Obverse: IMP MAXIMINVS PIVS AVG; Laureate and Draped Bust of the Emperor Facing Right
Reverse: PAX AVGVSTI; Pax Standing to the Left, Holding an Olive Branch and a Spear
It was rumored that Maximinus could drink sixty pints of wine and eat forty pounds of meat a day. The popular barbarian soldier was also reputed to be over eight feet tall and to have worn his wife's bracelet as a ring. The stories of his physical feats were even more astounding. He was an excellent warrior but a terrible statesman. He led his armies against the Germans but fought as a foot soldier, slaying enemy soldiers easily due to his immense size and strength. He ran the government in much the same way, often exiling or murdering senators who dared to oppose him. Maximinus' harsh policies angered the people of the empire and in the provinces. In A.D. 238, the citizens of North Africa rebelled against Maximinus' procurator, the financial officer in charge of taxes. They proclaimed an eighty-seven year old man by the name of Gordianus emperor and his son was made co-emperor with him. When news of the rebellion reached Maximinus, he decided to march on Rome. Already unpopular with the people, this move caused him to be disdained. While laying siege to the city of Aquileia, whose citizens stoutly resisted, Maximinus’ German troops became demoralized and decided to do away with him.
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.