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AD 287 - 293

AE Antoninianus
Londinium mint

Coins Catalog ID: 3001

click image to expand Image courtesy of: Galleria Antiquarica
Sales Description
Obverse: IMP C CARAVSIVS P F AVG - Radiate bust right, draped and cuirassed.
Reverse: PAX AVGGG - Pax standing left, holding branch and transverse scepter.
Mint marks: 
exergue - MLXXI
left field - S
right field - P
RIC, vol. V ii, p.476, 143

Carausius - Marcus Aurelius Valerius Carausius (earlier Mausaeus Carausius).

Mints: Camulodunum, Colechester, Londinium, Rotomagus.

Biography: Carausius came from a humble family in North-Western Germany, in an area well-known for its seafarers. Probably because of this Maximianus appointed him commander of the Channel fleet and authorized him to build a fleet to put an end to the piracy along the coasts of Gaul and Britain. After series of successful operations rumors spread that Carausius was appropriating the plunder seized by the defeated pirates and enlisted them in his fleet. An arrest warrant had been issued for him but he got wind of it and in late 286 or early 287 declared himself Augustus and took over command of Britain, while retaining under his sway portions of Northern Gaul with its naval bases as well. Busy with fighting in Germany Maximianus had to tolerate the situation. In the meantime Carausius took his role in Britain seriously, began work on sections of the Hadrian's Wall, and sought peace with the Picts of Scotland. Being only Augustus, and perhaps hoping to be pardoned and legitimized, he issued coins commemorating the emperors Maximianus and Diocletian as his "brothers." His hopes were in vain. In 292 Constantius I Chlorus, the Western Caesar, began systematic assault at Carausius' power bases, took over the important northern Gallic port of Gesoriacum, and soon reduced him to Britain only. While preparing a counteroffensive, Carausius fell victim to one of his officers, Allectus, who took over the command of his breakaway Gallo-British polity.

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