Gratian   367 - 383   A.D.

Coin Description Gratian, AE 16 mm, Grade ??
Obverse The portrait is of Gratian a pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust facing right. The legend reads DN GRATIANVS PF AVG meaning: DN (Dominus Noster /our lord showing the emperor to be the supreme ruler) GRATIANVS (his name) PF (Pius Felix / Dutiful and Wise) AVG Augustus which defines him as being the emperor. The legend is broken which is a sign of the highest respect and signifies him as the senior Augustus
Reverse The reverse shows a wreath with the letters VOT XV MULT XX which translates as: Because of the vows, fifteen years, through more vows, twenty years. This derives from the Roman custom of offering vows of a certain sacrifice to the Gods in return for the granting of some favor or wish. At the beginning of his reign, the emperor would offer vows to have a prosperous five year term and when these five years would have been reached he would make the sacrifices in fulfillment of those vows and would offer vows for another five years. The vows were a money sacrifice paid to the gods (later and in Gratian's case the Catholic Church).
(note that they only paid on delivery of the goods )
Mint ?
The Entire Story The entire story of this coin would read: Our Lord Gratian the Dutiful and Wise Augustus who trough his vows ruled for fifteen years and who has made vows of sacrifices for another five successful years.