Classical Numismatics Discussion
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Author Topic: mystery of Constantia's coins  (Read 2099 times)

« on: August 22, 2006, 08:47:51 pm »

Well, it is a mystery to me. Why so few specimens known? I searched Google and many sites and have found almost nothing. Being the wife of Licinius, who has a prolific output of coins, I expected many more issues. Her pedigree of Constantinan blood would also make her likely to have a greater amount of coins in circulation.
So what is the story? I would appreciate any clues. If you are using a source, please cite it so I can try and follow up.
Also, any good biographical info on this lady? I don't have access to any works of the early church fathers directly, or pagan historians of that era. I did try via the internet to find her in the sources there, but may have not used the best keywords to locate easily. She intrgues me!  Thanks Joe
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2006, 10:02:23 pm »

forget about it - the reason she's so rare is that licinius only authorized one small issue (see LRBC 977) and then that was it. she was apparently never even made an augusta, only nobilissima femina (like a first lady).

none of her coins have ever been posted for sale that i know of and only 2-3 are known, all of them in public collections. this makes her as rare as a domitian ii or silbannacus.

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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2006, 04:36:21 am »

Given Licinius' relationship with Constantine, it's quite possible he may have had a bad relationship with her as well. After Licinius' death, she seems to have settled in as part of Constantine's court, which may strengthen that possibility.

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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2006, 08:12:49 am »

The only known type for Constantia was issued from Constantinople and therefore by Constantine rather than Licinius. The timing of it was after Licinius had been killed, despite Constantine's promise to Constantia that he would be spared, and this together with the "Pietas Pvblica" reverse legend suggests that Constantine wanted to portray Constantia's stoic acceptance (whether or not that was the case) of his actions and proclaim the unity of his clan. It was obviously a limited volume special issue, not a regular one. One can only speculate as to why it was such a small issue, as one is similarly forced to to for other contemporary Constantinople issues such as Spes Pvblica (esp. the diademed bust variety) or VOT XXX (known only from a single specimen).

On the surface it may seem a bit odd that Licinius never issued any coins for Constantia himself, but it really wasn't expected - neither had Diocletian, Maximianus or Constantius for their wives, and Galerius had only issued for Galeria after raising her to Augusta. Licinius doesn't in general appear to have been too excited about issuing new types; give him an Iovi and an amphora of wine and he was all set.


« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2006, 07:48:18 pm »

Just so we all can have a mental picture:
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