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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.


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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; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


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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; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


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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.
RL79158. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 263 (R2), LRBC I 208, SRCV V 17319, Cohen VII 122, EF, centered on a tight flan, sharp portrait, mint luster, some die wear, weight 2.349 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 336 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse GLORI-A EXER-CITVS (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; rare; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79121. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 238 (R1), Bastien XIII 199, LRBC I 181, SRCV V 17316, Cohen VII 122, EF, dark patina, light corrosion, reverse die wear, reverse slightly off center, weight 2.538 g, maximum diameter 18.0 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; $60.00 (€53.40)
 


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79129. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 244 (R2), LRBC I 187, SRCV V 17318, Cohen VII 122, Choice EF, perfect centering, some luster, dark patina, weight 2.663 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 225o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 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, •PLG in exergue; scarce; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79132. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 244 (R2), LRBC I 187, SRCV V 17318, Cohen VII 122, EF, dark green patina, some mint luster, weight 2.095 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 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, •PLG in exergue; scarce; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79147. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 254 (R1), LRBC I 198, SRCV V 17317, Cohen VII 122, EF, dark sea-green patina, well centered, reverse center weak, weight 2.274 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 332 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, •PLC in exergue; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


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In 332, Constantine I and his son Constantine II, age 16, defeated the Goths in Moesia. The Goths agreed to become Roman allies and to protect the Danube frontier. Only two years later, in 334, the Goths on the Danube frontier prevented an invasion by the Vandals.
RL79148. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 254 (R1), LRBC I 193, SRCV V 17317, Cohen VII 122, aEF, well centered, dark green patina, weight 1.920 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 332 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, pellet within crescent and PLG in exergue; scarce (RIC R1); $75.00 (€66.75)
 


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In 332, Constantine I and his son Constantine II, age 16, defeated the Goths in Moesia. The Goths agreed to become Roman allies and to protect the Danube frontier. Only two years later, in 334, the Goths on the Danube frontier prevented an invasion by the Vandals.
RL79149. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 254 (R1), LRBC I 193, SRCV V 17317, Cohen VII 122, Choice aEF, well centered, dark green patina, areas of porosity, weight 2.464 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 332 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, crescent and PLG in exergue; scarce (RIC R1); $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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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.
RL79157. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 263 (R3), LRBC I 208, SRCV V 17319, Cohen VII 122, EF, mint luster, broad oval flan, nice portrait, edge cracks, weight 2.337 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 336 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse GLORI-A EXER-CITVS (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, *SLG in exergue; rare; $70.00 (€62.30)
 










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 Sunday, April 30, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Constantine II