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Notes: Laureate head right / Genius standing left, holding patera and cornucopia; at feet to left, eagle standing left, head right
Obverse: Lucius Domitius Domitianus was a Roman usurper against Diocletian. Domitianus seized power for a short time in Egypt in 297 AD. This revolt destabilized a vitally strategic region by interrupting the grain supply to Rome and opening the possibility of Persian (Sasanian) invasion. For almost a year, Domitius Domitianus controlled Alexandria and its mint, striking aurei and folles, as well as a series of pre-reform imperial Greek denominations.
Reverse: In Roman religion, the genius is the individual instance of a general divine nature that is present in every individual person, place, or thing. Much like a guardian angel, the genius would follow each man from the hour of his birth until the day he died. For women it was the Juno spirit that would accompany each of them. The Greeks called their genii daemons, and believed in them long before the Romans.
Denomination: The Roman follis was a large bronze coin introduced in about 294 (actual name of this coin is unknown ) with the coinage reform of Diocletian. It weighed about 10 grams and was about 4% silver, mostly as a thin layer on the surface. The word follis means bag (usually made of leather) in Latin, and there is evidence that this term was used in antiquity for a sealed bag containing a specific amount of coins. It is also possible that the coin was named Follis because of the ancient Greek word "φολίς" meaning a thin layer of metal which covers the surface of various objects, since originally, this coin had a thin layer of silver on top. The follis of Diocletian, despite efforts to enforce prices with the Edict on Maximum Prices (301), was revalued and reduced. By the time of Constantine, the follis was smaller and barely contained any silver. A series of Constantinian bronzes was introduced in the mid-4th century, although the specific denominations are unclear and debated by historians and numismatists. They are referred to as AE1, AE2, AE3 and AE4, with the former being the largest (near 27 mm) and the latter the smallest (averaging 15 mm) in diameter.
Period: Imperial Rome. As the Roman Republic began to implode because of corruption and infighting among powerful members of the Roman Senate, a new type of Roman Republican coinage emerges, that of the military strongmen who dominated and fought among each other before the final fall of the Republic. The drama surrounding the fall of the Roman Republic is a story full of political intrigue, military action, betrayal, murder and sex scandals. Different parts of this story have been told and retold by ancient historians, modern day scholars, dozens of Hollywood movies and even an HBO miniseries. All of the actors in this great drama, Crassus, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, Mark Antony and Cleopatra and the last man standing at the end of it all, Octavian (later known as the first emperor of Rome, Emperor Augustus) all minted coins during this time bearing their names and propaganda images supporting their factions and political ideals.
Culture: Ancient Rome. A famous catch phrase "Rome was not built in a day" definitely applies to the Roman civilization. Rome stated as a series of small villages among the famous seven hills of Rome along the river Tiber. Eventually through conquest, diplomacy, wise policies of indirect rule and assimilation, the Romans were able to not only unify the Italian peninsula, but though a series of brutal wars against regional powers established a great Empire that spanned Europe, Asia and Africa, making the Mediterrean Sea and "Roman Lake."
All Roman coinage can generally be divided into eight time periods as described below. An interesting thing about Roman coins minted during these eight time periods is that you can literally see the "Rise and Fall" of the Roman Empire on its coinage as the sharp imagery and pure silver and gold coins of the Roman Republic and Early Imperial Period gradually devolves into crude, illegible and heavily debased coins of the "Barracks Emperors" and "Barbarian" Period.
Item created by: gdm on 2016-08-14 13:00:51. Last edited by gdm on 2016-08-14 16:31:38
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