ROMAN EMPIRE, Carus, 282-283 AD, billon antoninianius


ROMAN EMPIRE, Carus, 282-283 AD, antoninianius, no date (282 AD), Rome mint, Obverse: radiate bust R, IMP C M AVR CARVS P F AVG, Reverse: Victory advancing R, VICTORIA AVGG, billon, 21.5mm, 3.9g, SR12183, edge crack, VF

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Carus was a praetorian prefect working for Probus when his troops acclaimed him Emperor. A general military revolt developed that resulted in the assassination of Probus. Carus immediately won campaigns against the Sarmatians and the Quadi and then set out to attack Persia. One morning he was found dead in his tent.

In the Imperial Period Roman coinage became an engine for governmental propaganda. All of the themes of the coins are celebratory of some aspect of govermental authority or achievement.

The Roman Republic was founded in response to tyrannical kings. It functioned for several centuries in a kind of balance of rich and poor people (slaves didn’t count). The general idea was that laws would constrain personal power. During the days of Julius Caesar, et al, powerful people became too powerful, and a new system of slightly constrained autocracy, the Empire, developed. The main catalog we use on this web site for Roman coins is Roman Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

“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.