ROMAN EMPIRE Diocletian 284-305 AD antoninianius


ROMAN EMPIRE, Diocletian, 284-305 AD, antoninianius, no date (293 AD), Heraclea mint, officina 3, Obverse: radiate, draped, and armored bust R, IMP CC VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, Reverse: Jupiter standing L presenting Victory on globe to Emperor standing R, CONCORDIA MILITVM HΓ, billon, 20mm, 3.07g, RIC284C, HG, F

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Diocletian was one of the major figures of Roman history. After defeating Carinus he proceeded to change the administrative structure of the Empire, setting up a system of divided regional commanders that set the stage for the subsequent division into eastern and western parts. He also transformed the coinage in several ways, including a range of billon denominations. Also a notable persecutor of Christians.

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.