By David R. Sear

The Tetrarchies & The Rise of the House of Constantine. The Collapse of Paganism & The Triumph of Christianity, Diocletian to Constantine I, AD 284-337. 528 pages, fully illustrated throughout with valuations in £ and US$.

This volume contains a comprehensive listing of the Roman coinage of the period AD 284-337 together with background information on the history of each reign and the principal characteristics of its coinage. The catalogue is organized primarily by ruler with the issues then subdivided by denomination and by reverse legend and type. This arrangement combines the alphabetical ease of reference of Cohen's work with the scholarship of RIC and other modern studies which are based on classification by mint. The introduction of explicit mint marks as a regular feature of the coinage under Diocletian and his colleagues greatly facilitates attributions and enables the establishment of a much firmer chronological framework. This is reflected in the coin listings where mints and the sequences of mint marks are now dealt with in greater detail. The half-century covered by this volume (accession of Diocletian to the death of Constantine the Great) saw enormous political and religious changes in the Roman Empire. Diocletian, in addition to his comprehensive reform of the coinage which swept away the remnants of the Augustan currency system, introduced far-reaching changes in the government of the state and in the organization of the military. Constantine oversaw further changes in the reformed currency system but his most celebrated achievement was in the realm of religion. His abandonment of the worship of the old pagan deities in favour of Christianity changed the course of history, an event which is clearly reflected on the imperial coinage where purely pagan types disappeared after the defeat of the co-emperor Licinius in AD 324. The fifth and final volume in this series will complete the detailed survey of the Roman coinage down to the extinction of the Western Empire in 476 and to the death of the Eastern Emperor Zeno in 491.

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