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Home>Catalog>RomanCoins>ConstantinianEra>ConstantinetheGreat PAGE 1/212

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.


Click for a larger photo 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.; obverse DIVO CONSTANTINO P, veiled and draped bust right; reverse AETERNA 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)


Click for a larger photo 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 VIII Lyon 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.; obverse DIVO CONSTANTINO P, veiled bust right; reverse AETERNA 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)


Click for a larger photo 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 cuirassed bust right; reverse MARTI CONSERVATORI, helmeted and cuirassed bust of Mars right; ex Pecunem & Gitbud & Naumann auction 9, lot 775; scarce; $150.00 (130.50)


Click for a larger photo 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 cuirassed bust right; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI, 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)


Click for a larger photo In 321, Constantine I expelled the Goths from the Danube frontier and repaired Trajan's Bridge. He led an expedition into the old province Dacia (modern Romania) and made peace with the barbarians.
RL71656. Silvered AE 3, RIC VII Siscia 174 (R3), Cohen 123, Choice EF, weight 2.757 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 321 - 324 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse D N CONSTANTINI MAX AVG, around wreath enclosing VOT / XX, ASIS (A resembling H) branch in ex; rare; $150.00 (130.50)


Click for a larger photo Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. He attempted to return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom." It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on 22 May 337.RL73198. Bronze AE 4, RIC VIII Alexandria 4, LRBC 1445, Voetter 42, Choice gF, weight 1.306 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Alexandria mint, posthumous, Jun 337 - Apr 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 him, S - R flanking high in field, SMALA in exergue; $120.00 (104.40)


Click for a larger photo  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 cuirassed bust 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; $110.00 (95.70)


Click for a larger photo In early in December 316, to ensure his loyalty, Licinius elevated Aurelius Valerius Valens, the dux limitis (duke of the frontier) in Dacia, to the rank of Augustus. According to Petrus Patricius, when Constantine learned of this, "The emperor made clear the extent of his rage by his facial expression and by the contortion of his body. Almost unable to speak, he said, 'We have not come to this present state of affairs, nor have we fought and triumphed from the ocean till where we have now arrived, just so that we should refuse to have our own brother-in-law as joint ruler because of his abominable behavior, and so that we should deny his close kinship, but accept that vile slave [Valens] with him into imperial college.'" The treaty between Constantine and Licinius was concluded at Serdica on 1 March, 317. Whether it was part of that agreement is unknown, but Licinius had Valens executed.
SH73468. Bronze follis, RIC VII Trier 102, SRCV IV 16063, Choice EF, sharp detail, well centered, attractive bust, mintmark weak, weight 3.636 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 225o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 316 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI, Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left, T - F flanking at sides, BTR in exergue; $100.00 (87.00)


City of Rome Commemorative, 330 - 333 A.D.

Click for a larger photo 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.
RL73611. Bronze AE 3, RIC VII Heraclea 129, VF, weight 2.432 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 330 - 333 A.D.; obverse VRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma left wearing imperial mantle; reverse Romulus and Remus suckling from wolf, two stars and three pellets above, SMHE in exergue; rare (R4); $100.00 (87.00)


Click for a larger photo 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 cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA 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; $95.00 (82.65)




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Obverse legends:

AVGVSTVS
CONSTANTINVSAG
CONSTANTINVSAVG
CONSTANTINVSFILAVGG
CONSTANTINVSMAXAVG
CONSTANTINVSMAXPFAVG
CONSTANTINVSNC
CONSTANTINVSNOBC
CONSTANTINVSNOBCAES
CONSTANTINVSPFAVG
DVCONSTANTINVSPTAVGG
FLVALCONSTANTINVSFILAVG
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNC
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNOBC
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNOBCAES
IMPCONSTANTINVSAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
IMPCONSTNTINVSMAXAVG



Catalog current as of Saturday, April 18, 2015.
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Roman Coins of Constantine the Great