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.
Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.
RL65285. Silveredfollis, RIC VII 28, aVF, corrosion, very unusual legend and portrait, weight 2.997 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 315o, Nicomedia mint, 317 - 320 A.D.; obverse F CL CONSTAN-TINVS NOV CS, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust left; reverse IOVI CONS-ERVATORI AVGG, Jupiter standing left, Victory on globe in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, palm-branch at feet left, B right, SMN in ex; very rare (RIC R4); $500.00 (375.00)
City of Rome Commemorative, 330 - 333 A.D.
On 11 May 330, Constantine I refounded Byzantium, renamed it New Rome, and moved the capital of the Roman Empire there from Rome. The city soon became known as Constantinopolis. Coins were issued with types for Rome and Constantinople to advertise the importance of the new capital.
SH65201. Bronze AE 3, RIC VII 119, VF, in 14k gold bezel, weight 7.894 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 0o, Heraclea mint, 330 - 333 A.D.; obverseVRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma left wearing imperial mantle; reverseRomulus and Remus suckling from wolf, two stars above, SMHE in exergue; $300.00 (225.00)
Manus Dei, the hand of God, reaches down to take Constantine up to heaven.
RL66594. Bronze AE 4, RIC VII 37, EF, weight 1.743 g, maximum diameter 13.9 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch mint, posthumous, 337 - April 340 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTI-NVS PT AVGG, veiled bust right; reverse Constantine in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to take him to heaven, star above, SMANH in ex; exceptional for the type; $280.00 (210.00)
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.
RL67100. Bronze AE 3, Bastien XIII 111 (3 spec.), RIC VII -, VF, well centered, weight 2.821 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum mint, 321 - 322 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate bust left wearing imperial mantle, eagle tipped scepter in right; reverseBEATA TRANQVILLITAS, altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX, surmounted by globe, three stars above, C left, R right PLC in exergue; very rare; $145.00 (108.75)
RL65366. Bronze AE 3, RIC VII 86, Choice aEF, attractive black patina with highlighting red earthen desert fill, weight 2.670 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch mint, 330 - 335 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, rosette-diademed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverse GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two soldiers standing facing, flanking two standards in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, SMANB in ex; $125.00 (93.75)
In 310 A.D. Maximian, supposely retired, attempted to make himself emperor at Arles. When Constantine the Great marched with his army, Maximian fled but was captured at Marseille. Constantine encouraged his suicide and Maximian, age 60, hung himself.
RL67099. Silveredfollis, RIC VI 121a, EF, well centered, traces of silvering, some encrustation, weight 4.035 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 135o, London mint, 310 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassedbust right; reverseSOLI INVICTOCOMITI, Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left, T left, F right, PLN in ex; $125.00 (93.75)
Barbarous Imitative, Constantine Dynasty Votive, c. 321 - 330 A.D.
RL58487. Bronze AE 3, cf. RIC VII 161 (Crispus, official, Siscia mint, 320 - 321 A.D.; ) and RIC VII 163 (Constantine II, official, Siscia mint, 320 - 321 A.D.), VF, weight 2.534 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, unofficial mint, c. 321 - 330 A.D.; obverse CONSIII-SNSIIC (or similar, blundered), laureate bust right; reverse IIIIIIOIINNIISIII (or similar, blundered), VOT V within wreath, ISIS in exergue; well centered, attractive, completely illiterate legends; $90.00 (67.50)
In 312, Constantine defeated Maxentius in battles at Turin, Brescia and Verona before, finally, on 28 October at the Battle of Milvian Bridge, Maxentius was killed and Constantine became sole Emperor in the West. During the battle, he reportedly has a vision of a cross with the phrase "in hoc signo vinces" ("In this sign you shall conquer"). Maxentius' body was fished out of the Tiber and decapitated. Constantine entered Rome on 29 October and was met with popular jubilation.
RL56576. Bronze AE 3, RIC VI 125, VF, weight 3.428 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 180o, Ticinum mint, 312 - 313 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassedbust right; reverseMARTI CONSERVATORI, Mars standing facing, head right, inverted spear in right, leaning with left hand on grounded shield, TT in ex; rare; $80.00 (60.00)
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. It copied a type issued under Constantine the Great from the Siscia mint. Some imitative coins of this type are very similar to the Roman prototypes. This example has extremely degraded illiterate legends and crude naοve style.
RL54581. Bronze barbarous AE 3, For prototype cf. RIC VII 57 ff. (Roman, Constantine the Great, Siscia mint, 319 A.D.), VF, weight 3.425 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, barbarous mint, after 318 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG (degraded to mostly I, helmeted, laureate and cuirassedbust right; reverseVICTORIAELAETAEPRINCPERP (degraded to all I, two Victories holding wreath (shield on the prototype) over altar; very nice specimen for the issue; $75.00 (56.25)
Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and the god of 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.
RB67690. Bronze follis, RIC VI 61b, gVF, weight 3.669 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonica mint, 312 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP C CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverseIOVI CONSERVATORIAVGG NN, Jupiter standing left holding Victory on globe and scepter, eagle with wreath in beak left, TSB in ex; $75.00 (56.25)