seth77 Posted August 6, 2022 · Member Share Posted August 6, 2022 (edited) Last month a known German auctioneer and dealer offered a few of these Valentinian III AE4 'cross types' -- assumingly all from Cyzicus. This was arguably the best of them, checking both enough legend to make the attribution to Valentinian certain and enough of the exergue to assign it to the mint where it was struck. AE4 12mm 1.12g minimus, minted probably in Cyzicus, ca. 425-35. DN VALENTINIANO PF AVG; diademed draped cuirassed bust r. anepigraphic; cross inside wreath SM[K..] in exergue RIC X 452, R The type is well-known for Theodosius II and it was struck extensively in the East (with notable appearances in North Africa also) from the 420s. Once Valentinian III was instated as Augustus in the West with the blessing of his cousin Theodosius and with the practical help of the Eastern warlords and the patricius and magister officiorum Helion, who worked closely with Theodosius, two Eastern mints -- Constantinople and Cyzicus started minting in the name of Valentinian too. The coinage in his name is rather scarce, so this one was probably a short-lived issue, likely centered around the elevation of Valentinian as Augustus in late October 425. For Theodosius the type is usually dated 425-35 in RIC. DO has an earlier dating for Theodosius, to before 420, which would imply that the coinage for Valentinian III of the same type was not struck simultaneously with that for his cousin, rather unlikely considering the very coherent nature of this series. A likely later similar issue for Valentinian III was struck at Rome (so under the direct control of Valentinian) probably in the 440s, but that is completely different style-wise and was likely a case of a 'crude imitation' coinage. On this specimen the mintmark is not complete, but with SM... the only mint can be Cyzicus. Taking in consideration the period of the year in which Valentinian was elevated as Augustus by Helion and the fact that 425 was probably when the type started in the East, plus the scarcity of the Valentinian issues, this coinage was probably restricted to around the end of 425 to 426. Moreover, once Valentinian was instated, the Eastern influence retreated back to Constantinople and Valentinian was left with the regency of his mother Galla Placidia and the power struggle between the Western warlords Felix, Aetius and Bonifatius. So very likely, after marking the notable feat of having his cousin on the throne in the West, Theodosius II soon discontinued the AE coinage in his name. There are very few coinages acknowledging the Western emperors past 420. One of them is the Cherson maiorinae series for Theodosius II and Valentinian III, another one is this small-scale minting of AE4s. Edited August 6, 2022 by seth77 19 1 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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