Jump to content


Recommended Posts

Pax (Latin for peace) is the Roman goddess of peace, and she was believed to be the daughter of the Roman god Jupiter and the goddess Justice. We find almost no mention of her until after the general pacification of the world by Augustus. This emperor dedicated an altar to her in the famous Campus Martius, with three annual sacrifices, on January 30, March 30 and July 4. Vespasian, who also came after terrible civil wars to restore order and peace to the empire, built a magnificent temple for Pax just next to the Forum. The characteristic attributes of this goddess are the olive tree, the caduceus and the cornucopia. She was often represented on Roman coins for more than three centuries.


                                             Pax (Wikipedia commons)

My passion for the time of the Gallic Empire (260-274 AD) and more particularly for the Emperor Victorinus led me to acquire a mini-collection of all the different reverses struck under the type Pax during the latter's reign, and it gives me great pleasure to present it to you today.

After the hard times that have transformed the Gallic Empire since Laelianus’ revolt, the death of Postumus and the short reign of Marius (all in a single year!), this setback seemed to promise that peace would be brought by the new sovereign. . Moreover, it is one of the first two types of reverse that were produced at the very beginning of Victorinus’ reign in 269 AD at the workshop of Trier. The first issue is characterized on the obverse by the long titulary IMP CM PIAVVONIVS VICTORINVS PF AVG, thirty characters on coins with an average diameter of 19 mm, a feat for the engravers of this mint. Note also that unlike the first coins minted in Cologne, those of Trier present the true portrait of the new ruler of the Gauls, and not that of his predecessor Marius, indicating to us that Victorinus was in the vicinity of the city of Trier at the time of his accession to the throne.


                                                     1st Issue

The second issue brought coins with the shortened titulary IMP C PIAV VICTORINVS PF AVG around the end of 269 AD. By the way, we can recognize the characteristic bust of all Trier productions, that is to say draped and cuirassed (the pieces originating from Cologne are only cuirassed). Please also note two different reverses, one without any marks in the fields, but a second version with the letter V on the left and a star on the right. What does the V on the left of the goddess Pax represent? Although we have no absolute certainty about it, one hypothesis suggests that it would be the first letter of a legion that the emperor led at that time, another theory that it was simply the first letter of his name; on the reverse ORIENS AVG of Postumus, we find the letter P probably also associated with his name.


                                   2nd Issue without any field marks

                              2nd Issue with the letter V and the star (*)


From the third issue of the beginning of the year 270 AD,  we find the regular inscription IMP C VICTORINVS PF AVG, of which two very rare variants, the first with the bare bust commonly called "heroic" bust, the second identical but turned towards left.


                                       3rd Issue with heroic bust



                                        3rd Issue with heroic bust left

                               3rd Issue with the classical titulary, V and star(*)



                                 3rd Issue with the V and without the star


The Trevian mint presents us with a particular edition towards the end of 270, adding a palm branch or more rarely a bar under the star in the right field. It seems likely that this special issue corresponds to the capture of the city of Autum by the troops of Victorinus, a city which refused to submit to the new monarch and wanted instead to remain faithful to Claudius the Gothicus. After a siege of about seven months, it was finally taken, looted and almost completely destroyed by Victorinus and his soldiers. It seems logical that the palm, the Roman symbol of victory, was added to certain coins to celebrate and commemorate its triumph.

                              Special Issue with palm under the star



                             Special Issue with bar under the star


In conclusion, the study of ancient coins takes us much further than the examination of simple metal washers. It teaches us a lot about the mores and customs of our ancestors, as well as about the living conditions of tens of centuries ago. Just like today, the inhabitants of this ancient world sought tranquility and peace for their families. I end with an unpublished and unique piece by Victorinus, a specimen with the letter P (!) rather than the classic V. Is this the result of a damaged reverse die, or could it be the error of an engraver inattentive or in a trance due to a difficult aftermath? One certainty, the iconographic style, the lettering as well as its weight confirm that it is indeed an official coin and not a local imitation. I WISH YOU ALL PAX !



                          IMP C VICTORINVS PF AVG / PAX AVG

                                            19mm   2.89g







  • Like 18
  • Cool Think 1
  • Clap 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I enjoyed that informative write-up very much, @Ocatarinetabellatchitchix. I see you love flyspecking as much as I! This one has the 3rd issue inscription, a radiate and draped bust, and a small, raggedy flan (usual for Victorinus).

Victorinus, AD 269-271.
Roman billon antoninianus, 2.11 g, 19.0 mm, 5 h.
Cologne, AD 270-271.
Obv: IMP C VICTORINVS P F AVG, radiate and draped bust, right.
Rev: PAX AVG, Pax standing left, holding olive branch and scepter; V in left field, * in right field.
Refs: RIC 118; Cohen 79; RCV 11175; Hunter 11.
  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice coins. I didn't know there were so many Pax issues from the Gallic Empire!

Pax also exploded onto coins when the London mint was opened, and Carausius hoped he could reign over his Britannic Empire without being noticed. 

Maximian (under Carausius) Antoninianus, 287-293image.png.3152cebc1ca5dd07d0400c8fcf6c4256.png
Londinium. Bronze, 22mm, 4.29g. Radiate and cuirassed bust right; IMP C MAXIMIANVS PF AVG. Pax standing left, holding olive branch and long sceptre; PAX AVGGG; S-P; MLXXI in exergue (RIC V, 34). The three Gs are for Carausius, Diocletian and Maximian, in the hope that they might reign together.

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ Ocatarinetabellatchitchix,

Here some PAX coins from Gallienus.

Joint Reign

Pax standing, head left

RIC Va 389 ; 3.51 gr ; 20.91 mm ; Mediolanum8_1280x617.jpg.6c36794aea0bd6ba614e56d01e82e3d8.jpg


RIC Va 157 ;  3.37 gr ; 21.06 mm ; Rome3_1280x622.jpg.9cc7a6cb942b6c670bb98af30e77bd86.jpg


Sole reign


RIC Va 258 ; 3.23 gr ; 20.02 mm ; Rome2_1280x654.jpg.5e09fc02d4adf508dcfdff7ed5f1a36b.jpg



RIC Va 500 ; 2.97 gr ; 20.18 mm ; Mediolanum ?

Sceptre vertical


standing, head left

RIC 575 ; 2.49 gr ; 17.91 mm ; Siscia


RIC Va 575 ; 3.77 gr ; 19.33 mm ; Siscia6_1280x587.jpg.d378cad1c8d3097d443c21b6dbd4a738.jpg

RIC Va 575 ; 4.02 gr ; 19.19 mm ; Siscia ; sceptre more horizontal5_1280x609.jpg.d844a9a3ee70f6ce739bce23cb93bd1b.jpg








Edited by mc9
  • Like 8
  • Yes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...