AE Radiatus (Post-Reform Radiate Fraction). 2.98g, 20.3mm
MINTED: Heraclea mint, AD 296
REF: RIC VI Heraclea 13/21
OBVERSE: IMP C C VAL DIOCLETIANVS PF AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE: CONCORDIA MILITVM, Jupiter presenting Victory on a globe to Diocletian; HB between them.
Choice Very Fine. Slightly rough surfaces with some hard concretions on reverse.
The radiatus, or a post-reform radiate, was issued as part of Diocletian's extensive monetary reform. In appearance, it closely resembled the antoninianus denomination that preceded it, but where the field mark "XXI" on the antoninianus indicated the presence of silver in the alloy used (in the proportion of 20 parts of bronze to 1 part of silver), the radiatus carried no such mark and no silver content to speak of.
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 . Radiatus . "CONCORDIA MILITVM" . Heraclea
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