Chronology
Multiples
by Claudia Ghezzi

Three multiples worth four aurei date back to Augustus' Principate and were issued between 27 B.C. and 2 A.D.. Because of their exceptionality their authenticity has long been questioned, but for the piece found in Pompeii in 1759, together with other eleven aurei dating 1st century A.D., and unfortunately now lost.

Up to Gallienus (260-268 A.D.) multiples were minted especially in silver. From the mid 3rd century onwards - also due to the strong devaluation of silver coinage - gold multiples increase. After Constantine I's reform, which introduces the solidus, the striking of gold multiples becomes more constant, although each series consists of a limited number of pieces. The emperors of Valentinian and Theodosian dinasties continue to issue gold multiples - more and more self-glorifying - even during critical times for the empire. In order to preserve the monopoly in the donation of multiples, in 384 A.D. Theodosius I, Arcadius and Valentinian II issue a decree - De expensis ludorum - which forbids private citizen to donate coins weighing more than 1/60th of a libra, that is to say weighing more than the heaviest silver coin of that time, the miliarensis.

There still are rare gold multiples after the fall of the Roman Empire, both in the East - i. e. Justinian I (527-565 A.D.) - and in the West. When Theodoric, king of the Goths, visits Rome, he issues - probably in 493 - a piece of the value of three solidi, which was then turned into a brooch by a pin and a pin rest welded on the reverse.

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Multiplo da quattro
aurei di
Augusto

Multiplo da due
aurei di
Treboniano Gallo

Multiplo da otto
aurei di
Gallieno

Multiplo da 72
solidi di Valente

Multiplo da due
solidi di
Valentiniano III

Multiplo da due
solidi di
Eudocia

Multiplo da tre
solidi di
Teodorico

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