.E-XERCITI. Emperor stg. r. holding standard & globe, a captive at his feet. RCS #4163. RICIX #44a pg.261. DVM #33. LRBC #2393.

image.png.54c1254f5e921663a67461c21ca644da.pngimage.png.0220349c7399f912bd342d3e6ce2602f.pngimage.png.0220349c7399f912bd342d3e6ce2602f.png

Bronze coin (AE4) minted at Thessalonica during the reign of VALENTINIAN II between 383 - 388 A.D. Obv. D.N.VALENTINIANVS.IVN.P.F.AVG. pearl-diad., dr. & cuir. bust right. Rev. GLORIA.REIPVBLICE. Camp-gate with open doors. RICIX #62a pg.186. DVM #46. 

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Bronze coin (AE4) minted at Thessalonica during the reign of THEODOSIUS I in 388 A.D. Obv. D.N.THEODOSIVS.P.F.AVG. diad., dr. & cuir. bust right. Rev. GLORIA.REIPVBLICE. Camp-gate with open doors. RICIX #62b pg.187. DVM #39.

image.png.49b177473cd07b181968ffb5db81cc74.pngimage.png.d5b0e610f60b59c8ffc68d239f8e42bf.png

 

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