Coins of the Roman emperors Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius, and Galerius.
The "aurelianus" or "antoninianus" denomination.

This page has a collection of coins of Diocletian (284-305 CE). Coins of the other three rulers of the First Tetrarchy are on other pages: Maximianus, or Constantius and Galerius.

History:  When Diocletian became emperor in 284 the only non-gold denomination in common use was the aurelianus, also called an antoninianus, or "ant" for short. The coins are c. 20-23 mm in diameter and have a small amount of silver in the alloy. This denomination was minted until c. 294 when Diocletian reformed the coinage system. At that time there were four rulers, the "First Tetrarchy."  

      The "First Tetrarchy," March 1, 293 - May 1, 305:
•  Maximian (in the west) and Diocletian (in the east) Augustus
•  Constantius (in the west) and Galerius (in the east) Caesar

 

Aureliani were minted in the names of each of the four rulers. They are common for the two Augusti, Diocletian and Maximian, and much less common for the two Caesars, Constantius and Galerius, because they did not became Caesars until March 293 and this denomination was discontinued not long after that. For coins of other denominations, see "Introduction to Roman coins of the First Tetrarchy."

Coins are in alphabetical order of reverse legend.

Navigation:  Skip down to   C, CLEMENTIA;   H, HERCVLI;   I, IOV;    L, LAETITIA;   M, MARS;   V, VICTORIA;   V, VOT   

References to RIC are to volume V, part II, which lists the pre-reform coins. Emperor Aurelian introduced the "XXI" aureliani with his coin reform of 274. It indicated that the alloy of the preceding coins was improved to 20 (XX) parts copper and 1 (I) part silver. Originally they had a thin surface-silvering. Nevertheless, most surviving examples look like copper. The "XXI" mark appears under Diocletian at all mints except the western mints of Lugdunum, from which aureliani are common, and Trier, from which they are rare.

Newest: (2020, Feb. 6)  Diocletian PRIMVS X MVLTIS XXVOTIS X, (2020, Jan. 13)



AAAA

  AETERNITAS AVGG,
  Aeternitas standing left, holding phoenix on globe, lifting skirt with left
  IXXIT in exergue.
  IMP C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 204, page 241 "Ticinum, 289"

 

 

AAAA

ANNONA AVG
Annona standing left holding ears of grain over modius, cornucopia in left
XXIDelta in exergue
IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC V.II Diocletian 156, page 236 "Rome, 285, C"

 

 



CLEMENTIA TEMP, emperor standing right, holding short sceptre in left, receiving victory on globe from Jupiter left, holding vertical long scepter in left.
Γ above XXI
  IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC V.II 252 Siscia, page 246, "285-7"

 

 


CMCM

  CONCORDIA MILITVM
  emperor standing right, holding short sceptre in left, receiving victory on globe from    Jupiter left, holding vertical long scepter in left.
  B low in middle field, XXI• in exergue
  IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 306v, page 253, Cyzicus [RIC does not list it with the dot]

 


CMCM

  CONCORDIA MILITVM
  emperor standing right, holding short sceptre in left, receiving victory on globe from   Hercules left, holding vertical long scepter in left with bow (hanging from his shoulder?)
  EΔ low in middle field (for 9, avoiding Theta, which was considered a symbol of bad luck)
  •XXI
    IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 322 Antioch, p. 256

 

 

D

 

CONSERVAT AVG
Sol advancing left, raising righthand in blessing, holding whip in left, SXXIT in exergue.
IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC V.II Diocletian 206, page 241, "Ticinum, 285"

 


CONSERVATOR AVGG
Emperor on left and Jupiter on right holding pateras over altar in the middle. The emperor holds a long scepter in his left hand and so does Jupiter.
Mintmark XXIΓ
IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS AVG
23 mm. 3.68 grams. 12:00.
RIC 259C.  Siscia mint. 

 

 

**** Three mintmarks from the "coded" series at Siscia (For more on what the "coded" series is, see here.)

IC

CONSERVATOR AVGG
Emperor on left and Hercules on right holding pateras over altar in the middle. The emperor holds a long scepter in his left hand and Hercules rests his left hand on a club.
Coded mintmark XXI•I•, A in field left
IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
RIC V.II Diocletian 263 Siscia "289-290, S"

 

 
IC

CONSERVATOR AVGG
Emperor on left and Hercules on right holding pateras over altar in the middle. The emperor holds a long scepter in his left hand and Hercules rests his left hand on a club.
Coded mintmark •XXI•BI•,  Γ in field left
IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS P AVG
RIC V.II Diocletian 264F

 

 

IC



CONSERVATOR AVGG
Emperor on left and Hercules on right holding pateras over altar in the middle. The emperor holds a long scepter in his left hand and Hercules rests his left hand on a club.
Coded mintmark XXIO, B in right field
IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS P AVG
RIC V.II Diocletian 264F Siscia, p.247

 

 

***** End of the "coded" series.



HCHC

  HERCVLI CONSERVAT
  Hercules standing right with right arm behind his back and club and lionskin in left
  PXXIT
  IMP C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 215F, Ticinum, p. 242 "286, C"

 

IEHIEH



  IOV ET HERCV CONSER AVGG
  emperor standing right, holding long vertical scepter in left, receiving victory on  globe from Hercules left, holding club in left.
  Crescent over E low in middle field, XXI in exergue
  IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 323C, Antioch, p. 256 "c. 293, C"

 

IA

IA

  IOVI AVGG
  Jupiter seated left, holding Victory on globe and vertical long scepter, A in exergue
  IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 34F, page 234, Lugdunum, "292-4, C". Bastien 436 p.194, 8th emission, 1st officina (292 AD).

 




IOVI AVGG
Jupiter standing lft holding Victory on globe, eagle at feet left
A in exergue
IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC V.II 28 page 224, Lugdunum, "290-291-2"(?)
Bastien 315 page 173 seventh emission first officina 290-291.
 

ICA

ICA

  IOVI CONSER AVGG
  Jupiter standing left holding thunderbolt and long scepter, eagle at feet left. B in right field
  IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 35, Lugdunum, p, 224. "287-288, C". Bastien 89 p.132, 3rd emission, 2nd officina (286 AD)

 

 

ICD

 
  IOVI CONSERVAT
  Jupiter seated left holding Victory on globe and long vertical scepter in left, A in left field, XXIT in exergue
  IMP C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 234 Ticinum "293-4, C"

 

 

ICA

ICA

  IOVI CONSERVAT AVG
  Jupiter standing left holding thunderbolt and long scepter, XXIA in exergue.
  IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 161 Rome p. 236, "285"

 

 

IC



IOVI CONSERVATORI AVG  [one G]
Emperor on left holding baton (parazonium?) in left, receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter holding long scepter on right.
TR in field, XXI in exergue.
IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
RIC V.II Diocletian 328, p.257, Tripolis mint.

 

 

IC

IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG   [two G's]
Emperor on left holding baton (parazonium?) in left, receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter holding long scepter on right.
palm XXI
IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
RIC V.II Diocletian 329, page 257, Tripolis mint.

 

 

330

IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG  [two G's]
Victory on left with palm over shoulder presenting wreath to Jupiter holding out globe and with long scepter on right.
TR in field, XXI in exergue.
IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
RIC V.II Diocletian 330 Tripolis mint "R" p. 257

 

 

IC

IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG  [two G's]
Victory on left with palm over shoulder presenting wreath to Jupiter holding out globe and with long scepter on right.
TR in field. XXI<palm> in exergue.
IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
RIC V.II Diocletian 331 Tripolis mint "R" p. 257

 

 

ITIT

  IOVI TVTATORI AVGG
  Jupiter standing left holding Victory on globe and long scepter, eagle at feet left. P in exergue.
  IMP DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 53, p. 226 "Lugdunum, 289". Bastien 143 p.144, 5th emission, 1st officina (287-289 AD).

 

 

ITIT

  IOVI TVTATORI AVGG
  Jupiter holds Victory on globe and long scepter, eagle at feet left, P in exergue.
  IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 54, page 226 "Lugdunum, 289". Bastien 145 p.144, 5th emission, 1st officina (287-289 AD).

 

LFLF

  LAETITIA FVND
  Laetitia standing left holding wreath and rudder, XXIZ in exergue.
  IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 171, page 237 "Rome, 285"

 

MVMV

  MARS VICTOR
  Mars walking right with transverse spear and trophy over far shoulder, VIXXIT in exergue.
  IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 239C, page 244 "Ticinum, 285"

 

 


MPMP


  MARTI PACIF
  Mars standing left holding up olive branch, resting left on shield with vertical spear behind, XXIE in exergue.
  IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 173,  p. 238, Rome "285, C"

 

 

OAOA


  ORIENS AVG
  Sol standing front, leaning slightly right, head left, with hand raised in benediction, holding globe in left, XXI Γ in exergue.
  IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 174 Rome "285" p. 238

 

 

PAPA

  PAX AVGGG  [Three G's, minted by Carausius]
  Pax standing left holding out olive branch and with transverse scepter in left.
S  D either side, MLXXI in exergue.
  IMP C DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
  RIC V.II "Carausius, Diocletian, and Maximian 6, page 551 "London"

 

 

PXPX

  PRIMIS X MVLTIS XX
  Victory inscribing shield on palm VO/TX, XXIZ in exergue.
  IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 177H, page 238 "Rome, 293-5"

 

 

PXPX

  PRIMIS X MVLTIS XX
  Jupiter standing left holding thunderbolt and long scepter, XXIA in exergue
  IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 175, page 238 "Rome, 293-5"

 

 

Diocletian
PRIMIS X MVLTIS XX
Jupiter standing left holding thunderbolt and long scepter,
XXIA in exergue
IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
Radiate bust left in imperil mantle, holding eagle-tipped scepter.
RIC V.II Diocletian 175H, page 238 "Rome, 293-5"
Sear IV 12694, "293-4".

 

 


PROVIDENTIA AVG
Providentia standing left holding ears of grain over modius, cornucopia in left, C in field right.

RIC V.II Diocletian 77, page 228, "Lugdunum, 285".
Bastien 13 p.116, 1st emission, 3rd officina
(mid 285-1st of April 286 AD)

 

 




Diocletian
SECVRIT PERP
P in exergue.
RIC V.II 83, page 228. Struck 290-291. 
Bastien 262 p.164, 6th emission, 1st officina (Autumn 289-early 290 AD).


 

 

VA

VICTORIA AVG
Victory on left holding palm over far shoulder and presenting wreath to emperor who holds globe and long scepter,
TR in field, XXI in exergue.
IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC V.II Diocletian 333, page 257 "Tripolis, 284"

 

 

VAVA

  VICTORIA AVG
  Victory walking left holding wreath and palm, PXXIT in exergue.
  IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 242,  page 244 "Ticinum, 285"

 

 

VAVA

  VICTORIA AVG
  Victory standing left holding wreath and palm, XXIA in exergue.
  IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 183, page 239 "Rome, 285"

 



  VICTORIA AVGG
  Emperors standing facing each other, the left one presenting Victory on globe, the right one with transverse spear down,
  A in field,
XXI in exergue.
  IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 279, page 249 "Siscia, 292"

 

 

3

 

  VICTORIA AVGG
  Victory between two emperors, her hands on their shoulders
XXI.B. in exergue.
  IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
  RIC 280 variety (only officina Gamma given) page 249. "Siscia, 292, R".

 

D

  VOT/XM/XX in wreath
  ​​​​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
  RIC V.II 108, page 230 "Lugdunum, 295". Bastien 677 p.239, 12th emission, 2nd series, no mint mark (294 AD).

 

 

VXVX

  VOT X M XX
  Victory left standing on globe, holding wreath and palm
  D in left field, PTR in exergue
  ​​​​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
  RIC V.II Diocletian 125 Trier "295, R" p. 232

 

Diocletian 
Radiate bust left in imperial mantle, holding eagle-tipped scepter in right
VOTIS X
emperors sacrificing at altar
RIC V.II 110, page 230 "R, 295"
Sear IV 12732
Bastien 524 p.211, 10th emission, 3rd officina, 3rd series (1st March 293 - 20 November 293 AD). 293 was year of his joint consulship with Maximian, for whom the same type was issued.

 

 

 



Reference works:

Roman Imperial Coinage [RIC] Volume V.II, "Probus to Amandus".  1933. As with all the RIC volumes, this was an attempt to be a complete list of types known as of the publication date. Most copies show a reprint date such as 1973.

Bastien, Pierre.  Le Monnayage De L'Atelier De Lyon: Diocletian Et Ses Coregents Avant La Reforme Monetaire (285-294). 1972.  Wetteren Belgique.

Sear, David. Roman Coins and Their Values, volume IV. 

 



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