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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton VII, Lot: 1031. Estimate $10000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 12 January 2004. 
Sold For $7000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

DIVUS CARUS. Died 283 AD. AV Aureus (4.72 gm). Lugdunum (Lyon) mint. Struck 284 AD. DIVO CARO PIO, laureate head right / CONSECRATIO, eagle standing right, head turned left. RIC V 4; Lyon 619; Pink VI/2, pg. 24; Calicó 4261; Cohen 14. EF. Very rare, only 3 specimens recorded by Bastien (in Lyon). [See color enlargement on plate 18] ($10,000)

The accession of Carus in 282 AD held much promise, for he immediately shared imperial duties with his eldest son, Carinus, whom he placed in charge of the west. This enabled Carus and his youngest son Numerian to lead a campaign against the Sasanian Persians. The invasion was a great success, with the Romans striking deep into the heart of Persia and ultimately capturing Ctestiphon (for coinage of his opponent, Bahram II, see lots 588-602, above). Unfortunately, in 283 AD, Carus died in his encampment along the battle lines, allegedly from a lightening strike. From that moment, the fledgling dynasty was doomed. Numerian withdrew from the war with Persia and was murdered in his litter while marching westward to meet his brother. A high-ranking soldier named Diocles (later, Diocletian) took command of the armies formerly under the command of Carus and Numerian, and led them westward to defeat Carinus and claim the Empire for himself. During these brief and tragic months that followed the death of Carus, his dutiful sons had him deified and struck coins, such as this rare aureus, in his honor.