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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Constantinian Era ▸ Constantine IIView Options:  |  |  |   

Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.

Constantine II was the son of Constantine I, the eldest with his second wife, Fausta. He was born in Arles (which was renamed Constantia in his honor in 328, explaining the CON mintmarks for Arles) and was made Caesar before he was a year old in 316 A.D. Upon his father's death, Constantine II inherited the Western part of the empire. After quarreling with his brother Constans, he invaded his territory, only to be killed in an ambush near Aquileia. His coins often include "IVN" in the legend, an abbreviation for junior.


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All the references list this type with the reverse legend ending CAES, but our coin's reverse legend ends CAESAR. RIC lists only officina Z and Θ. Most of the officina number is off flan, but our coin does not appear to be either. There is possibly a pellet at the beginning of the mintmark, a possibility is not in the references. We are uncertain if the this is a variation of the referenced types or if the references are in error. We could not locate even one plate or online photo of another specimen of this type to compare. There are three auctions of this type on recorded on Coin Archives, but all of them are for this exact same coin.
SH89742. Silver siliqua, RIC VII Constantinople 127 var. (CAES), RSC V 72 var. (same), SRCV V 17087 var. (same), Hunter V -, gVF, attractive youthful portrait with eyes to God, toned, light marks, weight 2.622 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, 9th Officina(?), Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 336 A.D.; obverse Constantine diademed right, looking up to God, no inscription; reverse CONSTANTINVS CAESAR, Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, CONS[...] in exergue; ex Heritage auction 271848 (2 Dec 2018), lot 36228; ex CNG sale 84 (5 May 2010), lot 1531; ex CNG Triton XIII (5 Jan 2010), lot 1523; ex White Mountain Collection; extremely rare; $1000.00 (€880.00)
 


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Constantine II was about eight years old when this coin was minted. Here he is draped and cuirassed as a powerful child Caesar with the world in his hands!
SH63721. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 382 (R3) corr. (no cuirass), SRCV V 17155, Cohen VII 23, gVF, well centered on a tight flan, nice green patina, weight 2.868 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 322 - 323 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, mappa in left, head of Medusa on cuirass; reverse BEATA TRANQVILLITAS (blessed tranquility), altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX, surmounted by globe, three stars above, •STR• in exergue; rare; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


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In 331 A.D., Constantine I vigorously promoted Christianity, confiscating the property and valuables of a number of pagan temples throughout the Empire.
RL79178. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 527, LRBC I 56, SRCV V 17313, Cohen VIII 122, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, nice dark green patina, slight die wear, areas of light porosity, weight 2.245 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 195o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, as caesar, 330 - 331 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate 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, TRS• in exergue; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


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In 333, Constantine pulled Roman troops out of Britain and abandoned work on the Hadrian's Wall.
RL87912. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V 24 (also 1st officina), RIC VII Trier 539, LRBC I 63, SRCV V 17314, Cohen VIII 122, Choice gVF, green patina, bumps and marks, small edge splits, weight 1.376 g, maximum diameter 14.1 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, as caesar, 332 - 333 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate 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, TR•P in exergue; ex Beast Coins; $85.00 (€74.80)
 


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In 328 Arelatum was renamed Constantia in honor of Constantine II. After Constantine II was killed in 340, the name reverted to Arelate, only to be changed again in 354 to Constantia by Constantius II. It retained that name, although the mintmark 'AR' appeared on some of its coins even in the fifth century.
RL79657. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Arles 376 (R3), LRBC I 380, SRCV 17679, Cohen VIII 105, EF, well centered and struck, weight 2.321 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Constantia-Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, as caesar, 333 - 334 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN N C, laureate 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, wreath with pellet inside above center, PCONST in exergue; very rare; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


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In 326 A.D., Constantine the great reorganized the Roman army into smaller units classified into three grades: palatini, (imperial escort armies); comitatenses, (forces based in frontier provinces) and limitanei (auxilia border troops).
RL86625. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 20 (also 2nd officina), RIC VII Trier 479, LRBC I 33, SRCV V 17216, Cohen VII 165, choice aEF, excellent centering, some of the obverse legend not fully struck, light bumps and marks, weight 3.104 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, as caesar, 326 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse PROVIDENTIAE CAESS (to the foresight of the two princes), campgate with two turrets, two upper rows of masonry larger, star above, STR and pellet within crescent in exergue; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


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Constantine II was the son of Constantine I, the eldest with his second wife, Fausta. He was born in Arles (which was renamed Constantia in his honor in 328, explaining the CON mintmarks for Arles) and was made Caesar before he was a year old in 316 A.D. Upon his father's death, Constantine II inherited the Western part of the empire. After quarreling with his brother Constans, he invaded his territory, only to be killed in an ambush near Aquileia. His coins often include "IVN" in the legend, an abbreviation for junior.
RB84919. Billon centenionalis, Bastien XIII 14, pl. 1 (15 spec.); RIC VII 76 (R3); Cohen VII 227; Compass Collection 407; SRCV V 17267, VF, near centered on a tight flan, light scratches, light deposits, weight 2.887 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 1st emission, 318 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTINO IVN NOB C, boy's laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP, Two Victories holding wreath on altar, VOT / PR in two lines within wreath, X on altar, two captives seated back-to-back in exergue, no P - L at sides; very rare; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


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Western mint GLORIA EXERCITVS issues are much less common than the Eastern mint issues; some, such as this coin, are rare.
RL10776. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Arles 371 (R1), LRBC II 374, SRCV V17324, Cohen VIII 126, aEF, sharp portrait, weight 2.516 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Constantia-Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, as caesar, 333 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN N C, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking two standards, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, wreath in center, SCONST (Constantia) in exergue; rare; $65.00 (€57.20)
 


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Western mint GLORIA EXERCITVS issues are much less common than the Eastern mint issues; some, such as this coin, are rare.
RL79158. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 263 (R2), LRBC I 208, SRCV V 17319, Cohen VII 122, EF, centered on a tight flan, sharp portrait, mint luster, some die wear, weight 2.349 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 336 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse GLORI-A EXER-CITVS (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, *PLG in exergue; rare; $43.00 (€37.84)
 


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Constantine II was son of Constantine I, the eldest with his 2nd wife, Fausta. He was Caesar before he was a year old. Upon his father's death, he inherited the West. After quarreling with his brother Constans, he invaded his territory, only to be killed in an ambush near Aquileia.
RL89002. Billon centenionalis, RIC VI Arles 245 (S) corr. (VOT V in error), Hunter V 37, SRCV 17186, Cohen VII 38, aVF, well centered, blue-green patina, buff earthen deposits, scratches, weight 2.398 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, as caesar, 321 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate head right; reverse CAESARVM NOSTRORVM (our prince), VOT / X in two lines within wreath, wreath tied at the bottom, Q - A flanking star within crescent with horns up in exergue; scarce; $28.00 (€24.64)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

CONSTANTINVSAVG
CONSTANTINVSIVNAVG
CONSTANTINVSIVNNC
CONSTANTINVSIVNNOBC
CONSTANTINVSIVNNOBCAES
CONSTANTINVSMAXAVG
CONSTANTINVSPFAVG
DNCONSTANTINVSIVNNOBCAES
DNFLCLCONSTANTINVSNOBC
FLCLCONSTANTINVSIVNNC
FLCLCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSAVG
VICCONSTANTINVSAVG


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).
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 monnaies d'or de Constantin II à Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
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: The Collapse of Paganism and the Triumph of Christianity, Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 2011).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire: The Later Constantinian Dynasty and the Houses of Valentinian and Theodosius and Their Successors, Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
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, June 19, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Constantine II