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    Medallic Diocletian Aureus, Ex Huntington

    Diocletian (AD 284-305). AV aureus (21mm, 5.32 gm, 6h). Antioch, AD 290. DIOCLETIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Diocletian right / IOVI CONS-ERVATORI, Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt in right hand and scepter in left, eagle at his feet to left, Σ in right field, SMA in exergue. Lukanc 9 (this coin cited). RIC 315 variant (sans cuirass). Depeyrot 6/3. Calicó 4502. Deeply struck on an exceptionally broad, medallic flan. An impressive coin with a peerless pedigree to the legendary Huntington Collection. NGC MS 5/5 - 4/5.

    Ex Archer M. Huntington Collection (NAC 67, 17 October 2012), lot 209 (ANS-HSA 22161).

    Although he reached the Roman throne via the path of coup and civil war, Diocletian turned out to be a far-sighted statesman of rare ability. Achieving undisputed power in AD 285, he came in with a detailed blueprint for Roman revival. Recognizing the task of governing the Empire had grown too great for one man, he divided supreme power with three old military colleagues and devised a formula for renewing this "Tetrarchy" every 20 years. The arrangement worked surprisingly well and by AD 300 the ceaseless revolts and civil wars that had nearly destroyed the Roman Empire over the latter third century had stopped, allowing Roman economic life to slowly and painfully recover. The respite from invasion and civil war enabled Diocletian and his colleagues to stabilize the Roman currency, fixing the gold aureus at 1/60th of a Roman pound, as indicated by the Greek numeral Σ (60) in the right field of this medallic piece. A system of readily identifiable mint marks and officina designations improved quality control. Portraiture and reverse themes also became highly standardized, with an almost generic "Tetrarchic" visage applied to each ruler. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2016
    3rd-4th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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