Emperor standing right, head left, holding labarum and left resting on shield
Unusual obverse legend: DN GRATIANVS AVG G AVG
9   Gratian, Arelate
Only for Gratian. Only at Arelate.
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mint RIC G
Ar 15 C
RIC plate V.12.

AVGG AVG may abbreviate "avgustorum avgustvs" (RIC page 36).

Gratian was the young son of Valentinian I. Valentinian, realizing that the soldiers in Gaul might prefer to choose their own candidate, made the right of Gratian to succeed clear by noting he would be an Augustus in a line of Augusti.  RIC (page 57) thinks this obverse legend was discontinued when Valentinian died (17 Nov., 375). The legend DN GRATIANVS PF AVG replaced it.

The reverse legend also occurs on gold at Lugdunum and Arelate.
Obverse legend "AVG G AVG" is interpreted, according to some 19th century scholars (and in Cohen), as "Augusti Gener Augustus" i.e. "emperor, son-in-law of an emperor," because Gratian married Constantia, the posthumous daughter of the emperor Constantius II, the "gener" being Gratian.

"Arelate is alone in giving him the reverse legend [on AE]... which presented him to the Gauls as the boy of the Messianic prophecy who was to bring back the Golden Age of peace and plenty."  Pearce, NC 1948, p. 72.

Cayon G-69 (1 photo)
Hunter G-82.20, G-82.21.

There is an excellent photo in Reece, RC, 950, mm TCON.

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