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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
On 7 March 321, Constantine issued an edict proclaiming Dies Solis Invicti (Sunday) as the day of rest; trade was forbidden but agriculture was allowed. Constantine instructed that Christians and non-Christians should be united in observing the venerable day of the sun, referring to the sun-worship that Aurelian had established as an official cult. Long after his conversion to Christianity, Constantine's coinage continued to carry the symbols of the sun. Even when Constantine dedicated the new capital of Constantinople, which became the seat of Byzantine Christianity for a millennium, he did so wearing the Apollonian sun-rayed diadem. No Christian symbols were present at the dedication.
RL99560. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Siscia 159 (S), SRCV IV 16219, Cohen VII 123, Hunter V -, Choice EF, well centered, traces of silvering, weight 2.937 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 320 - 321 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse D N CONSTANTINI MAX AVG, VOT XX in two lines within wreath, ESIS* in exergue; from the M. Arslan Collection; $120.00 (114.00)


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||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.
RL99323. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch 78, LRBC I 1345, SRCV IV 16269, Cohen VII 454, Choice VF, nice portrait, flow lines, weight 3.109 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 327 - 328 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, rosette-diademed head right, square "rosettes"; reverse PROVIDENTIAE AVGG (to the foresight of the two emperors), campgate with two turrets, star above, no door, no pellet in gateway, SMANTΓ in exergue; from a private collector in New Jersey; $110.00 (104.50)


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.||reduced| |centenionalis|
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; $105.00 (99.75)


|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.
RL99007. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V p. 284, 8 (also 1st officina); RIC VIII Alexandria p. 539, 12; LRBC I 1454; SRCV V 17490; Cohen VII 760, VF, full border obverse, dark brown patina, a little rough, small edge cracks, weight 1.580 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Alexandria mint, posthumous, 337 - Apr 340 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS P T AVGG (Divus Constantinus Pater Trium Augusti = Divine Constantine, father of the three emperors), veiled bust right; reverse Emperor in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to take him to heaven, SMALA in exergue; $80.00 (76.00)


|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.
RL99008. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 37, LRBC I 1372, SRCV V 17488, Voetter 33, Cohen VII 760, Hunter V -, gVF, well centered, scattered minor pitting, weight 1.571 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, 337 - Apr 340 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS P T AVGG (Divus Constantinus Pater Trium Augusti = Divine Constantine, father of the three emperors), veiled bust right; reverse Constantine in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to take him to heaven, star above, SMANE in exergue; $80.00 (76.00)


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|NEW
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.
RL99048. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Cyzicus p. 493, 46; LRBC I 1304; SRCV V 17470; Cohen VII 716; Hunter V -, VF, dark brown patina, areas of light corrosion, ragged edge, weight 1.604 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, posthumous, 347 - 348 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS P T AVGG (Divus Constantinus Pater Trium Augusti = Divine Constantine, father of the three emperors), veiled head right; reverse VN - MR (venerabilis memoria - revered memory), Constantine standing slightly right, head right, togate and veiled, VN - MR (venerabilis memoria - revered memory) divided across field, SMKE in exergue; $70.00 (66.50)







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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 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).
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 frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les missions montaires d'Arles (4th -5th Sicles). Moneta 6. (Wetteren, 1996).
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).
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 Mnzen der romischen Kaiser, Kaiserinnen und Caesaren von Diocletianus bis Romulus: Katalog der Sammlung Paul Gerin. (Vienna, 1921).

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