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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, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D., Unofficial Barbaric (Pannonian Tribes?)

|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.,| |Unofficial| |Barbaric| |(Pannonian| |Tribes?)|, |solidus|
In Roman Imperial Coinage, on page 473, in the section on Sirmium, footnote 42 says, "In L. [London=British Museum] an irregular SECVPITAS PEI-PETVAE, obv. CONSTNATTI-VAS P F NNG, Bust B1, m.m. SINN, 3.71 gm." Our coin is apparently from the same dies. Certainly unofficial, perhaps this coin was struck by a Pannonian tribal mint?
SH94406. Gold solidus, RIC VII Sirmium 42 var. (British Museum specimen of same irregular variant noted), gF, well centered, blundered legends and mintmark, pale gold, light scratches, probably holed and filled, weight 4.100 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial mint, c. 324 - 325 A.D.; obverse CONSTNATTI-IIAS P F NNG, laureate head right; reverse SECIIPITAS PEI-PETVAE, Emperor standing left, in military attire, right hand crowning trophy of captured arms erected before him, transverse scepter in left hand, shield and cuirass(?) left of base of trophy, SINN in exergue; $2200.00 SALE |PRICE| $1980.00
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.|, |follis|
Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored emperors and kings, those in positions of authority similar to his own.
RL93356. Billon follis, RIC VI Cyzicus 80, Cohen VII 303, SRCV IV 15956, Hunter V 344 var. (2nd officina), Choice gVF, well centered, nice portrait, weight 6.555 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 311 - 313 A.D.; obverse FL VAL CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG (to Jove the protector of the two Emperors), Jupiter standing slightly left, head left, globe in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, eagle at feet left with head right and wreath in beak, MKVA in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
 


|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.
RL87872. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V p. 284, 12 (also 1st officina); RIC VIII Alexandria p. 541, 32; LRBC I 1473; SRCV V 17473; Cohen VII 716, EF, excellent centering, brown tone with some silvering, flow lines, reverse center a little weak, tiny edge cracks, weight 1.706 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Alexandria mint, posthumous, late 347 - 348 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS P T AVGG (Divus Constantinus Pater Trium Augusti = Divine Constantine, father of the three emperors), veiled bust right; reverse VN - MR (venerabilis memoria - revered memory), Constantine standing slightly right, head right, veiled and togate, raising right hand, SMALA in exergue; ex Beast Coins, ex Malter Galleries; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.|, |reduced| |centenionalis|
In 336, Constantine reduced the weight of the centenionalis from c. 2.5 grams to c. 1.7 grams. The earlier heavier coins have two standards between the soldiers. Coins struck on the later lighter standard have only one standard.
RL93274. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch 108, LRBC I 1363, SRCV IV 16374, Cohen VII 250, Hunter V -, gVF, excellent portrait, dark brown tone, small encrustations, weight 1.305 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 105o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 336 - 337 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking one standard in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, SMANΓ in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.|, |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|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |319-320| |A.D.|, |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."
RL89615. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 65 (R1, altar d), SRCV IV 16291, Cohen VII 631, Hunter V 87, Choice gVF, well centered on a broad flan, crude style, edge cracks, weight 2.975 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyons, France) mint, 319 - 320 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS AVG, high crested (bowl shaped) helmet and cuirassed, bust right; reverse VICTORIAE LAET PRINC PERP (Joyous victory to the eternal Prince), two Victories standing facing each other, together holding shield with inscribed VOT / P R in two lines, shield resting on altar with X center, two bound captives seated back to back in exergue; ex Beast Coins VLPP Collection, ex Noble Roman Coins (2004); rare; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.|, |follis|
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.
RL93243. Billon follis, RIC VI Lugdunum 304, SRCV IV 15986, Cohen VII 342, Hunter V 82, Choice gVF, dark patina, flow lines, areas of porosity, weight 3.989 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 45o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 309 - 310 A.D.; obverse IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse MARTI CONSERVATORI (Mars the Protector), Mars standing right, helmeted, in military dress, reversed spear in right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield, F left, T right, PLG in exergue; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


|Constantine| |the| |Great|, |Constantine| |the| |Great,| |Early| |307| |-| |22| |May| |337| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
VOTIS XXX abbreviates Votis Tricennalibus advertising that Constantius had completed his vows (prayers) to thank God for the 30th anniversary of his rule.
RL93216. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 224 (also 1st officina), RIC VII Rome 318 (S), SRCV IV 16225, Cohen VII 129, LRBC I -, EF, nice portrait, well centered, dark brown tone, light marks, flow lines, reverse double struck, edge flaw, edge cracks, weight 2.520 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 329 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse D N CONSTANTINI MAX AVG, VOT XXX in wreath, RP in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


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


City of Constantinople Commemorative, 333 - 335 A.D.

|Commemoratives|, |City| |of| |Constantinople| |Commemorative,| |333| |-| |335| |A.D.|, |reduced| |centenionalis|
On 11 May 330, Constantine I refounded Byzantium, renamed it Constantinopolis after himself, and moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to his new city. The new capital was Christian, old gods and traditions were either replaced or assimilated into a framework of Christian symbolism. Constantine built the new Church of the Holy Apostles on the site of a temple to Aphrodite. Generations later there was the story that a divine vision led Constantine to this spot. The capital would often be compared to the 'old' Rome as Nova Roma Constantinopolitana, the "New Rome of Constantinople." Special commemorative coins were issued with types for both Rome and Constantinople to advertise the importance of the new capital.
RL93226. Bronze reduced centenionalis, Hunter V 20 (also 1st officina), RIC VII Alexandria 64 (R1), SRCV IV 16481, LRBC I 1432, Cohen VII 22, Choice gVF, excellent centering, brown tone, weight 2.694 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Alexandria mint, 333 - 335 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINOPOLIS, laureate and helmeted bust of Constantinopolis left, wearing imperial cloak, scepter over left shoulder; reverse Victory standing left, right foot on prow, scepter in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, SMALA in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 




  



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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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