Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich   |   Auction 111   |   24 September 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 218

Estimate: 15'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 12'000 CHF Price realized: 22'000 CHF
Constantius I Chlorus caesar, 293 – 305. Aureus, Treveri 303, AV 5.46 g. CONSTAN – TIVS NOB C Laureate head r. Rev. HERCVLI CONSER – AVGG ET CAESS NN Hercules standing facing, head l., leaning l. hand over club, holding bow, quiver and lion's skin over shoulders. In exergue, TR. C –. Baldwin-Brett, NC 1933, 105 and pl. 25, 3. Bastien & Metzger, Beaurains p. 132, 375 (this coin). RIC 45. Depeyrot 10B/7. Calicó 4836 (these dies).
A superb portrait in the finest style of the period and a
wonderful reddish tone. Extremely fine
Ex Hess 14 April 1954, 374; M&M XV, 1955, 854 and Gemini V, 2009, 833 sales. From the Arras Hoard and the Collection of a Retired Banker.
Remembered as 'Chlorus', meaning pale or of poor health, by Byzantine writers, Constantius I was the senior of the two Caesars of the First Tetrarchy, and subsequently the senior Augustus from A.D. 305 until his untimely death in 306. The division of the Roman Empire into a tetrarchy – i.e., the rule by four – was instituted by Diocletian in 293 in order to combat the many threats facing the regime. Having already elevated Maximianus to rule alongside him jointly in 286, Diocletian saw the need to expand their diarchy and therefore appointed each a Caesar to serve as deputy: Galerius, who became the junior Caesar, was adopted by Diocletian and assisted him in ruling the eastern provinces, while Constantius was made the senior Caesar under Maximianus with responsibilities for the western provinces. Along with these adoptions each also chose a patron deity to lend legitimacy to their rule. In the case of Diocletian and Galerius, the god was Jove, and they adopted the name Jovius. Maximianus and Constantius took the name Herculius as their patron was Hercules. Both gods received special recognition on the coinage of their respective tetrarchs, such as on this aureus of Constantius where the reverse depicts Hercules in order to celebrate Constantius' membership in the Herculian house. Constantius' reign as Caesar saw the return to Roman hands of the break-away Romano-British Empire of Carausius and Allectus, and later the defeat of a horde of marauding Alemanni from across the Rhine. He established his capital at Trier, and secured his territories from further unrest. After the abdication of Diocletian and Maximianus in A.D. 305 and his and Galerius' elevations, Constantius inflicted a resounding defeat on the Picts of northern Britain. However, while he was involved in this campaign he fell gravely ill, and subsequently died at Eboracum in A.D. 306.

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