ROMAN EMPIRE Theodosius I 379-395 AD maiorina


ROMAN EMPIRE, Theodosius I, 379-395 AD, maiorina, no date (387-92 AD), Antioch mint, officina 1, Obverse: diademed bust R, D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG, Reverse: Emperor standing, foot on captive, VIRTVS EXERCITI, ANTA, bronze, 23mm, 5.58g, SR20507, F

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Theodosius I was called out of retirement by Gratian to be Emperor in the East. When Gratian died Magnus Maximus, usurper in Britain, invaded Gaul, confining Valentinian II to Italy for several years, before invading the peninsula. Theodosius had to save the day. Trouble continued, and he had to put down another usurper, Eugenius, shortly before he died.

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.