Roman Empire

Maximianus, Co-Emperor AD 286-305

RIC 616; Depeyrot 13/4; Calicó 4613, Superb Extremely Fine

Cyzicus, AD 293. MAXIMIANVS AVGVSTVS, laureate head of Maximianus left. Reverse: CONCORDI-AE AVGG NN, Maximianus and Diocletian seated left on curule chairs, each holding baton and globe; above, Victory facing, crowning both emperors.

Ex LHS 97 (10 May 2006), 90; Virgil M. Brand Collection, pt. I (Sotheby’s, Zurich, 1 July 1982), 62

In AD 286, Carausius, Maximian’s commander in Britannia, rebelled and declared himself a British Augustus. In response to this crisis, on April 1, AD 286, Diocletian elevated Maximian to the rank of Augustus so that the struggle between Maximian and Carausius would appear to be a conflict between equals. Although this development did not officially divide the Empire, the seeds of the future division between East and West were sown. The two Augusti henceforth had their own courts, armies, and capitals although they emphasized that the Empire remained an indivisible patrimony and a communal possession of the Emperors. The present solidus expresses this propaganda in its reverse type depicting the two Augusti enthroned side by side as equals and both crowned by the same Victory while the surrounding legend proclaims the concord between the Emperors.