Coins of the Roman emperors Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius, and Galerius, AD 284-294.
The "aurelianus" a.k.a. "antoninianus" denomination.
   
For an overview of Roman coins of the First Tetrarchy, begin here. This page has a collection of radiate coins struck 284-294 for emperor Diocletian (284-305 CE). 

Aureliani of the other three rulers of the First Tetrarchy are on other pages: Maximianus, or Constantius and Galerius.


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

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. 21-23 mm in diameter and have a small amount of silver (less than 5%) 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."  There is a page of links to pages on coins of the tetrarchies

Coins are in alphabetical order of reverse legend.

References to RIC are to volume V, part II, which lists the pre-reform coins of Diocletian. References to "Sear" are to Roman Coins and their Values, volume 4. 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 very thin surface-silvering. However, 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.

What's new?: 2022, August 16: Two coins of Constantius on the Constantius page.
2021, August 29:  IOVI CONSERVAT AVG, weights and Sear numbers added. 
2021, August 12:  Diocletian in imperial mantle, IOVI AVGG




Diocletian
22-20 mm. 3.27 grams.
AETERNITAS AVGG
Aeternitas standing left, holding phoenix on globe, lifting skirt with left
IXXIT in exergue.
IMP C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC 204, page 241 "Ticinum, 289"
Sear --, follows 12626

 

 

Diocletian
26-23 mm. 4.80 grams
ANNONA AVG
Annona standing left holding ears of grain over modius, cornucopia in left
XXIDelta in exergue
IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC 156, page 236 "Rome, 285, C"
Sear 12627

 

 



Diocletian
21-20 mm. 3.65 grams
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 252 Siscia, page 246, "285-7"
Sear 12630

 



Diocletian
22 mm. 4.99 grams
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 306v, page 253, Cyzicus [RIC does not list it with the dot]
Sear 12637

 



Diocletian
21 mm. 4.02 grams
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 322 Antioch, p. 256
Sear 12637

  

D



Diocletian
24-22 mm. 4.34 grams.
CONSERVAT AVG
Sol advancing left, raising righthand in blessing, holding whip in left, SXXIT in exergue.
IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC 206, page 241, "Ticinum, 285"
Sear 12638

 


Diocletian
23 mm. 3.68 grams.
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. 
Sear 12640 variety (not coded)



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

IC
Diocletian
22 mm. 3.99 grams.
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 263 Siscia "289-290, S"
Sear 12640 I

 

IC



Diocletian
22 mm. 3.47 grams.
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 264F Siscia, p.247
Sear 12640 O
 
IC
Diocletian
23 mm. 4.32 grams.
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 264F
Sear 12640 BI

  

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



Diocletian
22 mm. 3.64 grams.
HERCVLI CONSERVAT
Hercules standing right with right arm behind his back and club and lionskin in left
PXXIT
IMP C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC 215F, Ticinum, p. 242 "286, C"
Sear 12648

 




Diocletian
22-21 mm. 3.55 grams.
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 323C, Antioch, p. 256 "c. 293, C"
Sear 12654
 



Diocletian
22 mm. 4.56 grams. Some silvering. 
IOVI AVGG
IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
Diocletian radiate, in imperial mantle left, holding eagle-tipped scepter. 
Bastien 323 (39 examples cited), Emission 7 "Spring A.D. 290 – A.D. 291."
RIC 28H, Lyons (Lugdunum) "291-2" and very similar types to "290-1-2"
Sear IV 12655 (with photo) has "289-90". 

 

 


Diocletian
23 mm. 3.98 grams.
IOVI AVGG
Jupiter standing lft holding Victory on globe, eagle at feet left
A in exergue
IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC 28 page 224, Lugdunum, "290-291-2"(?)
Bastien 315 page 173 seventh emission first officina 290-291.
Sear 12657

 


Diocletian
21 mm. 3.78 grams.
IOVI AVGG
Jupiter seated left, holding Victory on globe and vertical long scepter, A in exergue
IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC 34F, page 234, Lugdunum, "292-4, C". Bastien 436 p.194, 8th emission, 1st officina (292 AD).
Sear 12658

 

 
 
 

Diocletian
22 mm. 4.19 grams.
IOVI CONS[E]R 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 35, Lugdunum, p, 224. "287-288, C". Bastien 89 p.132, 3rd emission, 2nd officina (286 AD)
Sear 12659

 

 

 
Diocletian
23-20 mm. 3.46 grams.
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 234 Ticinum "293-4, C"
Sear 12664

 

 


Diocletian
21 mm. 3.68 grams.
IOVI CONSERVAT AVG
Jupiter standing left holding thunderbolt and long scepter, XXIA in exergue.
IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC 161 Rome p. 236, "285"
Sear 12665

 



Diocletian
23-22 mm. 3.93 grams.
IOVI CONSERVAT AVG
XXIΓ
RIC 161 "Rome, 285"
Sear 12665

 

 

 

IC



Diocletian
22 mm. 3.92 grams.
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 328, p.257, Tripolis mint.
Sear 12670v (from Tripolis)

 

 

IC

Diocletian
22 mm. 4.03 grams.
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 331 Tripolis mint "R" p. 257
Sear 12671v (from Tripolis)

 

 


Diocletian
23-22 mm. 4.015 grams.
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 53, p. 226 "Lugdunum, 289". Bastien 143 p.144, 5th emission, 1st officina (287-289 AD).
Sear 12675

 

 


Diocletian
24 mm. 3.64 grams.  Full silvering.
IOVI TVTATORI AVGG
Jupiter holds Victory on globe and long scepter, eagle at feet left, P in exergue.
IMP C DIOCLETIANVS P AVG
RIC 54, page 226 "Lugdunum, 289". Bastien 145 p.144, 5th emission, 1st officina (287-289 AD).
Sear 12675

 


Diocletian
23-22 mm. 2.97 grams.
LAETITIA FVND
Laetitia standing left holding wreath and rudder, XXIZ in exergue.
IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC 171, page 237 "Rome, 285"
Sear 12679

 


Diocletian
22-21 mm. 3.59 grams.
MARS VICTOR
Mars walking right with transverse spear and trophy over far shoulder, VIXXIT in exergue.
IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
RIC 239C, page 244 "Ticinum, 285"
Sear 12680

 

 



Diocletian
22 mm. 3.29 grams.
MARTI PACIF
Mars standing left holding up olive branch, resting left on shield with vertical spear behind, XXIE in exergue.
IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC 173,  p. 238, Rome "285, C"
Sear 12681

 

 


Diocletian
22-21 mm. 3.17 grams.
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 174 Rome "285" p. 238
Sear 12683

 

 

Diocletian
24-22 mm. 4.31 grams.
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"
Sear 12690

 
 


Diocletian
22 mm. 3.59 grams.
PRIMIS X MVLTIS XX
Jupiter standing left holding thunderbolt and long scepter, XXIA in exergue
IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC 175, page 238 "Rome, 293-5"
Sear 12963

 

 

Diocletian
25-24 mm. 4.34 grams.
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 175H, page 238 "Rome, 293-5"
Sear IV 12694, "293-4".






Diocletian
24-22 mm. 3.80 grams.
PRIMIS X MVLTIS XX
Victory inscribing shield on palm VO/TX
, XXIZ in exergue.
IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC 177H, page 238 "Rome, 293-5"
Sear 12696

 

 


Diocletian
22 mm. 2.74 grams.
PROVIDENTIA AVG
Providentia standing left holding ears of grain over modius, cornucopia in left, C in field right.

RIC 77, page 228, "Lugdunum, 285".
Bastien 13 p.116, 1st emission, 3rd officina
(mid 285-1st of April 286 AD)
Sear 12702

 




Diocletian
22-21 mm. 3.74 grams.
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).
Sear 12705v (12705 has SAECVRIT, a typo?)


 

 

 


Diocletian
23 mm. 5.18 grams. (Heavy)
VICTORIA AVG
Victory walking left
holding wreath and palm, PXXIT in exergue.
IMP C C VAL ​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
RIC 242,  page 244 "Ticinum, 285"
Sear 12711

 

 


 Diocletian
23-21 mm. 3.61 grams.
VICTORIA AVG
Victory standing
left holding wreath and palm, XXIA in exergue.
IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG
RIC 183, page 239 "Rome, 285"
Sear 12710v (12710 does not have XXi)

 

VA

Diocletian
22-20 mm. 3.04 grams.
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 333, page 257 "Tripolis, 284"
Sear 12712v (with TR for Tripolis mint)


Diocletian
23-22 mm. 3.33 grams.
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 279, page 249 "Siscia, 292"
Sear 12714

 

 

3

 

Diocletian
23-22 mm. 3.30 grams.
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".
Sear 12715

 

 


Diocletian
23 mm. 3.36 grams.
VOT X M XX
Victory left standing on globe
, holding wreath and palm
D in left field, PTR in exergue
​​​​​​DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG
RIC 125 Trier "295, R" p. 232
Sear 12730

D
Diocletian
23-21 mm. 3.20 grams.
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).
Sear 12731

 

 

Diocletian 
22 mm. 4.77 grams.
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.
Sear 12732

 

  


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. 

 



Continue with the next page, the page of aureliani of Maximianus.

Go to the page of aureliani of Constantius and Galerius.

There is a page of links to pages on coins of the tetrarchies

Go to the master Table of Contents page.