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Maximinus II Mars from Ostia (unlisted)


Heliodromus

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This is a recent acquisition that I'm very happy with - one of my top favorites of the year.

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Obv: IMP MAXIMINVS PF AVG
Rev: MARTI CONSERVATORI

Mars advancing left holding branch and shield

It was issued by Constantine for Maximinus II in 312-313 D, shortly after his victory over Maxentius. The type is unlisted for Maximinus, although known for Constantine (RIC 81), for whom it is also very rare. RIC assigns RIC 81 a rarity rating of R3 which seems a bit off .. in 20 years of collecting I've never even seen a photo of this reverse type, let alone one for sale. The RIC listing cites a specimen in Vienna which is not on their web site.

When I saw this coin it immediately jumped out at me since I recognized the bust, which is a die link to this unlisted coin, ex. Pierre Bastien, now in the British Museum. Too Bad Bastien isn't still alive to see his coin's buddy!

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British Museum

What's neat about my new coin is that despite the MARTI CONSERVATORI legend, the iconography is actually that of MARTI PACIFERO, with Mars carrying a branch rather than a spear. As with many of the early Rome and Ostia coins, this type is really a carry over from Maxentius, with this type being very similar to Maxentius' RIC 48 with MARTI COMITI AVG N legend.

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British Museum

My coin wasn't cheap (especially given somewhat meh condition), but I'm justifying half the price as xmas present to myself, plus the opportunity value of not having to wait another 20 years to see another one!

 

Edited by Heliodromus
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Very cool coin! For Maximinus out of Ostia, I have only this rare-bust GENIO POP ROM.

If I remember right, at this point Constantine was minting coins for himself, Licinius and Maximinus, leaving out Galerius. Anyone want to give the summary of why include MII?

MaximinusOstiaRICVI77a.JPG.0963360ebd3d75d492f23e78116fa233.JPG

Maximinus II
Obv: IMP MAXIMINVS PF AVG. Laureate, draped & cuirassed bust right.
Rev: GENIO POP ROM. Genius standing left, holding cornucopiae & patera from which water flows.  Mintmark MOSTT.
Ref: RIC VI Ostia 77a. Rated very rare
312-313 ad

Edited by Orange Julius
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12 hours ago, Orange Julius said:

If I remember right, at this point Constantine was minting coins for himself, Licinius and Maximinus, leaving out Galerius. Anyone want to give the summary of why include MII?

I think we can give a few reasons:

1) That was the default and wisest thing to do. Constantine's entrance into the tetrarchy, and especially his alliance with the usurpers Maxentius and Maxmimianus had put him on the wrong side of Galerius, and he really needed all the support and legitimacy he could get. Why make enemies unnecessarily? Maxentius had also tried to elicit Maximinus's support by including him on his earliest Carthage coinage, and only dropped him when rebuffed.

2) Maximinus, like Constantine, had been upset with the results of the conference at Carnuntum in late 308 AD, and the FIL AVG titles they had both been given, and had lobbied Galerius to be elevated/recognized as augustus, which Galerius eventually agreed to (not having much choice) in 310 AD. Whether Maximinus had also lobbied on behalf of Constantine is unclear, but Galerius had recognized Constantine as augustus at the same time, and I assume Constantine was well aware of Maximinus's role in this outcome. Maximinus immediately began to recognize Constantine with new new title of augustus, and it would have been odd (and unwise) for Constantine not to have reciprocated.

In fact, as of 310 AD, given this assist, Constantine may well have regarded Maximinus II as more of a partner than Licinius who was in the pocket of Galerius. In his first 1/72 lb reduced weight coinage from London (PLN mark, not PLN T-F) Constantine had in fact included Maximinus II but excluded Licinius !

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RIC VI London 106 R

3) By 313, after Constantine's victory over Maxentius, the political landscape had shifted a bit. Licinius had originally been appointed as western(!) emperor, to replace Severus II, and so Constantine's prize, Italy, really should have been his (notwithstanding that he seems to have made zero effort to do anything about it). In any case Constantine had just become a whole lot more powerful and a potential threat to his neighbor Licinius (who had also become more powerful after the death of Galerius and divvying up his territory with Maximinius). Constantine therefore saw fit to arrange for his half-sister Constantia to marry Licinius to bring him into the family to cement political ties. Maximinus may well have seen this alliance as a threat to himself, and again with no reason not to it was wise for Constantine to continue to show support for Maximinus.

In fact it seems that Constantine may have deliberately excluded his brother-in-law to be, Licinius, from his special Milvian victory types, while including Maximinus II on some of them, even though alluding to both of them via a few "AVGGG" (triple-G) types, such as this unlisted one for Maximinus I fished out of eBay a couple of years ago.

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Obv: IMP MAXIMINVS PF AVG

Rev: VIRTVS AVGGG

 

Edited by Heliodromus
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1 hour ago, Heliodromus said:

Constantine's entrance into the tetrarchy, and especially his alliance with the usurpers Maxentius and Maxmimianus had put him on the wrong side of Galerius, and he really needed all the support and legitimacy he could get.

 

Fascinating info @Heliodromus. I’m just now starting to study and read about Constantine after receiving three coins from the time of his reign as a Christmas gift.

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It really is a fascinating time period, even though I might be a bit biased!

What's great about it is that we have a number of decent contemporary written sources such as Lactantius (tutor to Crispus), Eusebius (liable to revisionism) and The Pangyrici Latini. The coinage of this time is also useful in that, much more so that the preceding or following periods, it reflects current events and shifting political alliances, becoming quite a valuable primary historical source in of itself.

Victor Clark has a good list of sources on his web site.

http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/

 

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3 hours ago, Heliodromus said:

It really is a fascinating time period, even though I might be a bit biased!

Victor Clark has a good list of sources on his web site.

http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/

 

Oh-oh, I’m feeling a profound interest in late Roman Coins coming on 🤓 !

Thanks, Constantines have been on my wish list for some time and in the coming year I want to expand my collection to include folles of the Tetrarchy.

Edited by LONGINUS
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