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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 70, Lot: 1056. Estimate $6000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2005. 
Sold For $7500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MAXIMIANUS. 286-305 AD. AV Aureus (4.70 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck 287 AD. Laureate head right / Hercules seated facing on rocks, head right, holding lion's skin and club; to right, quiver with arrows and bow; PR. RIC V -; Pink, Goldprägung p. 19; Depeyrot 6/3; Cohen 305; Calicó 4680 corr. (mint, date). EF. ($6000)

When Diocletian devised his new ‘tetrarchy’ system of government, with the object of bringing much-needed stability to the political situation in the Empire, part of his strategy was to create two imperial houses, the ‘Jovians’ and the ‘Herculians.' Idealistic and impractical, like so much of Diocletian's thinking, the plan was to replace the inherently unstable arrangement based on family dynasties. As creator of the new order he reserved for himself and his junior colleague, the Caesar Galerius, the designation ‘Jovian,’ and they enjoyed the special protection of Jupiter, chief deity of the Roman pantheon. Maximianus, the co-emperor in the West, had been one of the Empire's leading generals under Aurelian and Probus, and Diocletian deemed it appropriate that he should head the ‘Herculian’ house. Maximianus, together with his Caesar Constantius, was under the watchful eye of the hero Hercules, always a favorite with the rulers of Rome. As a result of these designations many of the aureus types of Maximian and Constantius dwell on the theme of Hercules.