The latest month-long coin auction from Heritage once again features selections from the Morris Collection. Bidding is already open, with a live auction conducted on Heritage Live scheduled for 6 pm CT on May 10. All bidding will take place at HA.com. This auction, with offerings for all budgets, consists entirely of ancient coinage with an emphasis on Roman material, primarily imperial pieces.

One coin that has attracted significant attention already is a silver argenteus of Maximinus II as Caesar, an issue Heritage has only offered once previously, and that piece was from a different officina.

Maximinus II Daia (or Daza), the nephew of Galerius, was serving in the imperial bodyguard in AD 305 when his uncle plucked him from obscurity and elevated him to the rank of Caesar in the Second Tetrarchy. Once established in power in his territories of Egypt and Syria, Daza seems not to have impressed his uncle greatly, for he was passed over for promotion twice in the chaotic years AD 306-309.

In 310, he took matters into his own hands by having his troops proclaim him Augustus, setting him against four other Augusti (Galerius, Licinius, Constantine and the rebel Maxentius) and making a shambles of Diocletian’s carefully constructed tetrarchic system. After Galerius’ death in 311, Daza cast himself in his uncle’s mold as the defender of paganism and a persecutor of Christianity, placing him in opposition to Constantine and Licinius, who favored religious toleration. After Constantine crushed Maxentius in 312, Daza attempted to do the same to Licinius, invading Thrace the following year with a sizeable force of 70,000.

But his long forced marches exhausted his troops and the outnumbered army of Licinius won a resounding victory at the Battle of Tzirallum in AD 313. Daza fled the field dressed as a slave, but soon died either of disease or by his own hand. His rule had been harsh and his subjects welcomed Licinius as a liberator. Christians in particular reviled Daia as the last great Roman persecutor.

This rare argenteus, probably issued to mark the elevation of Maximinus II as Caesar, was struck at the Balkan mint of Serdica. NGC has seen fit to grade it MS 5/5 – 5/5.

A few of the other interesting offerings from this auction include:

This auction is open for bidding now at coins.HA.com.
 

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