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    Description

    Rare Argenteus of Maximinus II

    Maximinus II Daia as Caesar (AD 305-309). AR argenteus (19.5mm, 3.45 gm, 12h).  Serdica, AD 305-306. MAXIMI - ANVS NOB C, laureate head of Maximinus right / VIRTVS - MILITVM, fortress gate topped by three turrets or beacons; in exergue •SM•SDT•. RIC 22. RSC 206. Very rare! A flawless specimen, perfectly centered on a broad flan and deeply struck in choice metal. Fleur de Coin.

    Maximinus II Daia (or Daza), the nephew of Galerius, was serving in the imperial bodyguard in AD 305 when his uncle plucked him from obscurity and elevated him to the rank of Caesar in the Second Tetrarchy. Once established in power in his territories of Egypt and Syria, Daza seems not to have impressed his uncle greatly, for he was passed over for promotion twice in the chaotic years AD 306-309. In 310, he took matters into his own hands by having his troops proclaim him Augustus, setting him against four other Augusti (Galerius, Licinius, Constantine and the rebel Maxentius) and making a shambles of Diocletian's carefully constructed tetrarchic system. After Galerius' death in 311, Daza cast himself in his uncle's mold as the defender of paganism and a persecutor of Christianity, placing him in opposition to Constantine and Licinius, who favored religious toleration. After Constantine crushed Maxentius in 312, Daza attempted to do the same to Licinius, invading Thrace the following year with a sizeable force of 70,000. But his long forced marches exhausted his troops and the outnumbered army of Licinius won a resounding victory at the Battle of Tzirallum in AD 313. Daza fled the field dressed as a slave, but soon died either of disease or by his own hand. His rule had been harsh and his subjects welcomed Licinius as a liberator. Christians in particular reviled Daia as the last great Roman persecutor. This extremely rare argenteus, probably issued to mark the elevation of Maximinus II as Caesar, was struck at the Balkan mint of Serdica. Until recently, only a single specimen was known. RIC associates this issue with argentei of Severus II as Augustus (RIC 21), dated AD 306-307, but it now seems more likely the coin was struck a few months earlier, at the same time as the recently discovered argentei of Severus II as Caesar to mark the commencement of the Second Tetrarchy.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2013
    6th-7th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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