GALERIUS, as Caesar
AE Antoninianus. 3.6g, 23.4mm
MINTED: Lugdunum mint, AD 293-294
REF: RIC V 684
OBVERSE: MAXIMIANVS NOB C, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE: ORIENS AVG, Sol standing left, raising right hand and holding whip; B in exergue.
Very Fine. Sharp strike; some silvering remaining.
A very nice example of a rare and seldom seen denomination for Galerius, who was appointed to the rank of Caesar for only a short period of time prior to Diocletian's extensive monetary reform, where the antoninianus was phased out. The antoninianus had served as the primary coin of commerce in the Roman Empire since its introduction by Caracalla nearly 80 years earlier, and antoniniani in the name of Galerius and Constantius I are amongst the last that were ever struck.
Galerius became emperor of the Roman Empire in 305 as the designated heir of Diocletian. However, under the system of the Tetrarchy, he had to share power with a co-emperor, Constantius I. He attempted to engineer his primacy by having two of his allies appointed to the positon of Caesar, but in doing so, he instead set the stage of the Tetrarchy's eventual collapse as other would-be successors rebelled against the hierarchy he established. He ruled for 6 years, before contracting a horrible bowel disease in 311 that resulted in him literally rotting to death from the inside.
GALERIUS, as Caesar . AD 293-305 . Antoninianus . "Sol" . Rare
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