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    Description

    Brutish Portrait

    Galerius Maximianus (AD 305-311). AV aureus (21mm, 5.32 gm, 1h).  Nicomedia, AD 307-308. MAXIMIA-NVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head of Galerius right / IOVI CONSERV-ATORI NIKYL (partially in monogram) XC , Jupiter standing left, nude but for chlamys, holding thunderbolt in right hand and grounded scepter in left, SMN in exergue. RIC VI 44 (R3). Cohen (Maximian Herculeus) 375. Calic├│ 4927 (R3) (this coin illustrated). Very rare. A bold, brutish portrait of this thuggish ruler. A few surface marks. NGC (photo-certificate) XF 4/5 - 3/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex McLendon Collection (Christie's New York, 12 June 1993), lot 203 (as Maximian in error). 

    Galerius began life as the son of a peasant herdsman near present-day Sofia, Bulgaria. His mother Romula was a pagan priestess from the far side of the Danube and she seems to have fueled his lifelong hatred for Christianity. A large, imposing man, he found a career in the military and rose steadily through the ranks, becoming Praetorian Prefect under Diocletian. On March 1, AD 293, Galerius was made Caesar, or Junior Emperor, of the East.  In AD 296 he marched out to confront the Persian King Narses, but suffered a humiliating defeat near Carrhae. Galerius managed to save most of his army, but Diocletian was so displeased he ordered Galerius to walk on foot before his chariot for more than a mile. Chastened, Galerius set about planning revenge. He launched a new offensive the following year and this time caught Narses in a perfect trap, utterly routing the Persian army and capturing the Great King's entire camp and harem. A huge chunk of the Persian Empire fell under Roman control, winning Galerius showers of honors. His influence over Diocletian grew steadily, and in AD 302 he induced his senior to launch the Great Persecution, an all-out effort to crush Christianity. The effort only served to create martyrdoms and inspire the faithful. 

    All Roman gold coins from the Dimitriadis Collection have been issued a photo-certificate by NGC. These may be sent in for encapsulation after the auction at the request of the buyer, free of charge. Please e-mail SamS@HA.com if you would like to utilize this option.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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