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Constantine the Great, early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

Flavius Valerius Constantinus, Constantine the Great, was the son of Helena and the First Tetrarchic ruler Constantius I. Constantine is most famous for his conversion to Christianity after the battle of the Milvian Bridge where he defeated emperor Maxentius. Before the battle, he saw the words "In Hoc Signo Victor Eris" (By this sign you shall conquer) emblazoned on the sun around the Chi Rho, the symbol of Christianity. After placing this Christogram on the shields of his army, he defeated his opponent and thus ruled the empire through divine providence. He also shifted the capital of the empire to Constantinople, establishing the foundation for an Empire that would last another 1000 years. He died in 337 and his sons divided the Roman territories.


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In 331 A.D., Constantine I vigorously promoted Christianity, confiscating the property and valuables of a number of pagan temples throughout the Empire.
RL79166. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 526 (S), LRBC I 54, SRCV IV 16334, Cohen VII 254, EF, mint luster, die wear, weight 2.540 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 330 - 331 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, laureate draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, heads turned inward confronted, two standards in center between them, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, TRP• in exergue; $50.00 (€42.50)
 


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On 8 October 314, Constantine the Great defeated Licinius in the Battle of Cibalae, near Colonia Aurelia Cibalae (modern Vinkovci, Croatia). Licinius lost all of the Balkans except for Thrace and fled to Sirmium. Peace negotiations were initiated, but unsuccessful.
RL86258. Billon follis, Hunter V 180 (also 2nd officina), RIC VII Rome 19, SRCV IV 16096, Cohen VII 536, VF, well centered, some silvering, weak centers, scratches, some porosity, tiny encrustations, weight 3.103 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 314 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI (to the unconquered Sun, minister [of the Emperor]), Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, R - F flanking at sides, R*S in exergue; $50.00 (€42.50)
 


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored those in positions of authority similar to his own.
RT85649. Billon follis, RIC VII Siscia 15 (R2), SRCV IV 15940, Cohen VII 289 corr. (rev. misdescribed), Hunter V 245 var. (2nd officina), Choice EF, well centered, sharp portrait, much silvering, small scrape on reverse, couple letters on obverse and Zeus' head weakly struck, edge crack, weight 3.339 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 315 - 316 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing left, nude but for paludamentum on left shoulder, Victory on globe in right hand presenting wreath, long scepter vertical in left hand, eagle at feet on left facing left with head turned back right and wreath in beak, ∆ right, •SIS• in exergue; scarce; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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Because of his fame and because he was proclaimed Emperor while he was in Roman Britain, later Britons regarded Constantine as a king of their own people. In the 12th century, Henry of Huntingdon included a passage in his Historia Anglorum that Constantine's mother Helena was a Briton, the daughter of King Cole of Colchester. Geoffrey of Monmouth expanded this story in his highly fictionalized Historia Regum Britanniae, an account of the supposed Kings of Britain from their Trojan origins to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. According to Geoffrey, Cole was King of the Britons when Constantius, here a senator, came to Britain. Afraid of the Romans, Cole submitted to Roman law so long as he retained his kingship. However, he died only a month later, and Constantius took the throne himself, marrying Cole's daughter Helena. They had their son Constantine, who succeeded his father as King of Britain before becoming Roman Emperor. Historically, this series of events is extremely improbable. Constantius had already left Helena by the time he left for Britain. Additionally, no earlier source mentions that Helena was born in Britain, let alone that she was a princess.
RL85732. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Arles 264 (R2), SRCV IV 16243, Cohen VII 454, Hunter V -, Choice VF, well centered and struck, glossy dark sea-green patina, cleaning marks, weight 2.862 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, 324 - 325 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE AVGG (to the foresight of the two emperors), campgate with two turrets, star above, P*AR in exergue; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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On 1 March 317, Constantine and Licinius elevated their sons Crispus, Constantine II (still a 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.
RT85190. Billon follis, Hunter V 276 (also 5th officina), RIC VII Thessalonica 19 (R1), SRCV IV 15942, Cohen VII 290 corr. (rev. misdescribed), Choice EF, well centered, green patina, some reverse die wear, tiny spots of corrosion, weight 3.460 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 317 - 318 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONS-ERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing left, nude but for paludamentum on left shoulder, Victory on globe in right hand presenting wreath, long scepter vertical in left hand, eagle at feet on left facing left with head turned back right and wreath in beak, •TS•E• in exergue; scarce; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


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Constantiniana Dafne was likely a castle or camp (castrum) Dafne, constructed by Constantine on the bank of the Danube.
RL84951. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Constantinople 35, LRBC I 996, SRCV IV 16191, VF, green patina, well centered and struck, scratches and marks, weight 3.182 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 328 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, laurel and rosette diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONSTANTINIANA DAFNE, Victory seated left on cippus, head right, palm frond in each hand, trophy and captive before, CONS in exergue, E left; scarce; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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This coin refers Constantine's victory in the Sarmatian war in 322 A.D. According to Zosimus (lib. 2), Constantine routed the Sarmatae and drove them back beyond the Danube where they rallied to renew the fight. He defeated them and again put them to flight, taking a great number of prisoners. Their king, Rausimodus, was left among the slain.
RL84284. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 63 (also 1st officina), RIC VII Trier 435, Cohen VII 487, SRCV IV 16284, Choice EF, well centered and struck, traces of silvering, edge cracks, some die wear, weight 3.199 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 323 - 324 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse SARMATIA DEVICTA (Samartia vanquished), Victory advancing right, treading on captive with left foot, trophy in right hand, palm frond in left hand, PTR crescent in exergue; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


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This coin refers Constantine's victory in the Sarmatian war in 322 A.D. According to Zosimus (lib. 2), Constantine routed the Sarmatae and drove them back beyond the Danube where they rallied to renew the fight. He defeated them and again put them to flight, taking a great number of prisoners. Their king, Rausimodus, was left among the slain.
RL84285. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 65 (also 2nd officina), RIC VII Trier 435, Cohen VII 487, SRCV IV 16284, aEF, well centered and struck, light porosity, edge split and edge crack, weight 2.792 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 323 - 324 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse SARMATIA DEVICTA (Samartia vanquished), Victory advancing right, treading on captive with left foot, trophy in right hand, palm frond in left hand, STR crescent in exergue; $75.00 (€63.75)
 


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This coin refers Constantine's victory in the Sarmatian war in 322 A.D. According to Zosimus (lib. 2), Constantine routed the Sarmatae and drove them back beyond the Danube where they rallied to renew the fight. He defeated them and again put them to flight, taking a great number of prisoners. Their king, Rausimodus, was left among the slain.
RL84287. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 65 (also 2nd officina), RIC VII Trier 435, Cohen VII 487, SRCV IV 16284, Choice EF, attractive surfaces, nice portrait, some flatness of strike on reverse, small edge split, weight 3.058 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 323 - 324 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse SARMATIA DEVICTA (Samartia vanquished), Victory advancing right, treading on captive with left foot, trophy in right hand, palm frond in left hand, STR crescent in exergue; $95.00 (€80.75)
 


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79429. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Constantinople 73 (R3), LRBC I I 1010, SRCV IV 16355, Cohen VII 254, Hunter V -, Choice aEF, excellent centering and strike, some luster, some light corrosion, weight 2.647 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, 8th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 333 - 335 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, laurel and rosette diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, heads turned inward confronted, two standards in center between them, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, CONSH• in exergue; $50.00 (€42.50)
 




  






OBVERSE LEGENDS

AVGVSTVS
COMISCONSTANTINIAVG
CONSTANTINVSAG
CONSTANTINVSAVG
CONSTANTINVSCAESAR
CONSTANTINVSFILAVGG
CONSTANTINVSMAXAG
CONSTANTINVSMAXAVG
CONSTANTINVSMAXAVGCOSIIII
CONSTANTINVSMAXPFAVG
CONSTANTINVSMAXPFAVGCOSIIII
CONSTANTINVSMAXIMAVG
CONSTANTINVSNOBC
CONSTANTINVSNOBCAES
CONSTANTINVSNOBCAESAR
CONSTANTINVSNOBILC
CONSTANTINVSNOBILIC
CONSTANTINVSPAG
CONSTANTINVSPAVG
CONSTANTINVSPAVGCOSIIII
CONSTANTINVSPFAVG
CONSTANTINVSPFINAVG
DDNNCONSTANTINVSETLICINIVSAVGG
DIVOCONSTANTINOAVG
DIVOCONSTANTINOP
DIVCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
DIVVSCONSTANTINVSAVGPATERAVGG
DNCONSTANTINVSAVG
DNCONSTANTINVSMAXAVG
DNCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
DVCONSTANTINVSPTAVGG
FLVALCONSTANTINVSAVG
FLVALCONSTANTINVSFILAVG
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNC
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNOBC
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNOBCAES
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNOBCAESAR
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNOBILC
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNOBILIC
FLVALCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
FLVALERCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
FLVALERIVSCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
IMPCCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
IMPCCONSTANTINVSPFINVAVG
IMPCFLVALCONSTANTINOPFINVAVG
IMPCFLVALCONSTANTINVSPAVG
IMPCFLVALCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
IMPCFLVALCONSTANTINVSPFINVAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSAG
IMPCONSTANTINVSAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSINAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSMAXAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSMAXPFAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSPAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSPIINAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSPIVSFAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSPIVSFELIXAVG
INVICTVSCONSTANTINVSMAXAVG


REFERENCES

Bastien, P. Le Monnayage de l'Atelier de Lyon, De la Réforme Monétaire de Dioclétien à la fermeture temporaire de l'Atelier en 316 (294 - 316). Numismatique Romaine XI. (Wetteren, 1980).
Bastien, P. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon. De la réouverture de l'atelier en 318 à la mort de Constantin (318 - 337). Numismatique Romaine XIII. (Wetteren, 1982).
Bruun, P. 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).
Carson, R., H. Sutherland & J. Kent. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VIII, The Family of Constantine I, A.D. 337 - 364. (London, 1981).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les émissions monétaires d'Arles (4th -5th Siècles). Moneta 6. (Wetteren, 1996).
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. & D. 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. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine...Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 2011).
Speck, R. & S. Huston. Constantine's Dafne Coinage at Constantinople. (San Francisco, 1992).
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 Monday, May 21, 2018.
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Roman Coins of Constantine the Great