ROMAN EMPIRE, Balbinus, April to July, 238 AD, silver, denarius


ROMAN EMPIRE, Balbinus, April to July, 238 AD, denarius, 238 AD, Rome mint, Obverse: laureate bust R, IMP CAES D CAEL BALBINVS AVG, Reverse: Victory standing facing, head L, holding wreath & palm, VICTORIA AVGG, silver, 20mm, 3.11g, SR8491, XF

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Balbinus was one of two co-Emperors chosen by the Roman Senate to oppose Maximinus, the other being Pupienus. They avoided civil war when Maximinus was murdered by his troops, but they did not get along, administration suffered, they were murdered in turn, and the grandson of Gordian I, aged 13, was acclaimed as Gordian III.

The Roman Empire was a system of theoretically constrained autocracy. The Emperor was supposed to be accepted by the Senate, which was supposed to be representing the people. It became difficult to restrain the autocrats. The succession problem was never solved. Many Emperors were murdered. In the 4th century AD the Empire was split for administrative purposes into eastern and western branches, the west devolving into local kingdoms in the 5th century AD, while the eastern branch continued as what we call the Byzantine Empire until 1453.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.