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

Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D.

Constans was the youngest son of Constantine I and Fausta. Born around 320, Constans inherited part of the Western Empire upon its division among the sons of Constantine. In 340, his brother, Constantine II, invaded his territory but was defeated and killed leaving Constans in total control of the West. In 350, however, the general Magnentius rebelled and Constans fled as his legions switched sides. He was overtaken and killed while trying to escape to Spain.


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The reverse legend translates, "Happy Times Restored." Happy times would not last for Constans. This coinage was among his last issues before his general Magnentius rebelled and had him killed.
RL90440. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 252, LRBC II 1151, Voetter 47, SRCV V 18673, Cohen VII 13, Choice VF, weight 4.795 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 225o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 349 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTA-NS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Constans standing left in galley left, Victory with wreath and palm on globe in right hand, labarum in left hand, Victory seated in stern steering, A left, •ESIS• in exergue; $190.00 (€169.10) ON RESERVE


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The reverse legend abbreviates, Victoriae duorum dominorum augusti que nostrorum, which means, "to the Victory of our two lord emperors."
RL79585. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Trier 188 (C), LRBC I 142, Voetter 15, SRCV V 1885, Cohen VII 179 var., gVF, well centered on a tight flan, edge cracks, weight 1.541 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 347 - 348 A.D.; obverse CONSTANS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse VICTORIAE DD AVGG Q NN (to the victories of our two lord emperors), two victories standing toward center confronted, each extending a wreath in their right hand and holding a palm frond in their left hand, star in center, TR S in exergue; $30.00 (€26.70)
 


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79320. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 552 (R3), LRBC I 75, SRCV V 1834, Cohen VII 77, EF, excellent portrait, centered on a tight flan cutting off tops of letters on part of the reverse legend, some mint luster, edge crack, weight 2.277 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, as caesar, 333 - 334 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking two standards and wreath in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, TRP in exergue; rare; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79321. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 552 (R4), LRBC I 75, SRCV V 1834, Cohen VII 77, EF, dark near black surfaces with some mint luster, areas of light porosity, reverse slightly off center on a tight flan, some die wear, weight 2.656 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, as caesar, 333 - 334 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking two standards and wreath in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, TRS in exergue; very rare; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


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In 337 A.D., Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans succeed their father Constantine I and rule as co-emperors. A number of descendants of Constantius Chlorus, including the caesar Delmatius, as well as officials of the Roman Empire, were executed. The three Augusti denied responsibility for the purge.
RL79351. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 593 (R3), LRBC I 95, SRCV V 18360, Cohen VII 52, EF, nearly as struck, excellent portrait, well centered on a tight flan cutting off bottom of mintmark, clashed reverse die, tiny edge crack, weight 1.834 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 335 - 337 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse GLOR-IA EXER-CITVS, two soldiers standing facing, flanking a standard in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, •TRS• in exergue; rare; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


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Constans began his reign in an energetic fashion. In 341 - 342, he led a successful campaign against the Franks, and in the early months of 343 he visited Britain. The source for this visit, Julius Firmicus Maternus, does not provide a reason, but the quick movement and the danger involved in crossing the channel in the dangerous winter months suggests it was in response to a military emergency, possibly to repel the Picts and Scots.
BB83786. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Thessalonica 57, LRBC I 856, SRCV V 18547, Cohen VII 54, F, green patina, weight 1.261 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 225o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 337 - 341 A.D.; obverse CONSTANS P F AVG, diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking a standard in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, SMTS[A?] in exergue; $16.00 (€14.24)
 


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On 22 May 337 Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman Emperor, died at age 65 in Achyron, near Nicomedia. He was baptized shortly before his death by Eusebius of Nicomedia.
BB83794. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch 111, LRBC I 1366, SRCV V 18560, Cohen VII 50 var., F, centered, uneven strike with weak areas, light corrosion, light encrustation, weight 1.576 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, 9th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 336 - 337 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANS NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking a standard in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, SMANΘ in exergue; $10.00 (€8.90)
 


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Regarding religion, Constans was tolerant of Judaism and promulgated an edict banning pagan sacrifices in 341. He suppressed Donatism in Africa and supported Nicene orthodoxy against Arianism, which was championed by his brother Constantius. Although Constans called the Council of Sardica in 343 to settle the conflict, it was a complete failure, and by 346 the two emperors were on the point of open warfare over the dispute. The conflict was only resolved by an interim agreement which allowed each emperor to support their preferred clergy within their own spheres of influence.
RL83817. Billon quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Thessalonica 120, LRBC II 1642, SRCV 18732, Cohen VII 10, aVF, green patina with coppery high-points, reverse slightly off-center, areas of light corrosion, weight 2.904 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 348 - 349 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTA-NS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Constans standing left on galley, Phoenix on globe in right hand, labarum in left hand, Victory seated in stern steering ship, TESA in exergue; $22.00 (€19.58)
 


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In 337 A.D., Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans succeed their father Constantine I and rule as co-emperors. A number of descendants of Constantius Chlorus, including the caesar Delmatius, as well as officials of the Roman Empire, were executed. The three Augusti denied responsibility for the purge.
RL79352. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 593 (R3), LRBC I 95, SRCV V 18360, Cohen VII 52, VF, near black patina, obverse slightly off center off center cutting off beginning of obverse legend, edge cracks, some porosity, weight 1.433 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 335 - 337 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLOR-IA EXER-CITVS, two soldiers standing facing, flanking a standard in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, •TRP• in exergue; rare; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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The reverse probably advertises the resettlement and protection of Christian Goths in 348. Persecuted by the Gothic chieftain Athanaric, Wulfila obtained permission from Constantius II to migrate with his flock of converts to Moesia. They settled near Nicopolis ad Istrum.
RL77932. Billon light maiorina, RIC VIII Antioch 126, LRBC II 2615, Voetter 12, SRCV V 18700, Cohen VII 18, gVF, attractive style, area of light corrosion on obverse, tight flan, weight 4.347 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust left, globe in right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Constans walking right, looking back, wearing helmet and military garb, with right hand leading barbarian from hut under tree, spear in left hand, ANS in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $75.00 (€66.75)
 










OBVERSE LEGENDS

CONSTANSAVG
CONSTANSAVGVSTVS
CONSTANSCAESAR
CONSTANSPFAVG
DNCONSTANSPFAVG
FLCONSTANSNOBCAES
FLCONSTANTISBEAC
FLIVLCONSTANSAVG
FLIVLCONSTANSNOBC
FLIVLCONSTANSNOBCAES
FLIVLCONSTANSPERPAVG
FLIVLCONSTANSPFAVG
FLIVLCONSTANSPIVSFELIXAVG


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.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).
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.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).
Sear, D.R. 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 Monday, March 27, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Constans