Numismatic and History Discussions > Coin of the Day

Constantine I - Rare Early Votive Fraction

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I thought I would post this handsome (if modest) recent acquisition:

Obverse: FL VAL CONSTANTINVS N C, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Reverse: VO / TIS / X in three lines within wreath
15.5 mm

RIC VI 750 (Trier)

ex. Morris Collection (Phil Peck)

I believe RIC lists this as having been struck in summer 307 (I don't have my copy of RIC handy to confirm). It looks to have been struck at Trier as part of a series of votives issued for the other rulers at the time. Interestingly, a stylistically similar fraction exists featuring Constantine as Augustus: RIC VI 906 (Trier). RIC apparently lists that coin as having been struck 310-311. The second image is the only example I've located online.

I'm not sure how to reconcile the dating of my coin versus the similar version featuring Constantine as Augustus. I would tend to presume that both coins were struck in the summer of 307, with my coin struck immediately prior to Constantine's elevation and the other coin struck immediately after elevation.

The coin is sufficiently rare that I would not be surprised to find die matches. A quick review of a few examples on Not in RIC (thanks Lech!) yields a few examples which are very close but no cigar (at least to my eyes): Interestingly, at least one of Lech's examples features an identical die clog (in the 'V') as my own.

The coin also raises a general question about the purpose of fractional coins during this period. With the majority of coinage at this time consisting of folles, I'm not sure what role a quarter follis would actually play in daily life, apart from propaganda. Approximately the same question was raised in a recent thread featuring a lovely Titus quadrans belonging to David Atherton. Any thoughts?


And a bonus I picked up with it! (Not overly special, just pretty).

Obverse: FL VALER CONSTANTINVS PF AVG, laureate head right
Reverse: GENIO AVGVSTI, Genius standing facing, head left, holding head of Serapis and cornucopia, ✶ / N / palm branch in left left field, Γ / wreath in right field; ALE in exergue
22.28mm, 4.65 g
313 AD

RIC VI 163 Alexandria


I am very envious of your fraction, I simply love the subdivisions of the follis. I have a very small gallery dedicated to them and wish I could acquire more.

Well done, a rare coin.



Thank Mauseus!

Nice fraction.

Here my fractions

FL VAL CONSTANTINVS N C, laureate and cuirassed bust right
R/VO / TIS / X in three lines within wreath
Trier, 307 AD - 16 x 18 mm - 2.06 g
Zschucke 7.13; RIC.750

FL VAL CONSTANTINVS N C, laureate and cuirassed bust right
R/VO / TIS / X in three lines within wreath
Trier, 307 AD - 17.5 mm - 2.17 g
Zschucke 7.13; RIC.750


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