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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.
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. Billoncentenionalis, RIC VIILondon 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 cuirassedbust left, holding spear and shield; reverseBEAT TRANQLITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, three stars above, PLON in exergue; scarce; $195.00 SALE PRICE $176.00
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. Billoncentenionalis, RIC VIILondon 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 cuirassedbust left; reverse BEAT TRA-NQLITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, three stars above, PLONin ex; $180.00 SALE PRICE $162.00
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 VIILondon 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 cuirassedbust right; reverseSOLI INVICTOCOMITI, 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 SALE PRICE $158.00
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. Billoncentenionalis, 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 cuirassedbust right; reverseBEATA TRANQVILLITAS (blessed tranquility), altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX surmounted by globe, three stars above, C left, R right, PLG crescent in exergue; $175.00 SALE PRICE $158.00
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. Billoncentenionalis, 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 cuirassedbust 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 SALE PRICE $144.00
In 323, Constantine the Great defeated invading Goths and Sarmatians north of the Danube in Dacia, and claimed the title Sarmaticus Maximus.RL74542. Billoncentenionalis, RIC VII Trier 372, SRCV IV 16731, Cohen VII 22; very rareshield 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 cuirassedbust 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 SALE PRICE $144.00
In 320, Crispus, the eldest son of Constantine the Great, led a victorious campaign against the Franks, assuring twenty years of peace along the Rhine frontier. He established his residence in Augusta Treverorum (modern Trier), capital of Germania.RL76391. Billoncentenionalis, RIC VII Trier 297 (R4), SRCV IV 16845, Cohen VII 172, Hunter V -, Choice gVF, nice bust, excellent centering and strike, porosity, weight 3.353 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 320 - 321 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAES, helmeted and cuirassedbust right; reverseVIRTVS EXERCIT, two seated captives flanking the base of a vexillum inscribed VOT XX in two lines, captive on right looking back at banner, STR in exergue; very rare; $155.00 SALE PRICE $140.00
Thracian or Germanic Tribes, Pseudo-Imperial Coinage, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.
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; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00
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. Billoncentenionalis, RIC VIILondon 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 cuirassedbust 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 SALE PRICE $108.00
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. Billoncentenionalis, RIC VIISiscia 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; reverseCAESARVM NOSTRORVM, VOT / X in wreath, BSIS and sunrise in exergue; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00
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