AE Follis. 10.71g, 27.6mm
MINTED: Thesslonica mint, AD 298-299
REF: RIC VI Thessalonica 19a
OBVERSE: IMP CC VAL DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right.
REVERSE: GENIO POPV-L-I ROMANI, Genius standing left pouring libation from patera and holding cornucopiae; TSB in exergue.
Almost Very Fine/Fine. Light roughness; dark green patina.
A nice heavy follis of Diocletian, whose major reform of the Roman coinage resulted in the introduction of this large bronze denomination as the primary coin of daily commerce. Depicted on the reverse is the Genius (divine spirit) of the Roman people.
Diocletian was a soldier from the province of Dalmatia who became emperor in 284, ending a period of troubles for the Roman Empire known as the Crisis of the Third Century. Believing that the empire was too large to be effectively governed by a single man, he instituted a 'rule of four emperors', known as the Tetrarchy, appointing as co-senior emperor an old friend, Maximian, and two trusted junior colleagues, Galerius and Constantius Chlorus. Though his grand experiment eventually failed, while Diocletian lived and ruled, the empire regained its political stability and a measure of its former military strength. In 305, after 21 years on the throne, Diocletian, then in ill-health, abdicated his rule and retired to a massive fortified palace at Spalatum (modern day Split in Croatia), spending his days growing cabbages in the palace gardens. What remains of his imposing palace today is considered one of the grandest and most impressive ruins surviving from Roman times.
DIOCLETIAN . AD 284-305 . AE Follis . Genius of the Roman People
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