Virtually as struck
Lot 281
Carinus, as Caesar, 282-283. Aureus (Gold, 19 mm, 4.69 g, 11 h), Antiochia, spring 283. IMP C M AVR CARINVS NOB C Laureate and cuirassed bust of Carinus to right. Rev. VICTORIAE AVGG / SMA Victory advancing right, holding wreath in her right hand and palm frond over her left shoulder. Cohen -. Calicó 4393b (same reverse die). RIC -. Extremely rare and among the finest of a very few known examples. A wonderful, lustrous and sharply struck coin. Virtually as struck.

Ex Leu 4, 25 May 2019, 731.

This wonderful aureus of Carinus is part of a special emission struck in Antioch in the spring of 283. Carus was the first emperor since Gallienus to have adult sons, and he entrusted the western part of the empire to his firstborn, Carinus, while heading East with his younger son, Numerian, to fight the Sasanids. Carinus proved to be a successful ruler, as he and his generals successfully fought off Germanic tribes on the Rhine frontier. These victories led Carus to elevate his son to the rank of Augustus - perhaps not least to strengthen Carinus' authority in the West during the time in which he himself would be fighting in the field against the Sasanids.

It is somewhat curious that the coin celebrates the victories of the Augusti on the reverse, while still calling Carinus 'Caesar' on the obverse. Perhaps it was struck in a hurry, using an old obverse die, right after Carus received news about his son's victories in the West, events that the emperor undoubtedly used to strengthen the legitimacy of his dynasty and to boost the morale of his troops.
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