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.
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 VIIIArles 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 (348.00)
Hannibalianus, Rex Regum, 337 A.D.
Hannibalianus, the nephew of Constantine I, was named rex regum et Ponticarum gentium (King of the Pontic Land and Peoples) in early 337. He was to take the place the pro-Roman King Tigranes of Armenia, who had recently been ousted by the Persian King Shapur II. Constantine, however, died on 22 May, before retaking Armenia. Later in 337, Hannibalianus, Dalmatius and many other male relatives, were murdered at the behest of one or all of Constantine's sons (though they denied it). Hannibalianus was the Roman king who never actually ruled any territory.
SH72303. Bronze AE4, RIC VII Constantinople 147, VF, some of reverselegend unstruck, weight 1.238 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 336 - 337 A.D; obverse FL HANNIBALLIANO REGI, bare-headed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverseSECVRITAS PVBLICA, Euphrates reclining right, leaning on scepter behind, overturned urn at his side, reed in the background behind legs, CONSS in ex; ex Tom Vossen; rare (R2); $300.00 (261.00)
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; $180.00 (156.60)
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 (130.50)
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 (130.50)
In 336, Constantine reconquered most of Dacia for the Roman Empire.
RL72428. Billon AE 3, RIC VII Antioch 108, LRBC 1363, SRCV IV 16374, Cohen VII 250, aMS, weight 1.693 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 270o, 1st officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 336 - 337 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, rosette-diademed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverseGLORIA EXERCITVS, 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, SMANA in ex; ex Robert T. Golan; $125.00 (108.75)
RL65366. Bronze AE 3, RIC VII Antioch 86, Choice aEF, attractive black patina with highlighting red earthen desert fill, weight 2.670 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 330 - 335 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, rosette-diademed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverseGLOR-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; $110.00 (95.70)
Heraclea, the Greek city of Perinthos, later known as Heraclea Thracica to distinguish it from Heraclea Pontica, is now Marmara Ereglisi in the European part of Turkey. The Roman mint was established by Diocletian shortly before his reform and was in use until the times of Theodosius II. Dates of operation: 291 - 450 A.D. Mint marks: H, HERAC, HERACL, HT, MHT, SMH, SMHT.
RL72424. Silveredfollis, RIC VIHeraclea 75 and VII Heraclea 5, Choice VF, full circles strike, some silvering, weight 4.456 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 313 A.D.; obverse IMP C FL VAL CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverseIOVI CONSERVATORIAVGG, Jupiter standing left, Victory on globe in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, eagle with wreath in beak at feet, B right, SMHT in exergue; ex Jonathan K. Kern; $75.00 (65.25)
Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D., Brockage