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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|NEW
In 326, Constantine the Great traveled to Rome to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his accession to power. He founded Constantinople at Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire. He reorganized the Roman army in smaller units classified into three grades: palatini, (imperial escort armies); comitatenses, (forces based in frontier provinces) and limitanei (auxilia border troops).
RL98405. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Arles 291 (S), LRBC I 292, SRCV IV 16307, Cohen 665, Hunter V -, Choice aEF, well centered, some silvering, closed edge crack, weight 2.67 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, 325 - 326 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), campgate with four turrets, open gates and star above, SA crescent RL in exergue; $160.00 (€131.20)
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||follis|NEW
Although Ares was viewed by the Greeks primarily as destructive and destabilizing, worthy of contempt and revulsion, for the Romans, Mars was a father (pater) of the Roman people. He was the father of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. In early Rome, he was second in importance only to Jupiter, and the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming.
RL98416. Billon follis, Bastien 460 (7 spec.), RIC VI Lugdunum 243 (S) var. (seen from behind), Cohen VII 369, SRCV IV 16010, Hunter V -, Choice gVF, well centered on a broad flan, flow lines, light scratches, slightest porosity, hard green encrustations, weight 7.05 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, autumn 307 - 309/310 A.D.; obverse IMP C CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from the front; reverse MARTI PATRI PROPVGNATORI (to Mars the Defending Father), Mars advancing right, helmeted, nude except for balteus and cloak tied to belt at waist and flying behind, transverse spear pointing upper right in right hand, small round shield in left hand, N left, PLC in exergue; scarce bust variant; $150.00 (€123.00)
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||centenionalis|NEW
In 328 Arelatum was renamed Constantia in honor of Constantine II. After Constantine II was killed in 340, the name reverted to Arelate, only to be changed again in 354 to Constantia by Constantius II. It retained that name, although the mintmark 'AR' appeared on some of its coins even in the fifth century.
RL98422. Billon centenionalis, LRBC I 328, RIC VII Arles 318, SRCV IV 16247, Cohen VII 454, Hunter V 128 var. (2nd officina), Choice aEF, well centered and struck, some silvering, flow lines, weight 2.87 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Constantia-Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, 329 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, pearl-diademed head right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE AVGG (to the foresight of the two emperors), campgate with two turrets and star above, no doors, ornate decorated top row, S - F flanking at sides, PCONST in exergue; $140.00 (€114.80)
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||centenionalis|NEW
The "looking upwards" portraits of Constantine are often described as "gazing to Heaven (or God)."

Constantiniana Dafne was likely a castle or camp (castrum) Dafne, constructed by Constantine on the bank of the Danube.
RL96869. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Constantinople 32 (R1), LRBC I 989, SRCV IV 16191, Cohen VII 92, Hunter V -, VF, dark patina, well centered, porous and a little rough, weight 3.433 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 328 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, rosette-diademed head right, gazing to heaven, eyes to God; reverse CONSTANTINIANA DAFNE, Victory seated left on cippus, head right, palm frond in each hand, trophy and captive before, A left field, CONS in exergue; scarce; $120.00 (€98.40)
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||centenionalis|NEW
The "looking upwards" portraits of Constantine are often described as "gazing to Heaven (or God)."

Constantiniana Dafne was likely a castle or camp (castrum) Dafne, constructed by Constantine on the bank of the Danube.
RL96873. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Constantinople 32 (R3), LRBC I 989, SRCV IV 16191, Cohen VII 92, Hunter V -, VF, well centered, a little rough, weight 3.132 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 328 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, laurel and pearl diademed, head right, gazing to heaven, eyes to God; reverse CONSTANTINIANA DAFNE, Victory seated left on cippus, head right, palm frond in each hand, trophy of captured arms and captive on one knee before, tiny oval shield on the ground, E left, CONS in exergue; rare; $120.00 (€98.40)
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||reduced| |centenionalis|NEW
Because of his fame and because he was proclaimed Emperor while he was in Roman Britain, later Britons regarded Constantine as a king of their own people. In the 12th century, Henry of Huntingdon included a passage in his Historia Anglorum that Constantine's mother Helena was a Briton, the daughter of King Cole of Colchester. Geoffrey of Monmouth expanded this story in his highly fictionalized Historia Regum Britanniae, an account of the supposed Kings of Britain from their Trojan origins to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. According to Geoffrey, Cole was King of the Britons when Constantius, here a senator, came to Britain. Afraid of the Romans, Cole submitted to Roman law so long as he retained his kingship. However, he died only a month later, and Constantius took the throne himself, marrying Cole's daughter Helena. They had their son Constantine, who succeeded his father as King of Britain before becoming Roman Emperor. Historically, this series of events is extremely improbable. Constantius had already left Helena by the time he left for Britain. Additionally, no earlier source mentions that Helena was born in Britain, let alone that she was a princess.
RL96885. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Arles p. 206, 17 (R2); Depeyrot EMA p. 73, 56/1; LRBC I 422; Kent 17; SRCV V 17458; Cohen -, aF, a bit rough, ragged edge, minor encrustation, weight 1.474 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, posthumous, 339 A.D.; obverse DIVO CONSTANTINO P, veiled, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse AETERNA PIETAS, Constantine standing facing, head right, wearing military dress, inverted spear in left hand, globe in right hand, X (control symbol) right, SCONST (Constantia) in exergue; this type appears to be rarer than RIC VIII's R2 rating indicates; rare; $120.00 (€98.40)
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||follis|NEW
"The letters C I H S in the reverse field probably relate to Constantine's weight reduction of the follis, thought their precise meaning remains unclear. The formula appears to contain as its elements the numeral 101 (CI) and the sign of the sestertius (HS)." -- Roman Coins and Their Values IV by David Sear.
RL98403. Billon follis, RIC VI Lugdunum 287 (S), Bastien 509, SRCV IV 15922, Cohen VII 215, Hunter V 75 ff., Choice aEF, well centered and struck, sharp detail, attractive style, slightest porosity, small edge crack, weight 6.10 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, autumn 308 - early 309 A.D.; obverse IMP C CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), Genius standing left, chest bare, himation around hips and legs and over left shoulder and arm, sacrificing from patera in right hand over flaming altar, cornucopia in left hand, CI-H/S across fields, PLG in exergue; scarce; $120.00 (€98.40)
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||centenionalis|NEW
In 328 Arelatum (Arelate) was renamed Constantina in honor of Constantine II. After Constantine II was killed in 340, the name reverted to Arelatum, only to be changed again in 354 to Constantina by Constantius II. It retained that name, although the mintmark 'AR' appeared on some of its coins even in the fifth century.
RL98419. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 129 (also 2nd officina), RIC VII Arles 321, LRBC I 329, SRCV IV 16310, Cohen VII 665,, Choice aEF, well centered, some silvering, flow lines, weight 3.10 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Constantia-Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, 328 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS AVG, pearl-diademed head right; reverse VIRTVS AVGG (valor of the two emperors), campgate with four turrets, open doors, star above, S - F flanking at sides, SCONST (Constantia) in exergue; $120.00 (€98.40)
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||follis|NEW
In 317, Licinius recognized Constantine I as senior emperor and executed Valerius Valens.
RL94854. Billon follis, Hunter V 208 (also 3rd officina), RIC VII Rome 78 (R2), SRCV IV 16102, Cohen VII 536, Choice gVF, attractive desert patina with red earthen highlighting, weight 3.230 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, 317 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 half left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, A left, RT in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; scarce; $110.00 (€90.20)
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||follis|
In 317, Licinius recognized Constantine I as senior emperor and executed Valerius Valens.
RL94847. Billon follis, Hunter V 206 (also 1st officina), RIC VII Rome 78 (R1), SRCV IV 16102, Cohen VII 536, Choice VF, attractive desert patina, well centered, reverse flatly struck, weight 3.150 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 225o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 317 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 half left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, A left, RP in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; rare; $100.00 (€82.00)
 




  






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).
Cloke, H. & L. Toone. The London Mint of Constantius & Constantine. (London, 2015).
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).
Kent, J. "The Pattern of Bronze Coinage under Constantine I" reprinted from the Numismatic Chronicle Sixth Series, vol. XVII, 1957.
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).

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