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Diocletian 284-305 AD receiving Victory from Jupiter


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Diocletian AE radiate fraction. 296 AD.

Obverse IMP CC VAL DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG, radiate, draped, cuirassed bust right

Reverse CONCORDIA MIL-ITVM, Emperor standing right, receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter, standing left, holding sceptre.

Crescent over B in lower centre. Mintmark ANT
RIC VI Antioch Mint 62A, B

DiocletianA.jpg.ff9322f1cd32358ba80faa6b1bcdc74b.jpg

DiocletianB.jpg.7a9ae84fb03f5920065cfeb811d2174a.jpg

 

Diocletian was the notorious persecutor of Christians. From what I understand, they were subjected to slavery in mines, tortured, burned alive and even death by beasts.

The reason for this is not that they were Christians but more that Diocletian saw them increasing in great numbers and considered them a threat to the belief in traditional gods.

Every opportunity was given to Christians to acknowledge the gods, and the emperors even introduced an amnesty for imprisoned clergy if they simply performed a sacrifice to the gods.

Diocletian favored Jupiter and Hercules for guidance and usually had his soothsayers interpret the gods direction which would certainly not be favorable for the Christians, and Diocletian left it to the senate and other leaders the vote and conclude on decisions. This way he wouldn't be the sole person to blame when such things as persecution was enforced.

It was in his time that Christians suffered more than under any other Roman ruler.

DiocletianPersecitions.jpg.9fc4a7300b1e64de2f8483181eee6cc7.jpg

 

Edited by thenickelguy
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3 hours ago, thenickelguy said:

Diocletian AE radiate fraction. 296 AD.

Obverse IMP CC VAL DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG, radiate, draped, cuirassed bust right

Reverse CONCORDIA MIL-ITVM, Emperor standing right, receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter, standing left, holding sceptre.

Crescent over B in lower centre. Mintmark ANT
RIC VI Antioch Mint 62A, B

DiocletianA.jpg.844bf8b9ca9f547d86f30f8b189043ce.jpg

DiocletianB.jpg.af6413771c0527c1452c00642b32a372.jpg

Diocletian was the notorious persecutor of Christians. From what I understand, they were subjected to slavery in mines, tortured, burned alive and even death by beasts.

The reason for this is not that they were Christians but more that Diocletian saw them increasing in great numbers and considered them a threat to the belief in traditional gods.

Every opportunity was given to Christians to acknowledge the gods, and the emperors even introduced an amnesty for imprisoned clergy if they simply performed a sacrifice to the gods.

Diocletian favored Jupiter and Hercules for guidance and usually had his soothsayers interpret the gods direction which would certainly not be favorable for the Christians, and Diocletian left it to the senate and other leaders the vote and conclude on decisions. This way he wouldn't be the sole person to blame when such things as persecution was enforced.

It was in his time that Christians suffered more than under any other Roman ruler.

DiocletianPersecitions.jpg.9fc4a7300b1e64de2f8483181eee6cc7.jpg

 

The sandy background adds eye appeal to the coin 😎.

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Posted · Benefactor

Nice! ... another great snag by the nickelguy! (I agree with Al => the desert-patina gives your coin an attractive cool-look)

😎

 

Ummm, were you inviting us to toss-in our relative examples? (hey, I will remove my example if it's cramping your style)

 

DIOCLETIAN Antoninianus

284-305 A.D.

Rome Mint. Struck ca. 290 AD.

Diameter: 22mm

Weight: 3.81 grams

Obverse: IMP DIOCLE TIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right

Reverse: IOVI FV LGERATORI, Jupiter standing facing, head right, preparing to hurl thunderbolt; at feet to left, eagle standing left, head right; XXI " in exergue

Reference: RIC V 168 var. (unlisted officina and with eagle)

Other: near XF, flan crack

Ex-stevex6

ancient1.jpg

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The cults of Jupiter and Hercules seemed to have been in the decline before Diocletians rule. But when Diocletian took power he made those two gods central to his new power system and made himself into something like Jupiters representative on earth (Iovius). Here some Jupiter themed examples from my collection:

1923208821_DiocletianIoveConservat.png.ccd7a7be904207bb4b7fe0ebf52b694c.png

Emperor Diocletian - Antoninianus - Ticinum mint

Obv.: IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG

Rev.: IOVI CONSERVAT

746731720_DiocletianIoveHercul.png.05a4e7126ce9069676e44307c7429aa7.png

Emperor Diocletian - Antoninianus - Antioch mint

Obv.: IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG

Rev.: IOV ET HERCVL CONSER AVGG

1929276680_DiocletianDrachm.png.f2aa702982778d167e030ee459468a51.png

Emperor Diocletian - Tetradrachm - Alexandria mint - Year 8

 

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Posted · Supporter

Have yet to own a Diocletian, but I would like to someday. Aside from his notoriety in persecuting Christians, he was without doubt a remarkable ruler, pulling the collapsing Empire out of the free-fall of the 3rd century and breathing another 150+ years of life into it. Also, the simple fact that he actually - successfully! - stepped down as emperor and lived a quiet retirement is an outstanding achievement in and of itself.

Edited by CPK
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22 hours ago, thenickelguy said:

Diocletian AE radiate fraction. 296 AD.

Obverse IMP CC VAL DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG, radiate, draped, cuirassed bust right

Reverse CONCORDIA MIL-ITVM, Emperor standing right, receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter, standing left, holding sceptre.

Crescent over B in lower centre. Mintmark ANT
RIC VI Antioch Mint 62A, B

DiocletianA.jpg.ff9322f1cd32358ba80faa6b1bcdc74b.jpg

DiocletianB.jpg.7a9ae84fb03f5920065cfeb811d2174a.jpg

 

Diocletian was the notorious persecutor of Christians. From what I understand, they were subjected to slavery in mines, tortured, burned alive and even death by beasts.

The reason for this is not that they were Christians but more that Diocletian saw them increasing in great numbers and considered them a threat to the belief in traditional gods.

Every opportunity was given to Christians to acknowledge the gods, and the emperors even introduced an amnesty for imprisoned clergy if they simply performed a sacrifice to the gods.

Diocletian favored Jupiter and Hercules for guidance and usually had his soothsayers interpret the gods direction which would certainly not be favorable for the Christians, and Diocletian left it to the senate and other leaders the vote and conclude on decisions. This way he wouldn't be the sole person to blame when such things as persecution was enforced.

It was in his time that Christians suffered more than under any other Roman ruler.

DiocletianPersecitions.jpg.9fc4a7300b1e64de2f8483181eee6cc7.jpg

 

Nice coin and supporting information!

I do have to challenge one detail. Was Diocletian’s time really the time when Christians suffered the worst? And even if it was bad, Dio C was probably not the worst persecutor of his time (Galerius or later Maximinus II?). I was thinking the times in the early to mid-250s sounded pretty rough too (Decius/Valerian).

Which emperor was THE hardest on Christianity and those that practiced the religion? 

Here’s a fun Diocletian with Jupiter with man-bun hair, standing next to giant kabobs for the grill, holding a squid and his pet crow at his feet.

692249282_Diocletian.JPG.5674c256865f001e233b5f9203cea282.JPG

Edit: ok, I read the wiki on Diocletian’s persecution and it sounds like a bummer. 
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diocletianic_Persecution

Still! Diocletian can’t be the meanest, nastiest, lion feeder out there. His historical rep is too positive. 

Edited by Orange Julius
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This pre-reform radiate of Diocletian from Cyzicus was in a group lot for what worked out to be $2.86 a coin.

[IMG]
Diocletian, AD 284-304
Roman AE Antoninianus; 19.4 mm; 3.32 gm
Cyzicus mint, AD 293-94
Obv: IMPCCVAL DIOCLETIANVS AVG, radiate and draped bust, r.
Rev: CONCORDIA MILITVM, Emperor standing r., receiving Victory from Jupiter standing l., Γ in field, below; XII in exergue.
RIC 306; Cohen 33; RCV 12635; Hunter iv 60-62.

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From what I understand, he was good at manipulating others to make the decisions and avoid the finger pointed at him. I don't think it was that he hated Christians as much as he wanted people to go back to the more traditional deities.

The number of Christians grew significantly during his reign. I think they were considered to be a threat. The Great Persecution took place at that time and continued until Galerius, his successor (who did hate Christians) ironically put an end to it  in 311 AD while he was ruler.

I really don't know a lot about this yet but it is an interesting and pivotal time in history.

And quite an ugly one too. I cannot imagine people cheering on such entertainment as they watched lions and other animals killing people. I will be learning more. There are more history buffs and scholars here than I can shake a stick at.

The world definitely has been and still is somewhere right now, a terrible place for some people. I am grateful for my little problems life throws my way. I have been very lucky and blessed.

. . . so far

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Posted (edited)
Some more coins of Diocletian:
Diocletian, silvered AE Follis/Nummus, 294-295 AD, Nicomedia Mint. Obv. Laureate head right, IMP CC VAL DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG/ Rev. Genius standing left, pouring out patera & holding cornucopiae, GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, mintmark SMN (Nicomedia). RIC VI 27a p. 556), Sear RCV IV 12788, ERIC II 539, Cohen 106. 27.8 mm., 8.6 g.

[IMG]

Diocletian, AE Antoninianus, 293-294 AD, Antioch Mint (7th Officina). Obv. Radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right, IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG / Rev. Jupiter stdg. left, holding long scepter, presents Victory on globe to Diocletian, CONCORDIA MILITVM; Z in lower middle field (= 7th officina of Antioch mint), XXI in exergue. RIC VI 322 (p. 256), Sear RCV IV 12637, Cohen 34. 20.87 mm., 4.75 g.

[IMG]

Diocletian, AR Argenteus, ca. AD 295, Heraclea Mint (1st Officina). Obv. Laureate head right, DIOCLETI-ANVS AVG / Rev. The four tetrarchs [the Augusti Diocletian and Maximian, and the Caesars Constantius Chlorus and Galerius], draped, sacrificing over a tripod altar, two of them on each side, before military camp gate with six turrets (four in front and two in rear), VICTORIA-SARMAT [referring to victories over the Sarmatians*]; in exergue, H A [Heraclea, 1st Officina]. RIC VI Heraclea 6 [see http://numismatics.org/ocre/id/ric.6.her.6], RSC V Diocletian 488j, Sear RCV IV 12612. Purchased from Kenneth W. Dorney, Oct. 2021. Ex. Ira & Larry Goldberg Auction 90, 2 Feb. 2016, Lot 3274. 19 mm., 2.70 g.

[IMG]

*See Stephen Williams, Diocletian and the Roman Recovery (Routledge, 2000) at p. 76 (preview at Google Books): “In 294 Diocletian launced a fresh offensive against the main body of the Sarmatians. . . . By the latter half of 294 they [the Sarmatians] had sustained such a defeat that they ceased to be a threat for many more years. Sarmatian warriors were taken into the Roman armies in large numbers, either as mercenaries or under treaty, and later fought well under Galerius against the Persians.”

Diocletian, billon abdication Follis/Nummus, 305-307 AD, Trier Mint. Obv. Laureate bust right in imperial mantle (trabea), holding olive branch and mappa, D N DIOCLETIANO BAEATISSIMO SEN AVG / Rev. Providentia standing right, holding [scroll or short scepter?] and drapery with left hand and extending right hand to Quies standing left, holding branch downward with right hand and leaning on scepter with left hand, S - F across fields, PROVIDENTIA DEORVM QVIES AVGG; PTR in exergue. 27x28 mm., 9.6 gm. RIC VI Trier 673a (p. 208), Sear RCV IV 12927. [Die match to example sold by Numismatik Naumann in 2015; see https://www.acsearch.info/image.html?id=2337893.]

[IMG]

Diocletian, Billon Tetradrachm, 292/293 AD (Year 9), Alexandria, Egypt mint. Obv. Laureate and cuirassed bust right, ΔΙΟΚΛHΤΙΑΝΟC CΕΒ / Rev. ENA/TOV / L [= Year 9 spelled out] within laurel wreath; in exergue, A [ = 1st Officina]. 19-20 mm., 7.39g., 12 h. Dattari 5787; Geissen 3264/65; BMC 16 Alexandria 2541 at p. 327; K & G 119.84; Emmett 4084.9, Milne 5065. Ex. Münchner Münzhandlung Karl Kreß [Kress] Auction 139, 20 Jun 1967, Lot 717.

image.jpeg.b64e7995f86ee20c14bf9f7f184af60a.jpeg
 
Last edited: Feb 23, 2022
Edited by DonnaML
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19 minutes ago, thenickelguy said:

From what I understand, he was good at manipulating others to make the decisions and avoid the finger pointed at him. I don't think it was that he hated Christians as much as he wanted people to go back to the more traditional deities.

The number of Christians grew significantly during his reign. I think they were considered to be a threat. The Great Persecution took place at that time and continued until Galerius, his successor (who did hate Christians) ironically put an end to it  in 311 AD while he was ruler.

I really don't know a lot about this yet but it is an interesting and pivotal time in history.

And quite an ugly one too. I cannot imagine people cheering on such entertainment as they watched lions and other animals killing people. I will be learning more. There are more history buffs and scholars here than I can shake a stick at.

The world definitely has been and still is somewhere right now, a terrible place for some people. I am grateful for my little problems life throws my way. I have been very lucky and blessed.

. . . so far

Yeah, I guess that’s the thing… you may be right to say the time of Diocletian may have been the time of greatest (or great) persecution. But In my mind, I’ve never thought of Diocletian as a fire breathing, Christian hating, bad guy (may be selective remembering). So what you say about him trying to drive back to a more traditional belief system, and giving leadership opportunities and latitude to others to go crazy, rather than being filled with blind hate himself… is an interesting insight.

Edited by Orange Julius
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Nice!  I'm actually looking for an example of that coin, a Diocletian post-reform radiate from Antioch.**  Here's the just prior antoninianus version:

image.jpeg.515975894e5afd3d2d9a422b6fa62b4c.jpeg

Comparing this coin to yours, it seems pretty clear the post-reform radiate was meant to be a continuation of the antoninianus/aurelianus, although post-reform it contained zero silver.  (The reform in question is the one that brought in the nummus/follis in 294.)

Here's an Antioch antoninianus/aurelianus of Diocletian from ten years earlier, which looks much more like a Probus coin:

image.jpeg.d40628a39c83ad3885a75cbeb0f127c8.jpeg

You can tell it's an early issue from 284 because the reverse legend ends in "AVG" rather than "AVGG," which means it was minted before the elevation of Maximianus.  It's worth looking for these; depending on the mint they are scarce to rare, and most importantly they're historically interesting as Diocletian's first issue before he even had control of the empire.  He had yet to face Carinus in the west.

If you're interested in the persecutions, you might look for one of these civic coins of Antioch, issued under Maximinus II c. 310-12:

image.jpeg.1f31c27163d377d9c704f662d3af3825.jpeg

Here are my historical notes on this coin:

"Persecution" issue. Following the death of Galerius in AD 311, his Caesar, Maximinus II, who had declared himself Augustus the previous year, took control of Asia Minor and the Levant. A strident persecutor of the Christian minority, he was compelled under the dictates of the edict of toleration to relax the persecutions. At the same time, he was approached by embassies of various cities now under his control, including Antioch, who requested that in no way should Christians be permitted to continue to live in their cities and districts. Bolstered by this support for persecution, Maximinus sentenced some of the most notable preachers in his districts to death. Possibly fearing repercussions from Constantine I and Licinius I, Maximinus unexpectedly rescinded his persecutions in December AD 312. Hoping to hold on following his defeat by Licinius in April AD 313, Maximinus in May AD 313 issued his own edict, restoring property and privileges to his Christian subjects. This did not, however, have the desired effect, for in July or August of that same year, after having again been defeated by Licinius, Maximinus died at Tarsus.

**fn - I do have a post-reform radiate of Constantius I, which I like for the portrait and patina, but especially because it is an ex @kapphnwn coin! 🙂

image.jpeg.7b6bc0e1a346b8874514f0309e24d1a6.jpeg

Here's a different post-reform radiate issue, a VOTA coin of Maximianus, Rome mint (following Warren Esty; RIC gives these to Ticinum):

image.jpeg.6fdfaf8a612eccdf680e9b5d8aa05609.jpeg

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