ROMAN EMPIRE, Maximianus, 286-305 AD, follis, Thessalonika mint


ROMAN EMPIRE, Maximianus, 286-305 AD, follis, no date (298-301 AD), Thessalonika mint, officina 2, Obverse: laureate head R, IMP C M A MAXIMIANVS P F AVG, Reverse: Genius standing L, modius on head, holding patera from which wine is pouring & cornucopia, GENIO POPVLI ROMANI, TSB, billon, 28mm, 9.93g, SR13262, full but thin silvering, XF

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Diocletian raised his military colleague Maximian to Caesar and then raised him again to Augustus and made him co-Emperor in the west. Together the two Emperors devised a governing system of two Emperors and two Caesars, referred to as the Tetrarchy. It worked pretty well for a while, then ambitions started to come into play. The reformed follis coinage tended toward regularization of types with a unified propaganda message.

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.