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    Description

    Rare Thessalonica Mint Solidus

    Gratian (AD 367-383). AV solidus (21mm, 4.11 gm, 6h). NGC MS 5/5 - 5/4. Thessalonica, AD 379, D N GRATIA NVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Gratian right, viewed from front / VICTOR-IA AVGG, Gratian and Theodosius I (or Valentinian II?) enthroned facing on single broad throne, each with right hand on globe held between them, Victory facing with wings spread above, palm branch between them, TESOB in exergue. RIC 34a. Cohen 38. Depeyrot 34/1. Rare! Crisp, detailed strike with considerable, mirror-like luster in fields.

    Flavius Gratianus was born at Sirmium in AD 359, the son of Valentinian I by his first wife. In AD 367, at the age of eight, and was proclaimed co-Augustus by his father. In AD 375, Valentinian suffered an apoplectic stroke and died, leaving the western throne to his brother Valens, emperor of the East, and the 16-year-old Gratian in the West. Gratian established his court at Trier, Germany, and relied on a council of advisors headed by the poet Ausonius, who helped maintain good relations with the Senate in Rome. Gratian was a devout Christian and was the first emperor to refuse the title of Pontifex Maximus, or high priest. In AD 378, Gratian was on his way east with reinforcements to fight the Goths when his uncle Valens was killed in the catastrophic battle of Adrianople. After careful deliberations, Gratian chose the capable Theodosius I as the new Eastern Emperor. In AD 383 the duke of Britain, Magnus Magnus, proclaimed himself emperor and crossed the channel. Gratian advanced to Paris to intercept him, but his troops, angered at his earlier refusal to raise their pay, deserted to the usurper. Gratian fled toward the Alps, but was overtaken at Lugdunum and executed on August 25, AD 383, at the age of 24.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    7th-8th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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