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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Constantinian Era ▸ Constantine the GreatView Options:  |  |  |   

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.


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Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored those in positions of authority similar to his own.
RT85189. Billon follis, RIC VII Siscia 15 (R2), SRCV IV15940, Cohen VII 289 corr. (rev. misdescribed), Hunter V 244 var. (1st officina),, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, sharp detail, attractive style, nice green patina, areas of slightest porosity, weight 3.569 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 315 - 316 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CON-SERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing left, nude but for paludamentum on left shoulder, Victory on globe in right hand presenting wreath, long scepter vertical in left hand, eagle at feet on left facing left with head turned back right and wreath in beak, Γ right, •SIS• in exergue; scarce; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


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The reverse legend abbreviates, Victoriae Laetae Principium Perpertua, which translates, "Joyous victory to the eternal Prince." VOT P R on the shield abbreviates, Vota Populi Romani, which translates, "Vows (prayers) of the Roman people."
RL77186. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 209 (R1), SRCV IV 16297, Cohen VII 640, Hunter V -, Choice EF, much silvering, some luster, areas of mild porosity, weight 3.096 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 318 - 319 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, laureate, helmeted and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP (joyous eternal victories of the prince), two Victories holding shield inscribed VOT / P R over altar, STR in exergue; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


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Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored those in positions of authority similar to his own.
RL85185. Billon follis, RIC VII Siscia 15 (R2), SRCV IV15940, Cohen VII 289 corr. (rev. misdescribed), Hunter V 244 var. (1st officina), Choice EF, well centered, nice green patina, a few tiny spots of corrosion, weight 3.309 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 315 - 316 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing left, nude but for paludamentum on left shoulder, Victory on globe in right hand presenting wreath, long scepter vertical in left hand, eagle at feet on left facing left with head turned back right and wreath in beak, E right, •SIS• in exergue; scarce; $130.00 (€115.70)
 


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On 3 February 313, Constantine the Great and co-emperor Licinius met at a conference in Mediolanum (modern Milan). They issued the Edict of Milan, which established a policy of religious freedom for all, ending the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire.
RT85188. Billon follis, RIC VII Siscia 7 (R3), Cohen VII 288, SRCV IV 15940, Hunter V 241 var. (...P F AVG), Choice EF, excellent centering, sharp detail, green patina, slightest porosity, weight 3.291 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 313 - 315 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing facing, head left, nude but for chlamys on left shoulder, Victory on globe and offering wreath in right hand, long scepter in left hand, eagle left with head turned back right and wreath in beak at feet to left, Γ right, SIS in exergue; scarce; $130.00 (€115.70)
 


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On 3 February 313, Constantine the Great and co-emperor Licinius met at a conference in Mediolanum (modern Milan). They issued the Edict of Milan, which established a policy of religious freedom for all, ending the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire.
RL85187. Billon follis, RIC VII Siscia 7 (R2), Cohen VII 288, SRCV IV 15940, Hunter V 237 var. (...P F AVG), EF, sharp detail, nice green patina, weight 3.395 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 313 - 315 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing facing, head left, nude but for chlamys on left shoulder, Victory on globe and offering wreath in right hand, long scepter in left hand, eagle left with head turned back right and wreath in beak at feet to left, A right, SIS in exergue; scarce; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


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The reverse legend abbreviates, Victoriae Laetae Principium Perpertua, which translates, "Joyous victory to the eternal Prince." VOT P R on the shield abbreviates, Vota Populi Romani, which translates, "Vows (prayers) of the Roman people."
RL79962. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Siscia 61 (R1), Cohen VII 637, SRCV IV 16303, Hunter V -, VF, fantastic armed bust, well centered, corrosion, reverse rough, weight 2.408 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 319 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust left, helmet with high crest and ornamented with stars, spear in right hand across right shoulder, shield on left shoulder ornamented with a horseman riding right with his cloak flying behind; reverse VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP (joyous eternal victories of the prince), two Victories holding between them a shield inscribed VOT P R set on altar, BSIS• in exergue; rare with this shield; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


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On 8 October 314, at the Battle of Cibalae, Constantine defeated Licinius near Colonia Aurelia Cibalae (modern Vinkovci, Croatia). Licinius was forced to flee to Sirmium and lost all of the Balkans except for Thrace. The two Augusti initiated peace negotiations, but they failed and they would not make peace until 1 March 317.
RL85191. Billon follis, RIC VII Ticinum 21 (R1), SRCV IV 16087, Cohen VII 536, cf. Hunter V 139 (TT•, 314 A.D.), Choice EF, nice portrait and reverse style, green patina, weight 3.279 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 314 - 315 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse SOLI INVI-C-TO COMITI, Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, celestial globe in left hand, star in left field, T•T in exergue; rare; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


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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.
RL84287. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 65 (also 2nd officina), RIC VII Trier 435, Cohen VII 487, SRCV IV 16284, Choice EF, attractive surfaces, nice portrait, some flatness of strike on reverse, small edge split, weight 3.058 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 323 - 324 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse SARMATIA DEVICTA (Samartia vanquished), Victory advancing right, treading on captive with left foot, trophy in right hand, palm frond in left hand, STR crescent in exergue; $110.00 (€97.90)
 


Thracian or Germanic Tribes, Pseudo-Imperial Coinage, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.

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This type was minted by and used as currency by tribes outside the Roman Empire in Thrace. It copied a Roman votive type issued under Constantine the Great. The inscriptions are made up of illiterate imitations of letters.
CE76987. Bronze AE 18, Imitative of Crispus types, for prototypes see RIC VII p. 379 ff. (official Roman, Ticinum mint, c. 320 - 325 A.D.), Choice VF, nice green patina, weight 2.047 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, tribal mint, mid 4th - early 5th century A.D.; obverse laureate bust left, illiterate blundered imitation of a legend; reverse blundered VOT X within wreath, illiterate blundered limitation of a legend around, ST in exergue; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army." Western mint GLORIA EXERCITVS issues are much less common than the Eastern mint issues.
RL79658. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Arles 387 (R4), Depeyrot EMA 49/1, LRBC I 391, SRCV IV 16346, Cohen VII 256, Choice EF, nice portrait, near black patina, closed edge crack, weight 2.668 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Constantia-Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, mid - end 335 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, laurel and rosette diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, heads turned inward confronted, two standards in center between them, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, leaf(?) above center, SCONST in exergue; very rare; $100.00 (€89.00)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

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


REFERENCES

Bastien, P. Le Monnayage de l'Atelier de Lyon, De la Réforme Monétaire de Dioclétien à la fermeture temporaire de l'Atelier en 316 (294 - 316). Numismatique Romaine XI. (Wetteren, 1980).
Bastien, P. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon. De la réouverture de l'atelier en 318 à la mort de Constantin (318 - 337). Numismatique Romaine XIII. (Wetteren, 1982).
Bruun, P. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VII, Constantine and Licinius A.D. 313 - 337. (London, 1966).
Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Carson, R., H. Sutherland & J. Kent. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VIII, The Family of Constantine I, A.D. 337 - 364. (London, 1981).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les émissions monétaires d'Arles (4th -5th Siècles). Moneta 6. (Wetteren, 1996).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Dioclétien a Constantin I (284 - 337). (Wetteren, 1995).
Failmezger, V. Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity, 294 - 364 A.D. (Washington D.C., 2002).
King, C. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Milchev, S. The Coins of Constantine the Great. (Sophia, 2007).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine...Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 2011).
Speck, R. & S. Huston. Constantine's Dafne Coinage at Constantinople. (San Francisco, 1992).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
Voetter, O. Die Münzen der romischen Kaiser, Kaiserinnen und Caesaren von Diocletianus bis Romulus: Katalog der Sammlung Paul Gerin. (Vienna, 1921).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, September 20, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Constantine the Great