Diocletian

284 - 305 A.D.

Originally Diokles, a greek name, Diocletian gained the Latinized form of his name shortly before masterminding a revolt against Carinus. When Carinus received news of this insolency he set out at once with a large army to confront him. The two sides met in a prolonged and bloody match the results of which were finally turning against Diocletian. Seeing that all was lost he prepared to flee with what was left of his army when the most amazing thing happened. It seems Carinus had seduced the wife of one of his bodyguards who, for whatever possible reason, chose during the waning moments of the battle to avenge this affront by murdering his master.

Diocletian was then hailed as emperor by the same army that almost defeated him and he marched towards Rome as victor. Soon after his arrival he named his friend Maximian as co-emperor giving him rule over the western half of the empire. Both would then select subordinates who were not relatives of their own to help in the task and secure a line of succession unlike a blood dynasty. Diocletian's vision of this governmental scheme became known as the Tetrarchy and the first cycle of which was completed, as far as he was concerned, when he abdicated in 305 and demanded Maximian do likewise to leave their subordinates to rule.

Modern historians with the gift of hindsight pinpoint Diocletian's choice of reforming the army as the key culprit of the empire's downfall almost 200 years later. He figured that rather than have weak concentrations of army outposts scattered over the length of the empire's borders it would be better to have a centralized large force which could respond quickly in the event of a military crisis. While the theory may have been sound in principle he never foresaw the obstacles that led to the successful deployment and logistical problems that this method required and, thus, over time Romans became increasingly susceptible to barbarian attacks.

Diocletian died an old, forgotten and heartbroken man in his retirement palace in what is now Croatia. In the end he was villified for shattering the economy, wreaking political chaos in Rome and resorting to the now somewhat anachronistic practice of persecuting Christians. Finally, he had to witness in his own lifetime the utter failure of his power sharing format when the Tetrarchy disintegrated into the Constantinian dynasty.

Aureus

RIC 134 Aureus Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev: IOVICONSERVATAVGG, nude Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and sceptre.


RIC 293 Aureus Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSAVG, laureate, draped and cuirsassed bust right.
Rev: IOVICONSERVATORI, Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and long sceptre; SC.


RIC 314 Aureus Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG, laureate, draped and cuirsassed bust right.
Rev: FATISVICTRICIBVS Exe: X/SMA, the Parcae standing facing clasping hands, the figures on the left and right facing the central figure.


AR Argenteus

RIC 33a AR Argenteus Obv: DIOCLETIANVSAVG, laureate head right
Rev: PROVIDENTIAAVGG, four tetrarchs sacrificing over tripod before camp gate with eight turrets.


RIC 43a AR Argenteus Obv: DIOCLETIANVSAVG, laureate head right
Rev: VIRTVSMILITVM, four tetrarchs sacrificing before camp-gate with eight turrets.


AE Quinarius

RIC 193 AE Obv: IMPDIOCLETIANVSAVG. Head, laureate, right, bust draped.
Rev: IOVICONSERVATAVGG. Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and sceptrer.


AE Antoninianus

RIC 5v AE Antoninianus Obv: IMPCDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG; Radiate and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: PAXAVGGG Exe: S/P/MLXXI; Pax standing left, holding branch and scepter. Lot sold for $430 4/1/01.


RIC 161a, Cohen 214 AE Antoninianus Obv: IMPDIOCLETIANVSAVG - Radiate bust right, draped.
Rev: IOVICONSERTATAVG Exe: XXI(epsilon) - Jupiter standing left, holding a thunderbolt and scepter.


RIC 223, Cohen 200 AE Antoninianus Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSAVG - Radiate bust right, cuirassed
Rev: IOVICONSERVAT Exe: PXXIT; Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and scepter.


RIC 263f, Cohen 42 AE Antoninianus Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG - Radiate bust right, draped.
Rev: CONSERVATORAVGG - Jupiter standing left, holding scepter and Diocletian opposite, holding scepter, each holding patera and sacrificing at altar between them. Lot sold for $31 2/14/02.


RIC 284a, Cohen 34 AE Antoninianus Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSAVG - Radiate bust right, draped.
Rev: CONCORDIAMILITVM - Jupiter presents Victory on a globe to Diocletian. Lot sold for $7 12/16/01.


RIC 284c, Cohen 34 AE Antoninianus Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG - Radiate bust right, draped and cuirassed
Rev: CONCORDIAMILITVM - Jupiter on right and looking left, gives Victory to Diocletian standing opposite from him. Lot sold for $11 11/5/01.


RIC 306, Cohen 33 AE Antoninianus Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSAVG - Radiate bust right, draped
Rev: CONCORDIAMILITVM - Jupiter and Diocletian facing, with Jupiter passing Victory on a globe to Diocletian.


RIC 322c, Cohen 34 AE Antoninianus Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG - Radiate bust right, draped and cuirassed.
Rev: CONCORDIAMILITVM - Jupiter presents Victory on a globe to Diocletian.


AE Follis (post-reform)

RIC 3a AE Follis Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG - Laureate bust right, draped
Rev: GENIOPOPVLIROMANI - Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopia.


RIC 17a AE Follis Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG; Laur. head right,
Rev: GENIOPOPVLIROMANI; Genius of the Roman People standing left, pouring libations from a patera and holding cornucopiae. Lot sold for $5 11/2/01.


RIC 22a AE Follis Obv: IMPCDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG - Laureate head right.
Rev: GENIOPOPVLIROMANI Exe: AQP - Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopia.


RIC 25a AE Follis Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG - Laureate head right.
Rev: GENIOPOPVLIROMANI - Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopia.


RIC 41, Cohen 173 AE Follis Obv: IMPCVALDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG, Laureate head right.
Rev: IOVICONSAVG, Jupiter half naked standing left, holding sceptre and victory on globe S and Δ/P in right field.


RIC 98a AE Follis Obv: IMPCDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG. Head, laureate, right.
Rev: SACRAMONVRBAVGGETCAESSNN. Moneta standing left, holding scales and cornucopiae.


RIC 113 AE Follis Obv: IMPDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG - Laureate head right
Rev: GENIOPOPVLIROMANI - Genius standing left, holding cornucopia and patera.


RIC 676a AE Follis Obv: DNDIOCLETIANOFELICISSIMOSENAVG, laureate and mantled bust right, holding olive branch in right hand, mappa in left
Rev: PROVIDENTIADEORVMQVIESAVGG Exe: S F/PTR, Providentia standing right, extending right hand to Quies standing left, holding branch and leaning on sceptre.


S 3510 AE Follis Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: CONCORDIAMILITVM, Diocletian standing right, receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter standing left.


S 3533 AE Follis Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG; Laureate head right.
Rev: GENIOPOPVLIROMANI; Genius standing left holding patera and cornucopia. Lot sold for $8 11/14/01.


S 3538 AE Follis Obv: IMPDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG, Laureate head right
Rev: SACRAMONETAVGGETCAESSNOSTR, Moneta standing left holding cornucopia and scales.


AE Radiate (post-reform)

RIC 13 AE Radiate Obv: IMPCCVALDIOCLETIANVSPFAVG - Radiate bust right, draped and cuirassed
Rev: CONCORDIAMILITVM - Jupiter standing left, presents Victory on a globe to Maximianus opposite.