Roman Coins of the Tetrarchy of Diocletian
 & the Age of Constantine

The Background shows the Tetrarchy of the 4 Emperors

Reference page for latest styling & techniques

style: table_Ancient_Rome-Imperial.css
also Ancients_47_Rome_Empire_Crisis-II.
click on the coin for a  view of both sides

Rome: Crisis I
Rome: Late Roman Empire
Back to Home
Nummus of Diocletian
Emperor 284 - 305 AD
nummus, bronze with silvered surfaces
CNG fixed price list, 1989

Nummus or Follis? This coin was also referred to as a follis. Recent research indicates that they are more properly called a nummus. Follis was used in past numismatic literature and most collectors were very familiar with the follis name.
weight= 10.429 g
unc with much original silvering on surfaces (as described by CNG).

There is an extensive discussion of Tetrarchy-era folles on Coin Talk:
Roman Nummi (folli) of the Late 3rd - Early 4th Century

Another thread on the same forum illustrates the history of the Tetrarchy nicely:
Diocletian: Two Interesting Coins and a Legacy of Reform
Nummus of Constantine
Emperor 307 - 337 AD
Nummus or follis, struck 307 AD
Leu Numismatik, 4, lot# 741

26mm dia, weight= 7.24 g

According to "Coinage and History of the Roman Empire", D. Vagi, vol 1, p. 485, there were the following size changes in the nummis. Coincident with this were decreases in weight & purity: the small traces of Silver being replaced with Lead.
Earliest, struck as Caesar, 306-307: 27-31 mm
1st size decrease: 307/308
2nd size decrease: 311/313 then, eventually becomming an AE3 at 17-22 mm
335/336 reduction to an AE3/4, 15-18 mm
Around the time of Constantine's death (337AD) another drop to AE4, 10-12 mm
These small coins were called a "nummis minimus"

After the Tetrarchy and Constantine I

Coins of the 4th Century

click on the coin for a  view of both sides
milarense of Constantine II
Constantine II
Emperor 337 - 340 AD
Harlan J Berk

weight= g
Nummus of Julian
Julian "The Apostate"
r. 360 - 363 AD
follis 361-363 AD
weight= 8.99 g

Gorney & Mosch, auc 257, Oct 15,2018, lot# 986

There is also a website dedicated to the realistic style of portrait coinage temporarily introduced by Julian.

Taking the bull by the horns

from, Will Lewis, 16 Mar, 2018.
There is also an excellent book on Julian the Apostate

"Some people are fond of horses, others of wild animals; in my case, I have been possessed since childhood by a prodigious desire to buy and own books."
Julian the Apostate

Rome: Crisis I
Rome: Late Roman Empire
Back to Home