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.
RL65285. Silveredfollis, RIC VIINicomedia 28, aVF, corrosion, very unusual legend and portrait, weight 2.997 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 315o, 2nd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 317 - 320 A.D.; obverse F CL CONSTAN-TINVS NOV CS, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust left; reverseIOVI CONSERVATORIAVGG, Jupiter standing left, Victory on globe in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, palm-branch at feet left, B right, SMN in ex; very rare (RIC R4); $450.00 (337.50)
This variety appears to be much rarer than RIC VIII's R2 rating indicates. RIC references LRBC and an example from the Chorleywood Hoard found in Hertfordshire, England in 1977. We found only one other example online - in the Forum Members' Gallery.
RL70557. Bronze AE 4, RIC VIII Arles 41 (R2), LRBC 41, Voetter -, Milchev Constantine -, aF, scratches, weight 1.269 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 180o, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, posthumous, 9 Sep 337 - May 340 A.D.; obverseDIVO CONSTANTINO P, veiled and draped bust right; reverseAETERNA PIETAS, Constantine standing right, in military dress, inverted spear behind in left, globe in right hand, X left, [PCON or SCON] in exergue (off flan); very rare; $400.00 (300.00)
A very rare commemorative issue struck at Lyon for Constantine after his death. Constantine is most famous for leading the Empire to Christianity. Before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, he saw "In Hoc Signo Victor Eris" (By this sign you shall conquer) on the sun around Chi Rho. With the symbol of Christ on his army's shields he was victorious.
RL66868. Bronze AE 4, RIC VIIILyon 2 (R), LRBC 238, Bastien Lyon 3 (only 4 specimens), VF, weight 1.777 g, maximum diameter 12.9 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, posthumous, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverseDIVO CONSTANTINO P, veiled bust right; reverseAETERNA PIETAS, Constantine standing right, in military dress, inverted spear behind in left, globe in right hand, staurogram (Greek cruciform monogram for Christ) in upper right field, PLG (off flan) in exergue; very rare; $200.00 (150.00)
Constantine sent Galerius an official notice of his father's death and his own acclamation. Along with the notice, he included a portrait of himself wreathed in bay and wearing in the robes of an Augustus. He requested recognition as heir to his father's throne, claiming the army had "forced it upon him." Galerius was put into a fury by the message; he almost set the portrait on fire. His advisers calmed him. To aviod war, Galerius compromised and granted Constantine the title "Caesar" rather than "Augustus." To make it clear that he alone gave Constantine legitimacy, Galerius personally sent Constantine the emperor's traditional purple robes. Constantine accepted the decision, knowing that it would remove doubts as to his legitimacy.
RB90463. Billonfollis, RIC VILugdunum 255 (S), Bastien XI 470 (122 specimens), SRCV IV -, EF, excellent portrait, nicely centered, weight 6.517 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 315o, 1st officina, Lugdunum mint, c. autumn 307 - summer 308; obverse IMP C CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and draped bust right, from behind, clean-shaven; reverseGENIO POP ROM, Genius standing slightly left, modius on head, drapery around waist and over arm, patera in right over flaming alter at feet on left, cornucopia in right, PLC in exergue; scarce; $180.00 (135.00)
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.
RL69163. Bronze AE 3, RIC VIISirmium 48, Choice gVF, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) mint, 324 - 325 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverseSARMATIA DEVICTA, Victory advancing right, treading on captive, trophy in right, palm in left, SIRMin ex; $150.00 (112.50)
In February 313, Constantine met with Licinius in Milan, where they developed the Edict of Milan. The edict stated that Christians should be allowed to follow the faith without oppression. This removed penalties for professing Christianity, under which many had been martyred previously, and returned confiscated Church property. The edict protected from religious persecution not only Christians but all religions, allowing anyone to worship whichever deity they chose. A similar edict had been issued in 311 by Galerius, then senior emperor of the Tetrarchy; Galerius' edict granted Christians the right to practice their religion but did not restore any property to them. The Edict of Milan included several clauses which stated that all confiscated churches would be returned as well as other provisions for previously persecuted Christians.
RL71295. Bronze follis, RIC VI Tier 884, Choice gVF, weight 3.419 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 310 - 313 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassedbust right; reverseMARTI CONSERVATORI, helmeted and cuirassedbust of Mars right; ex Pecunem & Gitbud & Naumann auction 9, lot 775; scarce; $150.00 (112.50)
In 315, immense baths were constructed in Augusta Treverorum (modern Trier).
RB71555. Bronze follis, RIC VII Trier 105, Choice EF, weight 3.903 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 316 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassedbust right; reverseSOLI INVICTOCOMITI, Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys across left shoulder, raising right hand, globe in left, T- F across fields, BTR in ex; $150.00 (112.50)
In 318, Constantine the Great given the title Brittanicus Maximus for successful engagements in Britain. The details of the battles are unknown.
RL90502. Bronze AE 3, RIC VII Trier 162 (R4), Nice EF, perfect centering, legend not fully struck (filled die?), weight 2.926 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 210o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 317 - 318 A.D.; obverse 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, F - T at sides, ATR in ex; very rare; $125.00 (93.75)
Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.
Very clear Manus Dei, the hand of God, reaching down to take Constantine up to heaven.
RL70561. Bronze AE 4, RIC VIII Antioch 37, VF, nice green patina, small edge chip, weight 0.826 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, 9 Sep 337 - April 340 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTI-NVS PT AVGG, veiled bust right; reverse Emperor in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to him; star above, SMANB in ex; $120.00 (90.00)
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. Constantine instructed that Christians and non-Christians should be united in observing the venerable day of the sun, referring to the sun-worship that Aurelian had established as an official cult. Long after his conversion to Christianity, Constantine's coinage continued to carry the symbols of the sun. Even when Constantine dedicated the new capital of Constantinople, which became the seat of Byzantine Christianity for a millennium, he did so wearing the Apollonian sun-rayed diadem. No Christian symbols were present at the dedication.
RL71594. Bronze AE 3, RIC VIISiscia 159, Choice aEF, weight 3.153 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 225o, 4th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 320 - 321 A.D.; obverseCONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse D N CONSTANTINI MAX AVG, around wreath enclosing VOT / XX, ∆SIS* in ex; $120.00 (90.00)