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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Constantinian Era ▸ CrispusView Options:  |  |  |   

Crispus, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 326 A.D.

Flavius Julius Crispus was the son of Constantine I by his first wife. A brilliant soldier, Crispus was well loved by all until 326 A.D., when Constantine had him executed. It is said that Fausta, Crispus stepmother, anxious to secure the succession for her own sons falsely accused Crispus of raping her. Constantine, learning of Fausta's treachery, had her executed too.


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On 7 March 321, Constantine issued an edict proclaiming Dies Solis Invicti (Sunday) as the day of rest; trade was forbidden but agriculture was allowed.
RL77188. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 133, Hunter V 25, SRCV V 16734, Bastien XIII 102, Cohen VII 6, Choice EF, dark toning on silvering, weight 3.120 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 321 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse BEATA TRANQVILLITAS (blessed tranquility), altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX surmounted by globe, three stars above, C left, R right, PLG crescent in exergue; $200.00 (€178.00)
 


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On 3 July 324, at Adrianople, Constantine defeated Licinius forcing him to retreat to Byzantium. Crispus destroyed Licinius' fleet at the Battle of Hellespont in the Dardanelles, allowing his father to cross over the Bosporus and besiege Licinius. On 18 September, Constantine I decisively defeated Licinius at the Battle of Chrysopolis and became sole emperor.
RL90682. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII London 281, Cohen VII 28, SRCV IV 16726, Choice EF, green patina, perfect centering, small die break on reverse at 8:00, weight 4.026 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Londinium (London, England) mint, 323 - 324 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOBIL C, helmeted and cuirassed bust left, holding spear and shield; reverse BEAT TRANQLITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, three stars above, PLON in exergue; scarce; $195.00 (€173.55)
 


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On 3 July 324, at Adrianople, Constantine defeated Licinius forcing him to retreat to Byzantium. Crispus destroyed Licinius' fleet at the Battle of Hellespont in the Dardanelles, allowing his father to cross over the Bosporus and besiege Licinius. On 18 September, Constantine I decisively defeated Licinius at the Battle of Chrysopolis and became sole emperor.
RL76316. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII London 275, Hunter V 2, Cohen VII 29, SRCV IV 16726, gVF, fantastic portrait with ornate helmet, both sides slightly off center, weight 3.223 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 323 - 324 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOBIL C, helmeted and cuirassed bust left; reverse BEAT TRA-NQLITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, three stars above, PLON in exergue; $180.00 (€160.20)
 


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Crispus' earliest issue. On 1 March 317, Constantine the Great and co-emperor Licinius elevated their sons Crispus, Constantine II (still an baby) and Licinius II to Caesars. After this arrangement Constantine ruled the dioceses Pannonia and Macedonia, and established his residence at Sirmium, from where he prepared a campaign against the Goths and Sarmatians.
RL76319. Billon reduced follis, RIC VII London 115 (R2), SRCV IV 16718, Cohen VII 136, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, some die wear, weight 3.243 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 1st issue, 1 Mar - end 317 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI, Sol standing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over left shoulder, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, S - P across fields, PLN in exergue; scarce; $175.00 (€155.75)
 


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On 7 March 321, Constantine issued an edict proclaiming Dies Solis Invicti (Sunday) as the day of rest; trade was forbidden but agriculture was allowed.
RL77203. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 133, Hunter V 25, SRCV V 16734, Bastien XIII 102, Cohen VII 6, Choice EF, charming portrait, some silvering, weight 3.162 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 321 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse BEATA TRANQVILLITAS (blessed tranquility), altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX surmounted by globe, three stars above, C left, R right, PLG crescent in exergue; $175.00 (€155.75)
 


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Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

David Sear notes, "a previously unpublished variant of the series listed by Bastien (Le Monnayage de l'Atelier de Lyon) on pages 163 and 164, numbers 155-6 and 159-61 (cf. RIC vii, p. 134, 202-4)...good F, rare and interesting as an unpublished obverse variant."
RL70838. Billon centenionalis, unpublished obverse variant; cf. Bastien Lyon XIII, 155-6 and 159-61; RIC VII Lyons 202 - 204, gF, weight 3.451 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 322 - 323 A.D.; obverse IVL CRISPVS NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust left, spear pointed forward in right, shield in left; reverse BEAT TRAN-Q-LITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, three stars above, PLG in exergue; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


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In 323, Constantine the Great defeated invading Goths and Sarmatians north of the Danube in Dacia, and claimed the title Sarmaticus Maximus.
RL74542. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 372, SRCV IV 16731, Cohen VII 22; very rare shield decoration, aF, corrosion, patina flaking, weight 16.330 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 322 - 323 A.D.; obverse IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust left, spear over shoulder in right, shield on left shoulder ornamented with Victory inscribing shield; reverse BEATA TRAN-QVILLITAS, altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX surmounted by globe, three stars above, •PTR• in exergue; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


Thracian or Germanic Tribes, Pseudo-Imperial Coinage, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.

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This type was minted by and used as currency by tribes outside the Roman empire in Thrace. It copied a Roman votive type issued under Constantine the Great. The inscriptions are made up of illiterate imitations of letters.
CE76987. Bronze AE 18, Imitative of Crispus types, for prototypes see RIC VII p. 379 ff. (official Roman, Ticinum mint, c. 320 - 325 A.D.), Choice VF, nice green patina, weight 2.047 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, tribal mint, mid 4th - early 5th century A.D.; obverse laureate bust left, illiterate blundered imitation of a legend; reverse blundered VOT X within wreath, illiterate blundered limitation of a legend around, ST in exergue; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


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In 321, Constantine expelled the Goths from the Danube frontier and repaired Trajan's Bridge. He lead an expedition into the old province Dacia (modern Romania) and made peace with the barbarians.
RL74453. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII London 275, Hunter V 2, Cohen VII 29, SRCV IV 16726, gVF. dark green patina, well centered, some light corrosion, weight 2.871 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 323 - 324 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOBIL C, helmeted and cuirassed bust left (nice fancy helmet); reverse BEAT TRANQVILLITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, three stars above, PLON in exergue; ex William B Porter Collection; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


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VOT X abbreviates Votis Decennalibus, which means Crispus has completed vows (prayers and sacrifices) for ten years of rule. In a religious context, votum, plural vota, is a vow or promise made to a deity. The word comes from the past participle of voveo, vovere; as the result of the verbal action, a vow, or promise. It may refer also to the fulfillment of this vow, that is, the thing promised. The votum is thus an aspect of the contractual nature of Roman religion and sacrifice, a bargaining expressed by "do ut des" (I give that you might give).
RL76941. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Siscia 181, SRCV IV 16773, Cohen VII 44, Choice aEF, nice centering, nice green patina, weight 2.983 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 195o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 321 - 324 A.D.; obverse IVL CRISPVS NOB C, laureate head right; reverse CAESARVM NOSTRORVM, VOT / X in wreath, BSIS and sunrise in exergue; $120.00 (€106.80)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

CRISPVSCAESAR
CRISPVSNOBCAES
CRISPVSNOBILC
CRISPVSNOBILCAES
CRISPVSNOBILISSCAES
DNCRISPONOBCAES
DNCRISPVSNOBCAESAR
DNFLIVLCRISPVSNOBCAES
FLIVLCRISPVSNOBC
FLIVLCRISPVSNOBCAES
IVLCRISPVSNOBC
IVLCRISPVSNOBCAES


REFERENCES

Bruun, P.M. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VII, Constantine and Licinius A.D. 313 - 337. (London, 1966).
Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Dioclétien a Constantin I (284 - 337). (Wetteren, 1995).
Failmezger, V. Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity, 294 - 364 A.D. (Washington D.C., 2002).
King, C.E. & D.R. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Milchev, S. The Coins of Constantine the Great. (Sophia, 2007).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine: The Collapse of Paganism and the Triumph of Christianity, Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 211).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
Voetter, O. Die Münzen der romischen Kaiser, Kaiserinnen und Caesaren von Diocletianus bis Romulus: Katalog der Sammlung Paul Gerin. (Vienna, 1921).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, August 24, 2016.
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Roman Coins of Crispus