Bronze Follis - Ancient Rome, c. 306-312 AD
Obv: IMP MAXENTIVS PF AVG – Laureate bust of Maxentius, right
Rev: VICTORIA AETERNA AVG N – Victory advancing left, with wreath & palm
S-R15027, 23mm, 5.34gm
ex: Frederick S. Knobloch (1968). Mint state, well centered, even patina.
Maxentius ( Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius Augustus) was Roman Emperor from 306 to 312. He was the son of former Emperor Maximian and the son-in-law of Emperor Galerius.
As his father became emperor in 285, he was regarded as crown prince who would eventually follow his father on the throne. He seems not to have served, however, in any important military or administrative position during the reign of Diocletian and his father. The exact date of his marriage to Valeria Maximilla, daughter of Galerius, is unknown. He had two sons, Valerius Romulus (ca. 295 – 309) and an unknown one.
In 305, Diocletian and Maximian abdicated, and the former caesares Constantius and Galerius became Augusti. Although two sons of emperors were available, Constantine and Maxentius, they were passed over for the new tetrarchy, and Severus and Maximinus Daia were appointed Caesars. Lactantius' Epitome states that Galerius hated Maxentius and used his influence with Diocletian to see that Maxentius was ignored in the succession; perhaps Diocletian also thought Maxentius was not qualified for the military duties of the imperial office. Maxentius retired to an estate some miles from Rome.
When Constantius died in 306, his son Constantine was crowned emperor on July 25 and subsequently accepted by Galerius into the tetrarchy as Caesar. This set the precedent for Maxentius' accession later in the same year.