Obverse: IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS PF AVG; Laureate Bust of the Emperor Facing Right
Reverse: SOLI INVICTO; Sol Standing to the Left, Saluting and Holding the Head of Serapis
When the Roman Emperor Galerius ascended the throne upon the abdication of Diocletian and Maximianus, he appointed Maximinus Daia as his Caesar in the East to replace him. He remained Caesar until 308, when Galerius thought it prudent to promote him to the rank of Augustus. In 311, Galerius died after a terrible illness and Maximinus became Emperor Maximinus II, Augustus in the East. He immediately moved his court to the city of Nicomedia in Asia Minor and governed from there. In 312, Constantine the Great, Emperor of the West, made an alliance with Licinius and finally defeated Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge. A short while later, Maximinus decided to invade territory belonging to Licinius. He captured several cities before Licinius was able to bring his armies from Milan to face him. Maximinus was defeated in the battle fought in Thrace on April 30, 313 and only escaped because he disguised himself as a slave. He died a few months later at Tarsus, leaving Constantine in control of the West and Licinius in the East.
How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who might have touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after it leaves our hands. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and location, whether contemporary currencies or artifacts of a long forgotten empire. This stunning hand-struck coin reveals an expertise of craftsmanship and intricate sculptural detail that is often lacking in contemporary machine-made currencies. This ancient coin is a memorial an emperor, passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation that still appears as vibrant today as the day it was struck.