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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Constantinian Era| ▸ |Constantine the Great||View Options:  |  |  |   

Constantine the Great, early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

Flavius Valerius Constantinus, Constantine the Great, was the son of Helena and the First Tetrarchic ruler Constantius I. Constantine is most famous for his conversion to Christianity after the battle of the Milvian Bridge where he defeated emperor Maxentius. Before the battle, he saw the words "In Hoc Signo Victor Eris" (By this sign you shall conquer) emblazoned on the sun around the Chi Rho, the symbol of Christianity. After placing this Christogram on the shields of his army, he defeated his opponent and thus ruled the empire through divine providence. He also shifted the capital of the empire to Constantinople, establishing the foundation for an Empire that would last another 1000 years. He died in 337 and his sons divided the Roman territories.


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.|, centenionalis
As emperor, Constantine enacted many administrative, financial, social, and military reforms to strengthen the empire. The government was restructured and civil and military authority separated. A new gold coin, the solidus, was introduced to combat inflation. It would become the standard for Byzantine and European currencies for more than a thousand years.
RL93255. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch 81, LRBC I 1347, SRCV IV 16270, Cohen VII 454, Choice aEF, much silvering, well centered, some porosity, weight 2.414 g, maximum diameter 19.95 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 326 - 327 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, rosette-diademed head right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE AVGG (to the foresight of the two emperors), campgate with two turrets, star above, pellet in doorway, SMANTA in exergue; $90.00 (€81.00)
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.|, reduced centenionalis
Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. He attempted to return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom." It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on 22 May 337.
RL92671. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 112, SRCV V 17471, LRBC I 1397, Cohen VII 716, Hunter V -, VF, dark patina, highlighting red earthen deposits, ragged flan, edge crack, weight 1.428 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, late 347 - 348 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS P T AVGG (Divus Constantinus Pater Trium Augusti = Divine Constantine, father of the three emperors), veiled bust right; reverse VN - MR (venerabilis memoria - revered memory), Constantine standing slightly right, togate, veiled head right, SMAN[..] in exergue; $18.00 SALE |PRICE| $16.20
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.|, reduced centenionalis
Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. He attempted to return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom." It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on 22 May 337.
RL92672. Billon reduced centenionalis, cf. SRCV V 17467 (various mints), F, dark patina, highlighting red earthen deposits, weight 1.605 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 180o, posthumous, late 347 - 348 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS P T AVGG (Divus Constantinus Pater Trium Augusti = Divine Constantine, father of the three emperors), veiled bust right; reverse VN - MR (venerabilis memoria - revered memory), Constantine standing slightly right, togate, veiled head right, SM[...] in exergue; $14.00 SALE |PRICE| $12.60
 


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.|, reduced centenionalis
Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. He attempted to return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom." It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on 22 May 337.
RL92656. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V p. 284, 14 (also 2nd officina), RIC VIII Alexandria p. 541, 35; LRBC I 1477; SRCV V 17473; Cohen VII 716, VF, dark patina with red earthen highlighting, slightly irregular flan, areas of light corrosion, weight 1.843 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Alexandria mint, posthumous, late 347 - 348 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS P T AVGG (Divus Constantinus Pater Trium Augusti = Divine Constantine, father of the three emperors), veiled bust right; reverse VN - MR (venerabilis memoria - revered memory), Constantine standing slightly right, togate, veiled head right, SMALB• in exergue; $45.00 SALE |PRICE| $40.50
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.|, reduced centenionalis
Constantine reorganized the Roman army to consist of mobile field units and garrison soldiers capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers - the Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths, and the Sarmatians - even resettling territories abandoned by his predecessors during the turmoil of the previous century.
RL92658. Billon reduced centenionalis, cf. SRCV IV 16334 ff. (various mints), F, dark patina with earthen highlighting, porous, scratches, weight 2.074 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, 330 - 335 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, laurel and rosette diademed, draped, 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, [...] in exergue; $18.00 SALE |PRICE| $16.20
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.|, reduced centenionalis
Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. He attempted to return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom." It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on 22 May 337.
RL92659. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 112, SRCV V 17471, LRBC I 1397, Cohen VII 716, Hunter V -, aVF, dark patina, highlighting buff earthen deposits, light scratches, tight flan, weight 1.939 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, late 347 - 348 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS P T AVGG (Divus Constantinus Pater Trium Augusti = Divine Constantine, father of the three emperors), veiled bust right; reverse VN - MR (venerabilis memoria - revered memory), Constantine standing slightly right, togate, veiled head right, SMAN[..] in exergue; $28.00 SALE |PRICE| $25.20
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.|, follis
The Latin word comiti, during imperial times, indicated a minister of the emperor. Even the two consuls where called "comites." The reverse legend therefore reads: "to the unconquered Sun, minister [of Constantine]."
RL92323. Billon follis, RIC VII Trier 161 (R4), SRCV IV 16064, Cohen VII 525, Hunter V -, Choice EF, excellent portrait, well centered and struck, flow lines, attractive toned bronze surfaces, tiny edge cracks, weight 4.655 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 317 - 318 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI (to the unconquered Sun, minister [of the Emperor]), Sol standing right, radiate, head left, raising right hand commanding sunrise, raising globe in left hand, chlamys over shoulders and left arm and hanging behind, F - T divided across fields, BTR in exergue; first specimen of this very rare variety handled by FORVM; very rare; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.|, follis
In 316, Constantine I sent his half-brother Julius Constantius to Licinius at Sirmium (Pannonia), with a proposal to make Bassianus caesar with power over Italy. Licinius refused, elevated Valerius Valens to augustus, mobilized an army against Constantine, and executed Bassianus. Constantine I defeated Licinius and Valerius Valens at the Battle of Mardia (near Harmanli, Bulgaria).
RL92324. Billon follis, RIC VII Trier 105, SRCV IV 16063, Cohen VII 525, Hunter V -, Choice EF, well centered, traces of silvering, some letters not fully struck, edge cracks, weight 3.196 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 316 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI (to the unconquered Sun, minister [of the Emperor]), Sol standing slightly left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand turned outward, T - F divided across fields, ATR in exergue; $95.00 SALE |PRICE| $85.50
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.|, follis
On 8 October 314, Constantine the Great defeated Licinius in the Battle of Cibalae, near Colonia Aurelia Cibalae (modern Vinkovci, Croatia). Licinius lost all of the Balkans except for Thrace and fled to Sirmium. Peace negotiations were initiated, but unsuccessful.
RL92852. Billon follis, Hunter V 179 (also 1st officina), RIC VII Rome 19, SRCV IV 16096, Cohen VII 536, Choice VF, well centered and struck, light marks and scratches, light deposits, weight 2.873 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 314 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI (to the unconquered Sun, minister [of the Emperor]), Sol standing slightly 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 flanking at sides, R*P in exergue; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |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." RIC notes the design on the altar gradually becomes more elaborate (more pellets) throughout this London issue. The first variety was a plain rhombus. This design with five pellets was the last altar variation of the issue.
RL89675. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII London 161 (R1), Hunter V -, SRCV IV -, Cohen VII -, VF, well centered and struck with full legends, dark toning with some silvering, light marks, weight 2.866 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Londinium (London, England) mint, 319 - 320 A.D.; obverse CONSTA-NTINVS AVG, helmeted, laureate, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP (Joyous victory to the eternal Prince), two Victories standing confronted, together holding shield inscribed VOT / P R (vows of the Roman people) over altar, altar ornamented with a rhombus with a pellet in the center and four pellets around, PLN in exergue; ex Beast Coins VLPP Collection, ex Nemesis Coins (2004); scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 




  






OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

AVGVSTVS
COMISCONSTANTINIAVG
CONSTANTINVSAG
CONSTANTINVSAVG
CONSTANTINVSCAESAR
CONSTANTINVSFILAVGG
CONSTANTINVSMAXAG
CONSTANTINVSMAXAVG
CONSTANTINVSMAXAVGCOSIIII
CONSTANTINVSMAXPFAVG
CONSTANTINVSMAXPFAVGCOSIIII
CONSTANTINVSMAXIMAVG
CONSTANTINVSNOBC
CONSTANTINVSNOBCAES
CONSTANTINVSNOBCAESAR
CONSTANTINVSNOBILC
CONSTANTINVSNOBILIC
CONSTANTINVSPAG
CONSTANTINVSPAVG
CONSTANTINVSPAVGCOSIIII
CONSTANTINVSPFAVG
CONSTANTINVSPFINAVG
DDNNCONSTANTINVSETLICINIVSAVGG
DIVOCONSTANTINOAVG
DIVOCONSTANTINOP
DIVCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
DIVVSCONSTANTINVSAVGPATERAVGG
DNCONSTANTINVSAVG
DNCONSTANTINVSMAXAVG
DNCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
DVCONSTANTINVSPTAVGG
FLVALCONSTANTINVSAVG
FLVALCONSTANTINVSFILAVG
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNC
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNOBC
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNOBCAES
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNOBCAESAR
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNOBILC
FLVALCONSTANTINVSNOBILIC
FLVALCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
FLVALERCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
FLVALERIVSCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
IMPCCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
IMPCCONSTANTINVSPFINVAVG
IMPCFLVALCONSTANTINOPFINVAVG
IMPCFLVALCONSTANTINVSPAVG
IMPCFLVALCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
IMPCFLVALCONSTANTINVSPFINVAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSAG
IMPCONSTANTINVSAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSINAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSMAXAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSMAXPFAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSPAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSPIINAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSPIVSFAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSPIVSFELIXAVG
INVICTVSCONSTANTINVSMAXAVG


REFERENCES|

Bastien, P. Le Monnayage de l'Atelier de Lyon, De la Réforme Monétaire de Dioclétien à 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 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 émissions monétaires d'Arles (4th -5th Siècles). Moneta 6. (Wetteren, 1996).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Dioclétien a Constantin I (284 - 337). (Wetteren, 1995).
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...Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 2011).
Speck, R. & S. Huston. Constantine's Dafne Coinage at Constantinople. (San Francisco, 1992).
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 Friday, February 21, 2020.
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Roman Coins of Constantine the Great