6-200

RIC VI, ANTIOCHIA [before 132a], MAXIMINUS, UNLISTED ISSUE

  

OBVERSE

IMPCGALVALMAXIMINVSPFAVG [IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG]; bust facing, head r., laur., wearing imperial mantle, r. holding mappa.

REVERSE

CONSVLVII-PPPROCOS [CONSVL VII P P PROCOS]; emperor laur., stg. facing, head l., wearing consular robes, r. holding globe, l. holding short baton at side. Star in left field, ς in right field. ANT in exergue.

NOT IN RIC

UNLISTED ISSUE. Struck probably in 310. Bust similar to the one known from aureus (see: ANTIOCHIA [after 127a], MAXIMINUS, UNLISTED BUST TYPE). Note that Failmezger in RBC (footnote 46 on p. 29) erroneously assumes that "Maximinus struck this coin in honor of Galerius as Consul VII in 308". Legend IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG makes such assumption impossible.

Extensive note from CNG auction [May 2008, lot 1854]: "This coin presents numerous difficulties. First, the reverse type is completely unknown in bronze at any mint; it only appears in gold. While problematic, the appearance of a new reverse type in bronze is not impossible. The second difficulty regards the mintmark. This broad, thin-flanned follis must belong to the issues of circa May AD 310 - May AD 311, as the folles became compact and thick afterward. However, according to RIC, all of the aes issues for this period contain an "altar" in their mintmark, usually in the left field. It is certain that such a mark was not erased, or otherwise removed, from this coin. Nonetheless, as the reverse type is novel, it is possible that this symbol may be missing on this particular issue from this period. The third, and final, difficulty is most significant: the reverse legend commemorates the "seventh" consulship of Maximinus, but Maximinus was only consul twice, in AD 307 (while as Caesar) and AD 311 (as Augustus). A possible solution would be that the reverse is a hybrid from one of the other Augusti, but none of the others held their seventh consulship during Maximinus' reign. Galerius did hold his eighth consulship jointly with Maximinus in AD 311, but it is clear that the numeral in the reverse legend does not contain a final "I" that would be needed for this coin to be a hybrid with a previously-unknown reverse type of Galerius. As this coin does not appear in any respect to be a modern forgery, and it was apparently found among a large hoard of folles, the only possibility remaining would seem to be that it is a contemporary forgery. However, it would be very unlikely that a forger would make a novel type that would be more difficult to pass off compared to a copy of a common issue.

There are many other hypothesis (e.g. VII for Maximinus' seventh imperial salutation, engraver's error etc.). The present author agrees with Curtis Clay who wrote: "I think the rev. shows not Maximinus, but Galerius with his correct consular title in 310, CONSVL VII. Perhaps the occasion of issue was Maximinus' promotion to the rank of Augustus in 310, alongside Galerius who had been Augustus since 305.

There is an aureus of Maximinus struck at Antioch with exactly the rev. type in question, J. Hirsch XXIV, 1909, Consul Weber, 2939, somehow omitted by RIC, but noted by Depeyrot, p. 143, 26/4:

MAXIMI - NVS P F AVG, head laureate r. / CONSVL VII - P P PROCOS, Galerius standing l. in consular toga, holding globe and short sceptre, in exergue SMAZ flanked by crescent and star.

It is highly unlikely that both the aureus and the bronzes are mules: apparently the combination of Maximinus on the obverse but Galerius on the reverse was intentional. Similarly COS VII on the bronzes must be correct, since it occurs on the aureus too.

Since Galerius did not assume a new consulship in 310, apparently the intention was to show him in consular garb and with his correct titles, perhaps on the occasion when Maximinus joined him as Augustus. The exactly similar aureus that Ben refers to, RIC 127, has an obverse of Maximinus and the same reverse type, but with the titles of Maximinus on the reverse too, CONSVL P P - PROCONSVL; see the specimen illustrated above by Voz. The date here too is 310, although Maximinus did not assume a new consulship in that year; his first consulship dated to 307, his partner in that consulship being Galerius CONSVL VII, as on the other aureus".

Note that the second known specimen from Falimezger's collection is from different dies, but "hybrid hypothesis" still cannot be definitely excluded. Coin should be listed before ANTIOCHIA 132a.

NOTES

Weight 6.52 g. Coin sold on CNG auction 78 (lot 1854) in May 2008 for $4,150.

Other specimens:

- from Emporium Hamburg Floor Auction 84 (lot 321), March 2019; weight 5.91 g [click for picture];

- from Victor Failmezger's collection (no. 188 in RBC); photo by Doug Smith [click for picture].


NOT IN RIC © 2004 Lech Stępniewski