Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius, 285-305 AD


ID Number: AC14-0203
Category: Ancient Coins
Description: Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius, 285-310 AD
Country or State: Roman Empire
Year: 298-299, Thessalonica
Period: THE TETRARCHY (284 AD to 337 AD)
Head of State/Ruler: Maximianus Herculius (Full Name: Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius Augustus); 52nd Emperor of the Roman Empire
Reign: July 21 or July 25 285 – 286 (as Caesar under Diocletian); April 2, 286 – May 1, 305 (as Augustus of the West, with Diocletian as Augustus of the East); Late 306 – November 11, 308 (declared himself Augustus); 310 (declared himself Augustus)
Currency: Follis
Face Value:  
Obverse: Laureate head right
Obverse Designer:  
Reverse: Genius with Patera and Horn facing right
Reverse Legend: GENIO POPV - LI ROMANI / TSA
Reverse Designer:  
Edge: Irregular
Mint Mark:  
Composition: Bronze
Diameter: ~29.0 mm (irregular)
Weight: 10.6 grams
Krause & Mishler Number:  
Other Catalog Number: RIC VI; S. 512
State of Conservation: Extremely Fine (XXF), Very well preserved with very light traces of patina

Proof (Prf) € -
Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) € -
Mint State/Mint Condition (MS) € -
Uncirculated (Unc) € -
Extremely Fine (XF) € -
Very Fine (VF) € -
Fine (F) € -
Very Good (VG) € -
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Maximian was Roman Emperor from 286 to 305. He was Caesar from 285 to 286, then Augustus from 286 to 305. He shared the latter title with his co-emperor and superior, Diocletian, whose political brain complemented Maximian's military brawn. Maximian established his residence at Trier but spent most of his time on campaign. In the late summer of 285, he suppressed rebels in Gaul known as the Bagaudae. From 285 to 288, he fought against Germanic tribes along the Rhine frontier. Together with Diocletian, he launched a scorched earth campaign deep into Alamannic territory in 288, temporarily relieving the Rhine provinces from the threat of Germanic invasion.

The man he appointed to police the Channel shores, Carausius, rebelled in 286, causing the secession of Britain and northwestern Gaul. Maximian failed to oust Carausius, and his invasion fleet was destroyed by storms in 289 or 290. Maximian's subordinate, Constantius, campaigned against Carausius' successor, Allectus, while Maximian held the Rhine frontier. The rebel leader was ousted in 296, and Maximian moved south to combat piracy near Hispania and Berber incursions in Mauretania. When these campaigns concluded in 298, he departed for Italy, where he lived in comfort until 305. At Diocletian's behest, Maximian abdicated on May 1, 305, gave the Augustan office to Constantius, and retired to southern Italy.

In late 306, Maximian took the title of Augustus again and aided his son Maxentius' rebellion in Italy. In April 307, he attempted to depose his son, but failed and fled to the court of Constantius' successor, Constantine (who was both Maximian's step-grandson and also his son-in-law), in Trier. At the Council of Carnuntum in November 308, Diocletian and his successor, Galerius, forced Maximian to renounce his imperial claim again. In early 310, Maximian attempted to seize Constantine's title while the emperor was on campaign on the Rhine. Few supported him, and he was captured by Constantine in Marseille. Maximian committed suicide in the summer of 310 on Constantine's orders. During Constantine's war with Maxentius, Maximian's image was purged from all public places. However, after Constantine ousted and killed Maxentius, Maximian's image was rehabilitated, and he was deified.