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

Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

The longest lived of Constantine the Great's sons and successors, he ruled until 361 A.D. Upon Constantine's death, Constantius received the entire eastern empire as his inheritance. Soon after he added Thrace to his empire and as his brothers were killed, he annexed their territories. When he defeated the Western usurper Magnentius he was master of the entire empire. Although he started campaigning along the Danube, war with Persia forced his return to the East. Shortly after, he received news that Julian II had been proclaimed Augustus against him. Constantius died on his way to fight this new usurper and Julian II became ruler of the Roman Empire.


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In 312 A.D., Constantine dreamed he saw a Christogram in the sky and heard the words IN HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, meaning in Latin "In this sign, you will be the victor." He ordered the sign of Christ on his legions standards and shields. He won a great victory and later became the first Christian Roman Emperor.
RL90728. Billon maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 284 (S), LRBC II 1171, Voetter 48, SRCV V 18903, Cohen VII 3, gVF, oval flan, encrustation, flan split, weight 5.040 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, issued by Vetranio, 1 Mar - 25 Dec 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind, star in front; reverse CONCORDIA MILITVM (harmony with the soldiers), Constantius standing half-left, in military dress, labarum (Chi-Rho standard) in each hand, A left, star above, •ΓSIS• in exergue; scarce; $250.00 (€222.50)
 


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In 312 A.D., Constantine dreamed he saw a Christogram in the sky and heard the words IN HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, meaning in Latin "In this sign, you will be the victor." He ordered the sign of Christ on his legions standards and shields. He won a great victory and later became the first Christian Roman Emperor.
RL90446. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 286 (S), LRBC II 1173, Voetter 51, SRCV V 18203, VF, well centered, slightly rough green patina, coppery high-points, weight 4.749 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, issued by Vetranio, 1 Mar - 25 Dec 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind, star before; reverse HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, Constantius standing facing head left, holding labarum (Chi Rho Christogram standard) and spear, Victory right crowning him, A left, •ASIS• in exergue (A's often appear as H in this period); scarce; $215.00 (€191.35)
 


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In 312 A.D., Constantine dreamed he saw a Christogram in the sky and heard the words IN HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, meaning in Latin "In this sign, you will be the victor." He ordered the sign of Christ on his legions standards and shields. He won a great victory and later became the first Christian Roman Emperor.
RL73908. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 286 (S), LRBC II 1173, Voetter 51, SRCV V 18203, VF, well centered and struck, nice green patina, spots of corrosion on the obverse, small edge cracks, weight 4.277 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, issued by Vetranio, 1 Mar - 25 Dec 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind, star before; reverse HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, Constantius standing facing head left, holding labarum (Chi Rho Christogram standard) and spear, Victory right crowning him, A left, •ΓSIS• in exergue; scarce; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


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VOTIS XXX MVLTIS XXXX abbreviates Votis Tricennalibus Multis Quadragennalibus advertising that Constantius had completed his vows (prayers) to thank God for the 30th anniversary of his rule and made more vows to God that he might help him successfully rule to his 40th anniversary.
RL84413. Silver siliqua, RIC VIII Arles 261/291, RSC V 342-3r, SRCV V 17951, VF, well centered on a tight flan, toned, die wear, small edge cracks, weight 1.706 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, 357 - 3 Nov 361 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VOTIS XXX MVLTIS XXXX in wreath, PCON (Constantia) in exergue; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


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The Christogram (also called a Monogramma Christi or Chrismon) is a ligature of Chi (X) and Rho (P), the first two letters of Christ in Greek. It was among the earliest symbols of Christianity. The crucifix was rarely used in early Christian iconography, perhaps because most people then had personally witnessed its gruesome use for public execution.
RL73692. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Siscia 180, SRCV V 18021, LRBC I 788, Cohen VII -, gVF, nice green patina, earthen encrustation, weight 1.810 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 342 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTI-VS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVGG (victory of the two emperors), Victory walking left, looking right, holding wreath in each hand, Chi-Rho in right field, *ASIS* in exergue; rare type; $130.00 (€115.70)
 


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D., Ancient Counterfeit With Julian II Reverse

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This coin combines an obverse die of Constantius II, 337 - 361, with a reverse die of Julian II, 360 - 363 A.D. The unlikely hybrid of types from different emperors and issues, the light weight, and the flan flaw on the reverse indicate it is a plated ancient counterfeit.

Ancient counterfeits often have mismatched obverses and reverses. Transfer dies were made using genuine coins which were destroyed in the process. Since making each die destroyed the coin, the same coin could not be used to make both dies. The destroyed coins were undoubtedly melted to contribute to the silver foil plate.

Unlike counterfeit denarii, counterfeit siliqua are very rare. Siliqua are so thin, that striking counterfeits with a bronze core apparently could not provide an economic benefit worth the effort and risk.
RS79849. Fouree silver plated reduced siliqua, cf. official, Lugdunum mint, silver, RIC VIII Constantius II 180 (for obverse) and RIC VIII Julian II 233 (for reverse), aVF, well centered on a tight flan cutting off parts of legend, marks, scratches, corrosion, edge crack, edge chips, weight 1.385 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 180o, illegal mint, c. 360 - 365 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VOT / X / MVLT / XX in four lines within wreath, eagle in circle closing wreath at the top, CONST in exergue; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D., Brockage

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A brockage occurs when a blank is struck with a previously struck coin which adhered to the opposite die. Click here to read a detailed explanation.
RL84593. Bronze reduced centenionalis, aVF, weight 1.543 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 0o, as caesar, 13 Nov 24 - 22 May 337 A.D.; obverse D N IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, laureate and draped bust right; reverse incuse of the obverse; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


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The reverse legend can be translated, "Happy Times Restored" but we prefer to loosely translate it to the more current and lyrical expression, "Happy Days are Here Again!"
RL74561. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Thessalonica 123, LRBC II 50, SRCV V 18136, Cohen VII 46, Hunter V -, Choice VF, well centered and struck, some silvering, porous, weight 4.428 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front, A behind; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier standing left, with right hand spearing horseman whose mount has fallen, shield on his left arm, shield on the ground right, A left, TS∆ in exergue; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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The labarum, was a type of Roman cavalry standard, a vexillum with a military ensign marked with the Christogram (Greek monogram of Christ). It was an object of religious veneration amongst the soldiers, who paid it divine honors.
RL76206. Billon light maiorina, RIC VIII Constantinople 90, LRBC II 2018, SRCV V 18231, Cohen VII 39, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, nice green patina, weight 3.284 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, 7th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 348 - 15 Mar 351 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust left, globe in right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), emperor standing left, labarum (chi rho Christogram standard) in right, resting left on shield, two kneeling bound captives before him, Γ left, CONSZ* in exergue; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


City of Constantinople Commemorative, 347 - 348 A.D.

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Of the hundreds of Constantinople commemoratives we have handled in the past 17 years, this is only the second example Forum has handled with this reverse type. Although RIC lists it as only as scarce, it is certainly rare.
RL70891. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Heraclea 50 (S), LRBC 961, Voetter -, VF, tight flan, weight 1.533 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 315o, 3rd officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 347 - 348 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINOPOLI, laureate and helmeted bust of Constantinopolis left, wearing imperial cloak, scepter over left shoulder; reverse VOT / XX / MVLT / XXX in four lines within wreath, SMHΓ in exergue; rare; $80.00 (€71.20)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

CONSTANTIVSAVG
CONSTANTIVSAVGVSTVS
CONSTANTIVSMAXAVG
CONSTANTIVSNOBC
CONSTANTIVSNOBCAES
CONSTANTIVSPFAVG DNCONSTANTIAVGVSTI
DNCONSTANTIVSAVG
DNCONSTANTIVSMAXAVG
DNCONSTANTIVSNOBCAES
DNCONSTANTIVSPERPAVG
DNCONSTANTIVSPFAVG
FLACONSTANTIVSNOBC
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSAVG
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSNOBC
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSNOBCAES
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSPERPAVG
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSPFAVG
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSPIVSFELIXAVG


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).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine...Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 211).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire: The Later Constantinian Dynasty...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 Monday, June 26, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Constantius II