Licinius, Roman emperor, 308-324. Varieties of the GENIO AVGVSTI follis.
Licinius came to power in an unusual way; he was appointed. In 308 Galerius, the eastern Augustus, called the Conference at Carnuntum (a Roman legionary fortress on the Danube River 25 miles east of Vienna) to straighten out who was to be ruling in the west. Galerius arranged to have Licinius promoted directly to western Augustus (He had not been Caesar).
That was the one decision of that conference that actually had some effect. The other decisions of the conference that were intended to reduce the number of western rulers (by making Maximian retire again and declaring Maxentius a "public enemy) were ignored. It took Constantine and his army, not a conference, to remove them in 310 and 312, respectively. (For more of the history, see below.)
The coin above to the right: GENIO AVGVSTI for Licinius as Augustus, with Genius holding Victory on globe and cornucopia. Other varieties are below. Licinius's name is spelled with two N's (IMP C LIC LICINNIVS PF AVG), although it is commonly spelled with one.
21-20 mm. 4.69 grams. Struck 311-312. Fieldmarks * S, mintmark ANT. RIC Antioch 162a. This issue is shared with Maximinus II (Antioch was in his territory) and Constantine.
GENIO AVGVSTI. The GENIO AVGVSTI type with Genius standing left resembles the very common GENIO POPVLI ROMANI type. It comes in five varieties, including
• the basic "Genius standing" type (the next two coins),
• a flaming altar at the feet of Genius,
• Genius holding Victory on globe instead of a patera
• Genius holding the head of Serapis
• Genius holding the head of Sol
It is common for the earliest coins of an emperor to have his name in a longer, more complete, form and later coins to shorten his name, once he has become known as emperor. The first coin has a remarkably long name for Licinius.
Licinius, with a long obverse legend.
VAL LICINNIANVS LICINNIVS PF AVG
This long full name for Licinius is used only at Cyzicus and only for the first two groups for Licinius.
Also, Licinius is spelled with "NN" which is not the normal spelling.
Genius standing left holding patera and cornucopia, just like on the earlier GENIO POPVLI ROMANI folles.
RIC VI Cyzicus 54.
The next example has Genius holding Victory on a globe. [This repeats the coin at the top of the page.]
21-20 mm. 4.69 grams.
IMP C LIC LICINIVS PF AVG
Genius standing left holding Victory on globe and cornucopia
RIC Antioch 162a
IMP C LIC LICINNIVS PF AVG
Genius standing left, modius on head, holding head of Serapis (with modius on head) and cornucopia
RIC Alexandria 162a
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