Roman Empire

Maximinus I ‘Thrax’, Emperor AD 235-238

RIC 13; BMC 15; RSC 77, Extremely Fine

Rome, AD 235. IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Maximinus I right. Reverse: PROVIDE-NTIA AVG, Providentia standing facing, head left, holding wand over globe and cornucopiae.

C. Julius Verus Maximinus was a low-born Thracian who became a career soldier in the Roman army. After the death of Severus Alexander he was hailed Emperor by the soldiery, but only grudgingly recognized by the noblemen of the Senate. Although Maximinus initially tried to be conciliatory, his humble background, absence from Rome, and cost of his frontier campaigns on the Rhine and Danubian frontiers roused the hostility of the Senate. Senatorial plots on the frontier and the raising first of Gordian I and Gordian II and then Pupienus, Balbinus, and Gordian III as rival emperors “of the right sort” finally compelled Maximinus to begin a march on Rome. He was delayed from reaching the capital by the strong resistance of Aquileia. Over the course of the extended siege that followed some of his troops became disaffected and murdered Maximinus. His reign marks the beginning of the so-called Crisis of the Third Century and the age of the military emperors.