AE Follis. 10.2g, 29mm
MINTED: Carthage mint, 1st officina, circa AD 303
REF: RIC VI 31a (scarce)
OBVERSE: IMP DIOCLETIANVS P F AVG, laureate head right.
REVERSE: SALVIS AVGG ET CAESS FEL KART, Carthage standing facing, head left, holding fruits in both hands; A in exergue, I in left field.
Almost Very Fine. Good-looking coin with dark brown-green patina.
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 . Follis . "Carthage holding fruits" . Scarce
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