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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Non-Olympian| ▸ |Sol||View Options:  |  |  | 

Sol

Sol sometimes called Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the solar deity in Ancient Roman religion. Worship of Sol began early but seems to have become more significant from the reign of Aurelian until the abolition of paganism under Theodosius I.

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

|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; $120.00 (€110.40)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||sestertius|
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."
RB92605. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC IV 513, BMCRE VI 771, SRCV II 7999, Cohen IV 415, Hunter III -, VF, well centered, brown tone, edge cracks, weight 19.847 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, late 231 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate bust right from behind right shoulder; reverse P M TR P X COS III P P, Sol advancing slightly left, head left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and left arm, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, whip in left hand, S - C across field at center; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00 ON RESERVE


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |Late| |309| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis|
In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Roman People, etc. The legend GENIO AVGVSTI dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Augusti, the Emperors. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RT92754. Billon follis, RIC VI Antiochia 164b, SRCV IV 14840, Cohen VII 21, Hunter V 91, Choice aEF, well centered, dark patina, traces of silvering, slightest porosity, weight 4.715 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse GENIO AVGVSTI (to the guardian spirit of the Emperor), Genio standing left, nude but for paludamentum over shoulders and left arm, radiate head of Sol in extended right hand, cornucopia in left, * in left field, S in right field, ANT in exergue; $80.00 (€73.60)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.

|Severus| |Alexander|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.||as|
Severus Alexander was promoted from Caesar to Augustus after his cousin Elagabalus was murdered. He was dominated by his mother, but his reign brought economic prosperity and military success against the barbarians. Mutinous soldiers led by Maximinus I murdered him and his mother.
RB94231. Copper as, RIC IV 530, Cohen IV 431, BMCRE VI 860, SRCV II 8088, Hunter III -, F, well centered, dark brown tone with highlighting earthen deposits, scratches, scrapes, spots of corrosion, weight 9.578 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 232 A.D.; obverse IMP ALEXANDER PIVS AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M TR P XI COS III P P (high priest, holder of tribunitian power 11 years, consul 3 times, father of the country), 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, S - C (senatus consulto) across fields; this is the first specimen of this type handled by FORVM; $70.00 (€64.40)
 


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

|Maximinus| |II|, |Maximinus| |II| |Daia,| |Late| |309| |-| |30| |April| |313| |A.D.||follis|
Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the official sun god of the late Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274, Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. Scholars disagree whether the new deity was a re-foundation of the ancient Latin cult of Sol, a revival of the cult of Elagabalus, or completely new. 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 A.D. and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them.
RL93197. Billon follis, Hunter V 106 (also 1st officina), RIC VI Antiochia 167b, SRCV IV 14894, Cohen VII 161, F/aF, porous, spots of encrustation, parts of legends weak, weight 3.669 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 312 A.D.; obverse IMP C GAL VAL MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse SOLI INVICTO (to the invincible sun god), Sol standing facing, head left, radiate, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, head of Serapis wearing kalathos in left hand, A left, star right, ANT in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $60.00 (€55.20)
 


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

|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; $60.00 (€55.20)
 


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

|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.
RL95858. Billon follis, RIC VII Rome 78, SRCV IV 16102, Cohen VII 536, F, nice blue and green deposits, well centered on uneven flan, scratches, weight 2.981 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, 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; $60.00 (€55.20)
 


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.||antoninianus|
RIC lists this type as common, but Göbl lists only a single specimen, and Coin archives lists only one from the first officina and none from the second.
RA93318. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-1 S494, Cohen V 685, SRCV III 10295, Hunter IV 167 var. (1st officina), aVF, well centered, dark patina, weight 2.540 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) mint, 266 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right, drapery on left shoulder; reverse ORIENS AVG (the rising sun 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, whip in left, S in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $50.00 (€46.00)
 


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

|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; $50.00 (€46.00)
 







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