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)
RB71023. Billonfollis, RIC VI Trier 781, Choice VF, perfect centering, traces of silvering, some porosity, weight 7.118 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, autumn 307 - end of 308 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassedbust right; reverse PRINCIPI - IV-VENTVTIS, Constantine standing slightly left, head left, laureate wearing military garb, flanked by standard in each hand, S left, A right, PTR in exergue; $140.00 (€121.80)
Lot of 5 Nice Constantine I, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D., Campgate AE3 Folles
LT72419. Bronze AE 3, Lot of 5, All Choice, one F, the rest VF, nice coins!, obverseCONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate or diademed head or bust right or left; reversePROVIDENTIAE AVGG, camp gate with open door and two turrets, star above, mintmark in exergue; the actual coins in the photograph; $125.00 (€108.75)
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)
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 VIIIAlexandria 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)
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)