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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Constantinian Era ▸ Constantine IIView Options:  |  |  | 

Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.

Constantine II was the son of Constantine I, the eldest with his second wife, Fausta. He was born in Arles (which was renamed Constantia in his honor in 328, explaining the CON mintmarks for Arles) and was made Caesar before he was a year old in 316 A.D. Upon his father's death, Constantine II inherited the Western part of the empire. After quarreling with his brother Constans, he invaded his territory, only to be killed in an ambush near Aquileia. His coins often include "IVN" in the legend, an abbreviation for junior.


Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.

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In 321, Constantine the Great expelled the Goths from the Danube frontier and repaired Trajan's Bridge. He led an expedition into the old province Dacia (modern Romania) and made peace with the barbarians.
RL85605. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 64 (also 4th officina), RIC VII Siscia 182, SRCV V 17194, Cohen VII 38, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, much silvering, weight 3.271 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, as caesar, 321 - 324 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate head right; reverse CAESARVM NOSTRORVM (our prince), wreath enclosing VOT / X, ∆SIS and sunrise in exergue; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


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Constantine II was the son of Constantine I, the eldest with his second wife, Fausta. He was born in Arles (which was renamed Constantia in his honor in 328, explaining the CON mintmarks for Arles) and was made Caesar before he was a year old in 316 A.D. Upon his father's death, Constantine II inherited the Western part of the empire. After quarreling with his brother Constans, he invaded his territory, only to be killed in an ambush near Aquileia. His coins often include "IVN" in the legend, an abbreviation for junior.
RB84919. Billon centenionalis, Bastien XIII 14, pl. 1 (15 spec.); RIC VII 76 (R3); Cohen VII 227; Compass Collection 407; SRCV V 17267, VF, near centered on a tight flan, light scratches, light deposits, weight 2.887 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 1st emission, 318 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTINO IVN NOB C, boy's laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP, Two Victories holding wreath on altar, VOT / PR in two lines within wreath, X on altar, two captives seated back-to-back in exergue, no P - L at sides; very rare; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.

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Constantine reorganized the Roman army to consist of mobile field units and garrison soldiers capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers - the Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths, and the Sarmatians - even resettling territories abandoned by his predecessors during the turmoil of the previous century.
BB85277. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch 87, LRBC I 1357, SRCV V 17343, VF, well centered, earthen encrustation, weight 2.331 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 330 - 333 and 335 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, heads confronted, two standards in center between them, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on shield, SMANS in exergue; $.99 (€.84)


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Constantine II was about eight years old when this coin was minted. Here he is draped and cuirassed as a powerful child Caesar with the world in his hands!
RL12133. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 382 (R3) corr. (no cuirass), SRCV V 17157 var. (bust), Cohen VII 23, aEF, superb bust type, broad flan, slightly uneven strike, reverse legend weak, weight 3.018 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 315o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 323 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, mappa in left, head of Medusa on cuirass; reverse BEATA TRANQVILLITAS (blessed tranquility), altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX, surmounted by globe, three stars above, ?STR crescent in exergue; rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


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Western mint GLORIA EXERCITVS issues are much less common than the Eastern mint issues; some, such as this coin, are rare.
RL10776. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Arles 371 (R1), LRBC II 374, SRCV V17324, Cohen VIII 126, aEF, sharp portrait, weight 2.516 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Constantia-Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, as caesar, 333 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN N C, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking two standards, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, wreath in center, SCONST (Constantia) in exergue; rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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RL84353. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 454 (S), LRBC I 18, SRCV V 17215, Cohen VII 164, Hunter V -, Choice EF, sharp portrait, excellent strike, traces of silvering, weight 3.051 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, as caesar, 324 - 325 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE CAESS (to the foresight of the two princes), campgate with two turrets, star above, STR in exergue; scarce; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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In 328 Arelatum was renamed Constantia in honor of Constantine II. After Constantine II was killed in 340, the name reverted to Arelate, only to be changed again in 354 to Constantia by Constantius II. It retained that name, although the mintmark 'AR' appeared on some of its coins even in the fifth century.
RL79657. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Arles 376 (R3), LRBC I 380, SRCV 17679, Cohen VIII 105, EF, well centered and struck, weight 2.321 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Constantia-Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, as caesar, 333 - 334 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN N C, laureate 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, wreath with pellet inside above center, PCONST in exergue; very rare; $105.00 (€89.25)
 


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79900. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 238 (R1), Bastien XIII 199, LRBC I 181, SRCV V 17316, Cohen VII 122, EF, nice green patina, attractive portrait, struck with damaged obv. die and worn reverse die, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.562 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 330 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS (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, PLG in exergue; scarce; $40.00 (€34.00)
 


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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.
RL79178. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 527, LRBC I 56, SRCV V 17313, Cohen VIII 122, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, nice dark green patina, slight die wear, areas of light porosity, weight 2.245 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 195o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, as caesar, 330 - 331 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate 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, TRS• in exergue; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


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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).
RL84281. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 433, SRCV IV 17181, Cohen VII 38, EF, excellent portrait and obverse, weight 2.644 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 323 - 324 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate head right; reverse CAESARVM NOSTRORVM (our prince), VOT / X in two lines within wreath, wreath tied at the bottom and closed with a jewel at the top, STR in exergue; $60.00 (€51.00)
 










OBVERSE LEGENDS

CONSTANTINVSAVG
CONSTANTINVSIVNAVG
CONSTANTINVSIVNNC
CONSTANTINVSIVNNOBC
CONSTANTINVSIVNNOBCAES
CONSTANTINVSMAXAVG
CONSTANTINVSPFAVG
DNCONSTANTINVSIVNNOBCAES
DNFLCLCONSTANTINVSNOBC
FLCLCONSTANTINVSIVNNC
FLCLCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSAVG
VICCONSTANTINVSAVG


REFERENCES

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 monnaies d'or de Constantin II à Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
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: The Collapse of Paganism and the Triumph of Christianity, Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 2011).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire: The Later Constantinian Dynasty and the Houses of Valentinian and Theodosius and Their Successors, Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
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 Thursday, December 14, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Constantine II