ROMAN EMPIRE, Licinius I, 308-324 AD, follis


ROMAN EMPIRE, Licinius I, 308-324 AD, follis, no date (312-13 AD), Thessalonika mint, officina 1, Obverse: laureate head R, IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG, Reverse: Jupiter standing L, holding Victory on globe and scepter, eagle at feet, IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG N N, TS A, billon, 23mm, 4.08g, SR15251, aXF

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Licinius was promoted by Galerius to be Augustus in the west, despite not having been made Caesar first. Constantine I and Maximinus, who were Caesars. When Galerius died Licinius fought first with Maximinus, against whom he prevailed, and then with Constantine, who defeated and eventually executed him. He struck a lot of coins to pay the troops, who put them in the ground and never got back to retrieve them.

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.