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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Tetrarchy| ▸ |Licinius I||View Options:  |  |  |   

Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

Licinius I was a comrade of emperor Galerius in the Tetrarchic period. Following the abdication of Diocletian and Maximianus, Licinius was raised to the rank of Augustus despite never having held the position of Caesar. After Maximinus II invaded his territories, Licinius marched against him and defeated him soundly. Over the next few years, relations between Licinius and Constantine I deteriorated. Armed conflict broke out several times and Licinius was defeated. Only through the intervention of Licinius' wife, Constantine's sister, was his life spared. However, shortly after he was executed for additional political machinations against Constantine.

|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
A comrade of Galerius, Licinius was made Augustus after abdication by Diocletian and Maximianus. After Maximinus II invaded his territories, Licinius defeated him. Over the years, relations with Constantine deteriorated, ending with Licinius' defeat. Intervention by Licinius' wife, Constantine's sister, spared his life for a short time, however, he was soon executed.
MA95474. Billon follis, Hunter V 143 (also 2nd officina), RIC VII Nicomedia 44 (R2), SRCV IV 15223, Cohen VII 74, Choice aVF, full legends, green patina with earthen highlighting, porosity, edge cracks, weight 2.427 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 321 - 324 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing slightly left, nude but for chlamys over shoulders, Victory on globe presenting wreath in right hand, long eagle-topped scepter vertical in left hand, eagle standing left with wreath in beak at feet on left, in right field: X/IIΓ over bound bearded captive seated right and looking left, SMNB in exergue; $.99 (.91)


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
In 318, Constantine the Great was given the title Britannicus Maximus, for successful engagements in Britain. The details of the battles are unknown.
MA95643. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Thessalonica 33, SRCV IV 15382, Cohen VII 222, VF, well centered, porous, light deposits, weight 2.658 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 318 - 319 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VOT XX / MVLT / XXX / TSA, within wreath; scarce; $18.09 (16.64)


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
A footnote in RIC identifies this reverse legend break for officina S and T, but not for P (prima or first) officina. This coin appears to be the same reverse legend variety for the first officina.
RL93206. Billon follis, Hunter V 40 (also 3rd officina), RIC VII Rome 23, SRCV IV 15301, Cohen VII 163, VF, brown patina with thin green deposits, broad flan, small edge crack, remnants of pre-strike casting sprues, weight 3.161 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, 314 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse SOLI IN-VI-CTO COMITI, Sol standing half 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 across fields, R*T in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
In early in December 316, to ensure his loyalty, Licinius elevated Aurelius Valerius Valens, the dux limitis (duke of the frontier) in Dacia, to the rank of Augustus. According to Petrus Patricius, when Constantine learned of this "The emperor made clear the extent of his rage by his facial expression and by the contortion of his body. Almost unable to speak, he said, 'We have not come to this present state of affairs, nor have we fought and triumphed from the ocean till where we have now arrived, just so that we should refuse to have our own brother-in-law as joint ruler because of his abominable behavior, and so that we should deny his close kinship, but accept that vile slave [Valens] with him into imperial college.'" The treaty between Constantine and Licinius was concluded at Serdica on 1 March, 317. Whether it was part of that agreement is unknown, but Licinius had Valens executed.
RL93200. Billon follis, RIC VII Siscia 8 (R1), SRCV IV 15211, Cohen VII 65; Hunter V 69 var. (1st officina), aVF, well centered, dark brown patina, pitting and corrosion, scratches, weight 3.467 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 313 - 315 A.D.; obverse IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, Victory offering wreath standing right on globe in his right hand, long scepter in left hand, eagle left with head right and wreath in beak at feet on left, B right, SIS in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine. The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them. The date 25 December was selected for Christmas to replace the popular Roman festival Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun."
RL93201. Billon follis, Hunter V 42 (also 2nd officina), RIC VII Rome 29 (R2), SRCV IV 15302, Cohen VII 163, VF/F, red-brown coppery toning, slightly off center on a broad flan, parts of legends weak, weight 2.955 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Rome mint, 314 - 315 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS 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 sunrise, globe in left hand, R over X left, F right, RS in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
Open civil war between Constantine and Licinius broke in 316 when Constantine invaded Licinius' Balkan provinces. Licinius fled to Adrianople where he collected a second army, under the command of Valerius Valens whom he raised to the rank of Augustus. Constantine defeated Licinius at the Battle of Campus Ardiensis, but the victory was indecisive. A treaty between Constantine and Licinius was concluded at Serdica on 1 March, 317. The peace lasted for about seven years.
RL93202. Billon follis, RIC VII Trier 120, Cohen VII 49, Hunter V 12 var. (no drapery), SRCV IV 15194 var. (same), Choice EF, excellent centering, nice sharp portrait, dark brown patina, flow lines, some reverse die wear, areas with light porosity, weight 3.219 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier) mint, 316 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), turreted Genius standing slightly left, head left, kalathos on head, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, T - F across field, ATR in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
In 315, Constantine the Great and Licinius battled the Sarmates, the Goths and the Carpians along the Danube. Constantine led a punitive expedition into Dacia and reestablished the Roman fortifications of the frontier.
RL93203. Billon follis, Hunter V 45 (also 4th officina), RIC VII Rome 30, SRCV 15302, Cohen VII 163, VF, nice portrait, brown and light green patina, a few tiny pits, parts of legends weak, weight 2.999 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Rome mint, 314 - 315 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate, cuirassed bust right; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI (to the unconquered Sun, minister [of the Emperor]), Sol standing half left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, RX and F at sides, RQ in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
Most references describe this bust as laureate and cuirassed. Hunter V breaks from tradition and correctly recognizes that the loop on the left shoulder indicates drapery, the paludamentum. To avoid confusion, we use the traditional description omitting "draped" from the description.
RL93204. Billon follis, Hunter V 4, RIC VII Londinium 3, SRCV IV 15184, Cohen VII 49, F, well centered, dark patina, small corrosion, weight 2.820 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 150o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 313 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), Genius standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulder, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S and F left and right, PLN in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |follis|
Open civil war between Constantine and Licinius broke in 316 when Constantine invaded Licinius' Balkan provinces. Licinius fled to Adrianople where he collected a second army, under the command of Valerius Valens whom he raised to the rank of Augustus. Constantine defeated Licinius at the Battle of Campus Ardiensis, but the victory was indecisive. A treaty between Constantine and Licinius was concluded at Serdica on 1 March, 317. The peace lasted for about seven years.
RT89695. Billon follis, RIC VII London 23 (R1), SRCV IV 15185, Cohen 49, Hunter V -, VF, nice portrait, off center and a little uneven reverse strike, edge cracks, weight 3.301 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Londinium (London, England) mint mint, 314 - 315 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), turreted Genius standing slightly left, head left, wearing crown of city walls on head, boots, himation over left shoulder around hips and over left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - F across field, MLL in exergue; ex Beast Coins, ex Harlan Berk CICF show April 2013; rare; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
This billon type is c. 2 - 3% silver. The argenteus struck six years earlier with this reverse type was about 25% silver.
RB89960. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Arles 196 (R2), SRCV IV 15347, Cohen VII 101, Hunter V 24 var. (3rd officina), Choice VF, excellent centering, dark green patina, a few tiny spots of porosity, weight 3.748 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, 319 - 320 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG (to Jove the protector of the Emperor), Licinius borne aloft by eagle right, wings spread, emperor holds a thunderbolt in right hand and scepter in left, SARL (S engraved over P?) in exergue; $81.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.90




  






OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

IMPCLICLICINNIVSPFAVG
IMPCVALLICLICINIVSPFAVG
IMPCVALLICINLICINIVSPFAVG
IMPLICINIVSAVG
IMPLICINIVSPFAVG
IMPLICINIVSPIVSFELIXAVG
IMPLICLICINIVSPFAVG
LICINIVSAVGVSTVS
LICINIVSPFAVG
VALLICINNIANVSLICINNIVSPFAVG



REFERENCES|

Bastien, P. Le Monnayage de l'Atelier de Lyon, De la Rforme Montaire de Diocltien 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 rouverture de l'atelier en 318 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).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Diocltien a Constantin I (284 - 337). (Wetteren, 1995).
Failmezger, V. Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity, 294 - 364 A.D.. (Washington D.C., 2002).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. IV...The Collapse of Paganism and the Triumph of Christianity, Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 211).
Voetter, O. Die Mnzen der romischen Kaiser, Kaiserinnen und Caesaren von Diocletianus bis Romulus: Katalog der Sammlung Paul Gerin. (Vienna, 1921).

Catalog current as of Thursday, July 9, 2020.
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