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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Tetrarchy ▸ Licinius IView Options:  |  |  |   

Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

Licinius I was a comrade of emperor Galerius in the Tetrarchic period. Following the abdication of Diocletian and Maximianus, Licinius was raised to the rank of Augustus despite never having held the position of Caesar. After Maximinus II invaded his territories, Licinius marched against him and defeated him soundly. Over the next few years, relations between Licinius and Constantine I deteriorated. Armed conflict broke out several times and Licinius was defeated. Only through the intervention of Licinius' wife, Constantine's sister, was his life spared. However, shortly after he was executed for additional political machinations against Constantine.


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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.
RL76327. Billon follis, Unlisted bust variety of a very rare type; RIC VII Ticinum 4 (R4) var. (head), SRCV IV 15258 var. (same), Cohen VII 139, Hunter V -, VF, well centered, light contact marks and corrosion, weight 3.147 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse MARTI CONSERVATORI, Mars standing right, helmeted, in military dress, reversed spear in right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield, PT in exergue; $175.00 (€155.75)
 


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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.
RT77507. Bronze follis, RIC VI Siscia 233a, SRCV IV 15249, Hunter V 64 var. (1st officina), Cohen VII -, EF, some silvering, well centered on a tight flan, weight 3.556 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG NN, Jupiter standing left, Victory on globe and offering wreath in Zeus' right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, eagle left with wreath in beak at feet on left, ∆ right, SIS in exergue; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


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Siscia, a chief town and colony of Pannonia, was located at confluence of the Colapis and Savus, and is now called Sisak, Croatia. The Roman imperial mint operated from 260 to c. 390 A.D. The mint master was called procurator monetae Siscianae.
RT77399. Billon follis, RIC VII Siscia 8 (R1), SRCV IV 15211, Cohen VII 66, EF, nice green patina, weight 3.031 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 313 - 315 A.D.; obverse IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI, Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left, eagle left with wreath in beak at feet on left, Γ right, SIS in exergue; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


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Open civil war between Constantine and Licinius broke in 316 when Constantine invaded Licinius' Balkan provinces. Licinius fled to Adrianople where he collected a second army, under the command of Valerius Valens whom he raised to the rank of Augustus. Constantine defeated Licinius at the Battle of Campus Ardiensis, but the victory was indecisive. A treaty between Constantine and Licinius was concluded at Serdica on 1 March, 317. The peace lasted for about seven years.
RL77096. Billon follis, RIC VII Trier 121, SRCV IV 15194, Cohen VII 49, Choice gVF, attractive portrait, nice patina, well centered, weight 4.906 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier) mint, 316 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM, turreted Genius standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, T - F across field, ATR in exergue; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


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Open civil war between Constantine and Licinius broke in 316 when Constantine invaded Licinius' Balkan provinces. Licinius fled to Adrianople where he collected a second army, under the command of Valerius Valens whom he raised to the rank of Augustus. Constantine defeated Licinius at the Battle of Campus Ardiensis, but the victory was indecisive. A treaty between Constantine and Licinius was concluded at Serdica on 1 March, 317. The peace lasted for about seven years.
RL77097. Billon follis, RIC VII Trier 121, SRCV IV 15194, Cohen VII 49, EF, fantastic portrait and reverse style, weight 3.642 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 316 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM, Genio standing left, crown of city walls with gate, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, T left, F right, BTR in exergue; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


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In Roman religion every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POP ROM dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Roman People. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RL77103. Billon follis, RIC VI Treveri 845b, Hunter V 5, SRCV IV 15191, Cohen VII 53, Choice EF, near perfect full circles strike, slight die wear, tiny edge crack, weight 4.217 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 310 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM, Genius standing slightly left, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, T F at sides, PTR in exergue; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


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Most references describe this bust as laureate and cuirassed. Hunter V breaks from tradition and correctly recognizes that the loop on the left shoulder indicates drapery, the paludamentum. To avoid confusion, we use the traditional description omitting "draped" from the description.
RL77105. Billon follis, RIC VI Londinium 209c, Hunter V 1, SRCV IV 15183, Cohen VII 53, Choice gVF, excellent portrait, well centered, green patina with coppery high spot on obverse, some reverse die wear, weight 4.183 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, c. 312 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM, Genius standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, star right, PLN in exergue; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


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In 318, Constantine the Great was given the title Britannicus Maximus, for successful engagements in Britain. The details of the battles are unknown.
RL79956. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Thessalonica 33, SRCV IV 15382, Cohen VII 222, gVF, much silvering, well centered on a tight flan, weight 3.740 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 318 - 319 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VOT XX / MVLT / XXX / •TS•A•, within wreath; scarce; $120.00 (€106.80)
 


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Most references describe this bust as laureate and cuirassed. Hunter V breaks from tradition and correctly recognizes that the loop on the left shoulder indicates drapery, the paludamentum. To avoid confusion, we use the traditional description omitting "draped" from the description.
RL74447. Billon follis, RIC VI Londinium 209c, Hunter V 1, SRCV IV 15183, Cohen VII 53, gVF, superb portrait, perfect centering, weak reverse, weight 4.671 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, c. 312 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM, Genius standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, star right, PLN in exergue; ex William Porter Collection; $110.00 (€97.90)
 


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For many years, the two imperial colleagues had maintained an uneasy truce, but temperatures rose again in 321 when Constantine pursued some Sarmatians, who had been ravaging territory in his realm, across the Danube into Licinius' territory. When he repeated this with another invasion, this time by the Goths who were pillaging Thrace, Licinius complained that Constantine had broken the treaty between them.
RL79435. Billon follis, RIC VII Cyzicus 15 (R2), Cohen VII 71, SRCV IV 15216, Hunter V 173 ff. var. (2nd officina not listed), Choice aEF, well centered bold strike, some die wear, areas of mild porosity, weight 2.850 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 321 - 324 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONS-ERVATORI, Jupiter standing slightly left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, Victory on globe presenting wreath in right hand, long eagle topped scepter vertical in left hand, eagle standing left with wreath in beak at feet on left, in right field: X/IIΓ over bound captive seated right and looking left, SMKB in exergue; $110.00 (€97.90)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

IMPCLICLICINNIVSPFAVG
IMPCVALLICLICINIVSPFAVG
IMPCVALLICINLICINIVSPFAVG
IMPLICINIVSAVG
IMPLICINIVSPFAVG
IMPLICINIVSPIVSFELIXAVG
IMPLICLICINIVSPFAVG
LICINIVSAVGVSTVS
LICINIVSPFAVG
VALLICINNIANVSLICINNIVSPFAVG



REFERENCES

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).
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.M. 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).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
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).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume IV...The Collapse of Paganism and the Triumph of Christianity, Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 211).
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 Thursday, September 29, 2016.
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Roman Coins of Licinius I