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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Tetrarchy| ▸ |Licinius I||View 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.

|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
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.
RL93202. Billon follis, RIC VII Trier 120, Cohen VII 49, Hunter V 12 var. (no drapery), SRCV IV 15194 var. (same), Choice EF, excellent centering, nice sharp portrait, dark brown patina, flow lines, some reverse die wear, areas with light porosity, weight 3.219 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier) mint, 316 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), 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; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
In 320 A.D., Licinius reneged on the religious freedom promised by the Edict of Milan, and began a new persecution of Christians in the Eastern Roman Empire. He destroyed churches, imprisoned Christians and confiscated their property.
RL89635. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 70a (R1), Hunter V 17, SRCV IV 15360, Cohen 174, Choice VF, well centered, some silvering, porosity on obverse, weight 2.613 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 319 - 320 A.D.; obverse IMP LICI-NVS AVG, Laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIAE LAET PRINC PERP (Joyous victory to the eternal Prince), two victories standing confronted, holding shield inscribed VOT / P R over tall altar (type a) with a garland, two captives seated back to back in exergue; ex Beast Coins VLPP Collection, ex Keith Metzer Collection; scarce; $85.00 SALE |PRICE| $76.50


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
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." For this issue, the altar is always marked I for the first (A) and second (B) officinae, and S for the third (Γ), fourth (∆) and fifth (E) officinae.
RL89672. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Siscia 96 (R4), SRCV IV 15357, Cohen VII 170, Hunter V -, Choice VF, much silvering, well centered, scattered porosity, weight 2.410 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 319 - 320 A.D.; obverse IMP LICI-NIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse VICT LAETAE PRINC PERP (joyous victory to the eternal Prince), two Victories standing confronted, holding shield inscribed VOT / P R (vows of the Roman people), set on altar inscribed with an S, ΓSIS* in exergue; ex Beast Coins VLPP Collection; rare; $85.00 SALE |PRICE| $76.50


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
This billon type is c. 2 - 3% silver. The argenteus struck six years earlier with this reverse type was about 25% silver.
RB89960. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Arles 196 (R2), SRCV IV 15347, Cohen VII 101, Hunter V 24 var. (3rd officina), Choice VF, excellent centering, dark green patina, a few tiny spots of porosity, weight 3.748 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, 319 - 320 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG (to Jove the protector of the Emperor), Licinius borne aloft by eagle right, wings spread, emperor holds a thunderbolt in right hand and scepter in left, SARL (S engraved over P?) in exergue; $81.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.90


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
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.
RT87235. Billon follis, RIC VI Treveri 845b, Hunter V 5, SRCV IV 15191, Cohen VII 53, Choice EF, well centered and struck, some silvering, tiny encrustations, edge a little ragged with small cracks, weight 4.234 g, maximum diameter 24.0 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 (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), Genius standing slightly left, head left, crown of city walls on head, chest bare, himation over left shoulder around waist and over and left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, T F at sides, PTR in exergue; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
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.
RT89695. Billon follis, RIC VII London 23 (R1), SRCV IV 15185, Cohen 49, Hunter V -, VF, nice portrait, off center and a little uneven reverse strike, edge cracks, weight 3.301 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Londinium (London, England) mint mint, 314 - 315 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), turreted Genius standing slightly left, head left, wearing crown of city walls on head, boots, himation over left shoulder around hips and over left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - F across field, MLL in exergue; ex Beast Coins, ex Harlan Berk CICF show April 2013; rare; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
In 315, Constantine the Great and Licinius battled the Sarmates, the Goths and the Carpians along the Danube. Constantine led a punitive expedition into Dacia and reestablished the Roman fortifications of the frontier.
RL91225. Billon follis, RIC VII Alexandria 10 (R2), SRCV IV 15246. Cohen VII 108, Hunter V 233 ff. var. (1st officina not listed), VF, well centered and struck, green patina, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 3.521 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Alexandria mint, 315 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG (to Jove the protector of the two Emperors), Jupiter standing slightly left, head left, nude but for cloak on left shoulder, Victory on globe with wreath and palm frond in Jupiter's right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, eagle left at feet on left with head turned back and wreath in beak, wreath over A over N in right field, ALE in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 76 (7 Apr 2019), part of lot 942; scarce; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
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.
RL93204. Billon follis, Hunter V 4, RIC VII Londinium 3, SRCV IV 15184, Cohen VII 49, F, well centered, dark patina, small corrosion, weight 2.820 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 150o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 313 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), Genius standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S and F left and right, PLN in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
A footnote in RIC identifies this reverse legend break for officina S and T, but not for P (prima or first) officina. This coin appears to be the same reverse legend variety for the first officina.
RL93206. Billon follis, Hunter V 40 (also 3rd officina), RIC VII Rome 23, SRCV IV 15301, Cohen VII 163, VF, brown patina with thin green deposits, broad flan, small edge crack, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 3.161 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, 314 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse SOLI IN-VI-CTO COMITI, Sol standing half left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, R - F across fields, R*T in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
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.
RL93200. Billon follis, RIC VII Siscia 8 (R1), SRCV IV 15211, Cohen VII 65; Hunter V 69 var. (1st officina), aVF, well centered, dark brown patina, pitting and corrosion, scratches, weight 3.467 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 313 - 315 A.D.; obverse IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, Victory offering wreath standing right on globe in his right hand, long scepter in left hand, eagle left with head right and wreath in beak at feet on left, B right, SIS in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00




  



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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 Rforme Montaire de Diocltien 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 rouverture de l'atelier en 318 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).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Diocltien 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. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. IV...The Collapse of Paganism and the Triumph of Christianity, Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 211).
Voetter, O. Die Mnzen der romischen Kaiser, Kaiserinnen und Caesaren von Diocletianus bis Romulus: Katalog der Sammlung Paul Gerin. (Vienna, 1921).

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