CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION ISSUE
Time of Maximinus II
AE (Quarter-Follis?). 1.28g, 15.6mm
MINTED: Antioch mint, circa AD 312
REF: RIC-; Vagi 2954
OBVERSE: GENIO ANTIOCHENI, Tyche of Antioch seated facing on rocks, turreted and veiled, stalks of grain in right; upper body of river-god Orontes below, standing facing in waist deep water, arms outstretched.
REVERSE: APOLLONI SANCTO, Apollo standing left, patera in right, kithara in left; Є over Δ in right field, SMA in exergue.
Very Fine/Almost Very Fine.
Part of an interesting group of anonymous civic coinage, issued at a time when the pagan authorities of Antioch appealed to Maximinus to banish the Christians from their city. Similar movements occured at Nicomedia and Alexandria, which also issued their own 'persecution' coins.
An added note of interest is the officina mark ЄΔ. The series was struck at 10 officinae, or workshops. This particular coin was struck at the 9th workshop, and where Θ being the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet could otherwise have been used as an officina mark, it was also the first letter of the word 'death' ( Θάνατος, or Thanatos) and considered unlucky. Therefore, ЄΔ (5+4) was used in its place.
Maximinus II Daia was the nephew of emperor Galerius, and even before the latter's death, he had begun to claim the title of Augustus, in competition with Constantine I, Licinius, and Maxentius. Early Christian writers who lived through his persecutions of Christians ascribed all manner of crimes and sinful vices to him. Eusebius wrote that Maximinus was "deranged and crazed", an "instructor in wickedness to those about him", and that he "could not pass through a city without continually corrupting women and ravishing virgins." In 313, Maximinus's army was defeated by that of Licinius at the Battle of Tzirallum. Maximinus escaped the battle dressed as a slave and fled to Tarsus, where he continued to be beseiged by Licinius until his death in August of that year.
CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION ISSUE . Temp. Maximinus II Daia . AD 310-313 . AE
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