Calgary Coin Gallery
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ANCIENT ROMAN COINS - Imperial
"A Time of Chaos"

AD 236 to 268

A Time of Chaos: AD 236 to 268, including Maximinus I, Gordian III, Philip I and II,
Trajan Decius, Trebonianus Gallus, Valerian I and II, Gallienus, and others.

*Click on images to see larger images.*

(Reference: S=Sear Roman Coins and Their Values (2000 edtion), RSC=Roman Silver Coins, RIC=Roman Imperial Coinage, MILNE=Catalogue of Alexandrian coins; GIC=Greek Imperial Coinage by Seaby)

Philip I, AD 244-249. Bronze sestertius

Philip I, AD 244-249. Bronze sestertius


Denomination: Bronze sestertius.
Mint: Rome.
Date: AD 244 to 245.  
Size: 27.5 x 30.08 mm. Weight: 17.92 grams.
Reference: S-8994.
Grade: VF
Obverse: Head of Philip I right, with IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG around.
Reverse: Fides standing left holding two military standards, with FIDES MILITVM around, and SC flanking.


SOLD

Order # 1793
Gallienus, AD 253 to 268. Bronze Antoninianus

Gallienus, AD 253 to 268. Bronze Antoninianus


Denomination: Bronze Antoninianus.
Mint: Rome, 3rd officina.
Date: 10th issue, AD 267 to 268.
Size: 19.0 x 21.2 mm.  Weight: 2.48 grams.
Reference: S-10200, RIC V 180 var., RSC-165, MIR 36, 716e.
Grade: XF, well-centred with nearly full inscriptions, with an even slightly glossy dark brown patination.
Obverse: Head of Gallienus right, with GALLIENVS AVG around.
Reverse: Antelope walking left, with DIANAE CONS AVG around, with the Greek letter G below.

SOLD

Order # 3915

Philip I, AD 244-249. Bronze sestertius. millenium issue.

Philip I, AD 244-249. Bronze sestertius.
millenium issue.


Denomination: Bronze sestertius.
Mint: Rome.
Date: AD 247 to 248 in celebration of Rome's millenium.
Size: 26.6 x 30.17 mm.  Weight: 18.71 grams.
Reference: Sear-9013
Grade: gVF with a mid brown patination, with a very find porosity on the obverse.
Obverse: Head of Philip I right, with IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS AVG around.
Reverse: Antelope walking left, with SAECVLARES AVGG around, with SC below.


SOLD

Order # 3850
Trajan Decius, AD 249-251. Silver Antoninianus

Trajan Decius, AD 249-251. Silver Antoninianus


Denomination: Silver Antoninianus.
Mint: Rome.
Date: AD 250 to 251.
Reference: Sear-9374
Size: 21.2 X 22.1 mm.  Weight: 3.45 grams.
Grade: gXF with lots of lustre.
Obverse: Head of Trajan Decius right, with IMP C M Q TRAIANVS DECIVS AVG around.
Reverse: Genius standing left holding a patera and cornupcopiae, with a military standard behind him, and GENIVS EXERC ILLVRICIANI around.


SOLD

Order # 3924

(Reference: S=Sear Roman Coins and Their Values (2000 edtion), RSC=Roman Silver Coins, RIC=Roman Imperial Coinage, MILNE=Catalogue of Alexandrian coins; GIC=Greek Imperial Coinage by Seaby)



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ancient moneyerCalgary Coin

THE TIME OF CHAOS

The Time of Chaos was aptly named. Starting in AD 235, and continuing for 49 years Rome would be ruled by an ever changing series of good and bad emperors, who were always having to look over their shoulders to see who was conspiring against them. The Empire would suffer through political and economic upheaval, even being temporarily divided during the period of the Gallic Empire. The coinage would be debased until by AD 265 it was mostly worthless copper forced upon the people at the value of silver. This would have been a very bad time to live through, but today it makes for a very interesting series of coins.


MAXIMINUS I, AD 235-238

Maximinus was a Thracean peasant said to be almost 7 feet tall. He joined the Roman army under Septimius Severus and rose through the ranks to command a legion and eventually became Governor of Mesopotamia. He was a cruel man who lived and died by the sword, murdered by his own troops. This denarii are normally found in very high grade, and as struck examples are not unusual. The bronze sestertii are normally more worn.


GORDIAN III, AD 238-244

Gordian's silver coinage issued as Augustus are probably the most common of all Roman silver coins, however his issues as Caesar are rare. His bronze sestertii are also fairly common, but all of his smaller denomination Imperial bronze coins are scarce. The details of his six year reign are not well recorded in the history books. We know he was appointed Caesar by Balbinus and Pupienus and proclaimed Augustus by the Praetorians after they murdered them. While on campaign against the Sassanids he was murdered by troops loyal to Philip I, his own Praetorian prefect.

Most of the coin issued by Gordian seem to fall into a logical sequence of events, so we have chosen to arrange them here in chronological order under the events they are associated with. There are a few types where the exact meaning is not certain, but we have placed them where we believe they most likely belong.


Marriage of Gordian to Tranquilina, AD 241

In AD 241 Gordian III married Tranquilina, who was the daughter of the new Praetorian Prefect, Timesitheus. In reality, Timesitheus probably became the real power behind the throne, although he appears to have been happy ruling from behind Gordian as a figurehead.


Philip I, AD 244-249

This type commemorates the Peace established with the Sassanids (the Romans called them Persians) in AD 244. This was a negotiated peace rather than a Victory, as shown by the slightly unusual reverse inscription. This was alway a relatively scarce type but in recent years the Balkan hoards have made it slightly more common. Most specimens we have seen are weakly struck on the reverse.


1000 th Anniversary Commemoratives

On April 21, AD 248, Rome began the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of its founding. In preparation for this event, a menagerie of exotic animals, from all corners of the Empire, were assembled to display (and we suspect, slaughter) in the Coliseum. Today we can still view these events through the coinage Philip issued to commemorate them.


OTACILIA SEVERA, wife of Philip I


PHILIP II, AD 244-249

Philip II was the son of Philip I and Otacilia Severa. He was given the title "Caesar" in AD 244, and elevated to the rank of "Augustus" in AD 247.


VALERIAN I, AD 253-260

Valerian, father of the Emperor Gallienus, was a senior government official when in AD 253 he was called to lead an army to aid Trebonianus Gallus in fending off the revolt of Aemilian. When Gallus was killed by his own troops, Valerian's troops proclaimed him Emperor, then march to Italy where they defeated Volusian. In AD 260, Valerian was captured by the Sassanians (lead by Shapur II) who held him in captivity for the rest of his life.


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