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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|, |centenionalis|
In 320, Crispus, eldest son of Constantine I, led a victorious campaign against the Franks, assuring twenty years of peace along the Rhine frontier. He established his residence in Augusta Treverorum (modern Trier), capital of Germania.
RL20963. Billon centenionalis, Paolucci-Zub 255a, RIC VII Aquileia 48, SRCV IV 16323, Cohen VII 690, Choice gVF, well centered, nice portrait, some silvering, weight 3.122 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 330o, 1st officina, Aquileia mint, 320 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS EXERCIT (courage of the army), vexillum inscribed VOT / XX, two captives seated at base facing outward, the one on the left with hands bound behind, the one on the right looking back left, S left, F right, AQP in exergue; from the Scott Collection, ex Beast Coins (2007); $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |centenionalis|
Constantiniana Dafne was likely a castle or camp (castrum) Dafne, constructed by Constantine on the bank of the Danube.
RL93217. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Constantinople 35 (S), LRBC I 996, SRCV IV 16191, Cohen VII 91, Hunter V 311 var. (2nd officina), gVF, nice portrait, choice reverse, light encrustations, closed crack, weight 3.062 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 328 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, laurel and rosette diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONSTANTINIANA DAFNE, Victory seated left on cippus, head right, palm frond in each hand, trophy and captive before, ∆ left, CONS in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |centenionalis|
In 319, Constantine prohibited the separation of the families of slaves during a change in ownership.
RL89620. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 52 (also 2nd officina), RIC VII Trier 213, SRCV IV 16297, Cohen VII 640, Choice VF, excellent centering and strike, some silvering, weight 3.147 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 319 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTAN-TINVS MAX AVG, laureate, helmeted 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, star on altar, STR in exergue; ex Beast Coins VLPP Collection; $85.00 SALE |PRICE| $76.50
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |centenionalis|
In 319, Constantine prohibited the separation of the families of slaves during a change in ownership.
RL89629. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Arles 185 (R4), SRCV IV 16298, Cohen VII 636, Hunter V -, gVF, nice portrait, green patina with some silvering, earthen encrustations, weight 3.181 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, 319 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS AVG, helmeted 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 garlanded altar, S - A divided by star above and within crescent with horns upward in exergue; ex Beast Coins VLPP Collection, ex ECaesars Numismatics (eBay, Feb 2006); very rare; $85.00 SALE |PRICE| $76.50
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |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."
RL89688. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Siscia 53 (R1, altar type u), SRCV IV 16302, Cohen VII 639, Hunter V 248, Choice aEF, attractive portrait and dark patina, weight 2.842 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 318 - 319 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, helmeted, 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) on an altar, altar decorated with X, BSIS in exergue; ex Beast Coins VLPP Collection; $85.00 SALE |PRICE| $76.50
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |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; $85.00 SALE |PRICE| $76.50
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |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).
RL88036. Billon follis, RIC VII Trier 162 (R4), SRCV IV 16064, Cohen VII 525, Hunter V -, Choice gVF, excellent centering, flow lines, black tone with some coppery high spots, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.271 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 317 - 318 A.D.; obverse 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 turned outward, F - T divided across fields, •ATR in exergue; rare; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |follis|
In 310 A.D. Maximian, supposedly retired, attempted to make himself emperor again at Arles. When Constantine the Great marched with his army, Maximian fled but was captured at Marseille. Constantine encouraged his suicide and Maximian, age 60, hung himself.
RL93238. Billon follis, RIC VI Londinium 121a, SRCV IV 16046, Cohen VII 536, Hunter V 4, VF, dark patina, small deposits, broad flan ragged with edge splits, weight 2.829 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Londinium (London, England) mint, 310 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate 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, T left, F right, PLN in exergue; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |centenionalis|
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 A.D. and circa 339 A.D., 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.
RL93210. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 338 (also 4th officina), RIC VII Nicomedia 90 (R1), LRBC I 1073, SRCV IV 16257, Cohen VII 454, Choice gVF, brown tone, traces of silvering, flow lines, weight 3.347 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 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; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |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; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 




  



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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 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).

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