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Roman coins of the Constantinian Era

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

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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 (€70.40)


Julian II "the Apostate," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.

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The celebration for a reign anniversary typically began a year before the actual anniversary and lasted the entire year. The actual celebratory events were likely at the beginning and end of this year-long period. This means that coins celebrating an anniversary were often struck from up to a year before that anniversary. Julian was named Caesar by Constantius II in 355 and used this as the date of the beginning of his reign, not 360 when he was named Emperor by his troops in Gaul, nor 361 when Constantius died and he was acknowledged Emperor throughout the Empire. Thus the celebration of Julian's decannalia, or tenth anniversary of reign, was to begin in 364. In late 362, when Julian needed extra coinage to prepare for his Persian War, what better type to strike than a vota coinage? He really should not have used X for the Soluta, or vows completed, for two more years but it served as great propaganda. He was informing the populace that he will still be around in two years when the war is over.
RL92854. Bronze centenionalis, RIC VIII Sirmium 108, LRBC II 1619, SRCV V 19172, Cohen VIII 151, Choice VF, well centered, toned copper surfaces, part of obverse legend weak, edge ragged, edge cracks, weight 3.569 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) mint, summer 361 - 26 Jun 363 A.D.; obverse D N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, helmeted, and cuirassed bust left, spear in right, shield in left; reverse VOT / X / MVLT / XX in four lines within wreath, BSIRM in exergue; $90.00 (€79.20)


Julian II "the Apostate," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.

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In 351, Constantius Gallus built a new church in honor of Saint Babylas at Daphne, a suburb of Antioch, and transferred the remains of the bishop to it to neutralize the pagan effects of the nearby temple of Apollo. In 362, Julian consulted the oracle of Apollo at the temple in Daphne, but received no answer, and was told that it was because of the proximity of the saint. He had the sarcophagus of the martyr exhumed and removed. A few days later, on October 22, a mysterious fire broke out consuming the roof of the temple and the statue of the god, copied from Phidias' statue of Zeus at Olympia. Julian, suspecting angry Christians, closed the cathedral of Antioch and ordered an investigation. Ammianus Marcellinus reports "a frivolous rumor" laid blame on candles lit by a worshipper late the previous night (XXII, 13). John Chrysostom claimed a bolt of lightning set the temple on fire. The remains of Babylas were reinterred in a church dedicated to him on the other side of the River Orontes.
RL93013. Billon double maiorina, RIC VIII Antioch 217 (R2), LRBC II 2641, SRCV V 19162, Cohen VIII 38, Voetter -, gVF, toned copper surfaces, porous and a little rough from light corrosion, weight 8.089 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 362 - 26 Jun 363 A.D.; obverse D N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVB (security of the Republic), Bull standing right, two stars above, ANTΓ between two palm fronds in exergue; from the Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection; rare; $110.00 (€96.80)


City of Rome Commemorative, 333 - 334 A.D.

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This coin is published in Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism To Christianity, 294- 364 A.D., by Victor "Tory" Failmezger, with photographs by Doug Smith, pl. 26, 364c.
RL92028. Billon reduced centenionalis, Failmezger pl. 26, 364c (this coin); RIC VII Trier 561, LRBC I 85, Cohen VII 17, SRCV IV 16489, Hunter V -, VF/aVF, glossy dark patina, edge splits, weight 2.499 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 333 - 334 A.D.; obverse VRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma left wearing imperial mantle; reverse she-wolf standing left, head turned back right, suckling the infant twins Romulus and Remus, palm frond between two stars above, TRS in exergue; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher), ex Failmezger Collection (plate coin), ex Guy Clark (Apr 1996); $90.00 (€79.20)


St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great

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Helena is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches and famed for her piety. Her feast day as a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church is celebrated with her son on May 21, the "Feast of the Holy Great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen, Equal to the Apostles." Her feast day in the Roman Catholic Church falls on August 18. Her feast day in the Coptic Orthodox Church is on 9 Pashons. Eusebius records the details of her pilgrimage to Palestine and other eastern provinces (though not her discovery of the True Cross). She is the patron saint of new discoveries.
SH92346. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Alexandria 48 (R4), LRBC I 1417, SRCV IV 16631, Cohen VII 12, Hunter V -, Choice EF, perfect centering on a round flan, excellent portrait, sharp reverse, some golden toned silvering, flow lines, small closed flan crack, weight 3.369 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Alexandria mint, 327 - 328 A.D.; obverse FL HELENA AVGVSTA, diademed and mantled bust right wearing double necklace; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICE (security of the Republic), Securitas standing half left, branch pointed downward in right hand, raising pallium with left hand, wreath left, B right, SMAL in exergue; rare; $350.00 (€308.00)


St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great

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Helena is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches and famed for her piety. Her feast day as a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church is celebrated with her son on May 21, the "Feast of the Holy Great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen, Equal to the Apostles." Her feast day in the Roman Catholic Church falls on August 18. Her feast day in the Coptic Orthodox Church is on 9 Pashons. Eusebius records the details of her pilgrimage to Palestine and other eastern provinces (though not her discovery of the True Cross). She is the patron saint of new discoveries.
RL91943. Billon reduced centenionalis, cf. SRCV V 17492 ff., RIC VIII Trier 55, LRBC I 119, Cohen VII 4, Hunter V -, aVF, weight 1.667 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL IVL HELENA AVG, diademed and mantled bust right wearing necklace; reverse PAX PVBLICA, Pax standing left, olive branch pointed down in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, TRP[...] in exergue; $45.00 (€39.60)


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

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Manus Dei, the hand of God, reaches down to take Constantine up to heaven. Constantine is a saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
RL92058. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 39; LRBC I 1374; SRCV V 17488; Voetter 34; Cohen VII 760; Hunter V p. 283, 4 ff. var. (officina), VF, tight flan, cleaning scratches, weight 1.348 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 315o, 7th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, 337 - Apr 340 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS PT AVGG, veiled bust right; reverse Constantine in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to take him to heaven, SMANZ in exergue; ex Sayles & Lavender; $40.00 (€35.20)


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

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There are no surviving histories or biographies dealing with Constantine's life and rule. The nearest replacement is Eusebius of Caesarea's Vita Constantini, a work that is a mixture of eulogy and hagiography. Written between 335 AD and circa 339 AD, the Vita extols Constantine's moral and religious virtues. The Vita creates a contentiously positive image of Constantine, and modern historians have frequently challenged its reliability. The fullest secular life of Constantine is the anonymous Origo Constantini. A work of uncertain date, the Origo focuses on military and political events, to the neglect of cultural and religious matters.
RL92087. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Nicomedia 90 (R1), LRBC I 1073, SRCV IV 16257, Cohen VII 454, Hunter V 330 var. (officina), VF, well centered, desert patina, weight 1.835 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 324 - 325 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE AVGG (to the foresight of the two emperors), campgate with two turrets, no door, star above, SMN∆ in exergue; ex Zurqieh (UAE); $30.00 (€26.40)


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

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In February 360, Julian Caesar was proclaimed emperor by the Gallic legions in Lutetia (modern Paris) at the Thermes de Cluny. They refused to support the eastern campaign against King Shapur II of Persia and revolted. Constantius II and Julian exchanged several letters, both hoping to avoid a civil war.
RL88658. Bronze reduced maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 352, LRBC II 1222, Cohen VII 48, SRCV V 18271, Hunter V 57 var. (1st officina), F, green patina, earthen encrustation, weight 1.921 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 351 - 361 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier spearing fallen horseman, ΓSIS and reversed Z in exergue; $9.00 (€7.92)


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

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In 352, Constantius II invaded northern Italy in pursuit of usurper Magnus Magnentius, who retreated with his army to Gaul. Constantius declared an amnesty for Magnentius' soldiers, many of whom deserted to him. By the end of the year Constantius entered Milan. In 353, Constantius II defeated Magnentius at the Battle of Mons Seleucus. Magnentius committed suicide to avoid capture. Constantius became the sole emperor and reunified the Roman Empire.
RL88673. Bronze reduced maiorina, RIC VIII Constantinople 121, LRBC II 2043, Cohen VII 45, SRCV V 18277, Hunter V 84 var. (6th officina), F, dark patina, tight flan, light marks, light earthen deposits, weight 2.349 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 353 - 355 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier spearing fallen horseman, pellet in center left, shield on ground, CONSΓ in exergue; $18.00 (€15.84)











Catalog current as of Wednesday, October 16, 2019.
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Constantinian Era