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)
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 (225.00)
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)
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)
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 (82.50)
Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D., Brockage