Numerian                 283 - 284 A.D.



Son of Carus and brother of Carinus, Numerian's brief stint as emperor started when he along with his father set out for war against the Sassanians in Persia (Iran). Under mysterious circumstances Carus was incinerated in his tent just prior to the military encounter of the two armies. The official explanation was that the tent had been stricken by lightning but this has been interpreted as much too convenient. As the battle was called off and the army was returning Numerian, too, was found dead in his quarters. This time a hasty investigation was started and the Praetorian Prefect, a certain Aper, was found guilty and killed on the spot by Diocletian. He then proclaimed himself emperor and renounced Carinus. With the suspicious death of Numerian the report of Carus's death made for a more compelling story that the Prefect had had a hand in their deaths. It is likely that Diocletian had engineered a sophisticated conspiracy using Aper as the central pawn and then scapegoat.


AE Antoninianus 283--284 A.D.

3.6 g., 21 mm.

Obv. IMP C NVMERIANVS AVG: Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right

Rev. MARS VICTOR: Mars walking right, bearing trophy and spear

C. 18, Van Meter 8v.

AE Antoninianus 283--284 A,D.

21 mm.

Obv. IMP C M AVR NVMERIANVS PF AVG: Radiate, draped bust right

Rev. VIRTVS AVGG: Numerian receiving Victory on a globe from Jupiter, Gamma in lower center field, XXI in exergue

C. 110, Van Meter 21v.

Roman Imperial Numerian

AE Antoninianus 283--284 A.D.

23 mm.

Obv. IMP NVMERIANVS PF AVG: Radiate bust right

Rev. PROVIDENT AVG: Annona standing left, holding cornucopiae in her left arm and holding grain stalks in her right hand over a modius

C. 82, Van Meter 16

Roman Imperial Numerian

AE Antoninianus 283-284 A.D.

21 mm.


Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right


Numerian and Carinus, facing; star above, TR below, with XXI in exergue

Van Meter 21 var.