ROMAN EMPIRE, Maximianus, 286-305 AD, post-reform radiate


ROMAN EMPIRE, Maximianus, 286-305 AD, post-reform radiate, no date (295-9 AD), Cyzicus mint, officina 4, Obverse: radiate & cuirassed bust R, IMP C MA MAXIMIANVS PF AVG, Reverse: emperor standing R receiving Victory from Jove standing L, CONCORDIA MILITVM, KD, bronze, 21mm, 3.13g, SR13315, VG

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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 coinage became standardized throughout the Empire, the same kinds of propagandistic motifs appearing everywhere.

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.