GALERIUS, as Caesar
AE Radiatus (Post-Reform Radiate Fraction). 2.95g, 22.8mm
MINTED: Antioch mint, AD 296
REF: RIC VI Antioch 61B (scarce)
OBVERSE: GAL VAL MAXIMIANVS NOB CAES, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE: CONCORDIA MIL-ITVM, Galerius standing right in military dress, receiving Victory on globe from Jupiter, standing left leaning on sceptre, star over Є between them; ANT in exergue.
Very Fine. Nice desert patina; well-centered.
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.
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 . Radiatus . "Emperor and Jupiter" . Antioch
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