A superb aureus of Diocletian
Lot 1482
Diocletian, 284-305. Aureus (Gold, 19 mm, 5.22 g, 7 h), Cyzicus, 287. DIOCLETIANVS AVGVSTVS Laureate head of Diocletian to right. Rev. COS III Diocletian, laureate and in military attire, on horseback to right, raising his right hand in salute and holding the reins in his left. Calicó 4445. Cohen 54. Depeyrot 7/2. RIC 287. A superb example, perfectly centered and sharply struck. Good extremely fine.

From the collection of Dipl.-Ing. Adrian Lang, ex Roma XX, 29 October 2020, 674, Roma XVII, 28 March 2019, 797 and Gadoury, 16 November 2018, 175.

While Diocletian is known to us as the great innovator who fundamentally reformed the Roman Empire after decades of crisis, this wonderful coin shows a typically Roman adherence to tradition. This becomes even clearer when comparing it to lot 1142 above, the aureus of Hadrian celebrating the emperor's adventus in Rome with an almost identical reverse scene. Whether Diocletian's coin celebrates an adventus (in Nicomedia?) is unclear, however. Certainly, in Late Antiquity, as the emperors became more mobile and often switched capitals, the ritualized imperial adventus only gained in importance, since it was the only chance most Romans would ever have of seeing their rulers in the flesh.
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Closing time: 15-May-22, 06:00:00 CEST
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