About this artwork
On the front of this well-preserved coin is a portrait of the Roman emperor Maximianus Herculius (reigned 286–305). He was one of the four men (called tetrarchs) who together ruled the Roman Empire at this time, after its division into east and west halves under Diocletian (reigned 284–305). Maximianus is identified by the inscription that encircles his portrait—MAXIMIA - NVS P F AVG. The phrase P[ius] F[elix] Augustus indicates that he is a “dutiful” and “happy” emperor. Diocletian gave Maximianus the title of Herculius, a reference to the great hero Hercules, who is depicted on the back of the coin with his characteristic club and lion skin.
- Ancient Roman
- Aureus (Coin) Portraying Emperor Maximianus Herculius
- 303 AD
- Obverse: MAXIMIA - NVS P F AVG (Maximianus Pius Felix Augustus) Reverse: HERCVLI – CONSER[VATORI] AUGG ET CAESS NN (defender or protector, Our Augustus and Caesar).
- 1.8 cm; 5.25 g
- Restricted gifts of the Classical Art Society, John T. Vaughan and Jeffrey R. Darna