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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Constantinian Era||View Options:  |  |  | 

Roman coins of the Constantinian Era
Kingdom of Bosporus, Rheskuporis V (VI), 314 - 342 A.D., Constantine the Great Reverse

|Bosporan| |Kingdom|, |Kingdom| |of| |Bosporus,| |Rheskuporis| |V| |(VI),| |314| |-| |342| |A.D.,| |Constantine| |the| |Great| |Reverse||stater|
The Bosporan Kingdom (or Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus) was in eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula on the shores of the Cimmerian Bosporus, the present-day Strait of Kerch (it was not named after the Bosphorus beside Istanbul). The mixed population adopted Greek language and civilization. The prosperity of the kingdom was based on the export of wheat, fish and slaves. The kingdom's golden age was 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. At the end of the 2nd century A.D., King Sauromates II inflicted a critical defeat on the Scythians and expanded his state to include the entire Crimea. It was the longest surviving Roman client kingdom, lasting until it was overrun by the Huns c. 375 A.D.
RP99729. Billon stater, MacDonald 679/1; Anokhin 769; SNG Stancomb 1034; BMC Pontus pl. XVIII, 12 (not in text), gVF, centered on a tight flan, black patina, weight 7.472 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Pantikapaion (Kerch, Crimea) mint, 323 - 324 A.D.; obverse BACIΛEVC PHCKOVΠOPI∆OC, diademed and draped bust of Rheskuporis right, wreath (of tiny pellets, control symbol) lower right; reverse laureate and draped bust of the Roman emperor Constantine the great right, K-X ([year] 620 [of the Bosporan Era]) divided across field; $120.00 (124.80)


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

|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 (114.40)


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|
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 (109.20)


Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.

|Constantine| |II|, |Constantine| |II,| |22| |May| |337| |-| |March| |or| |April| |340| |A.D.||reduced| |centenionalis|
The eldest son of Constantine the Great and co-emperor alongside his brothers Constantius II and Constans. The three brothers, after arranging the slaughter of most of the rest of their family by the army, gathered together in Pannonia on 9 September 337 and divided the Roman world among themselves. Constantine, proclaimed Augustus by the troops received Gaul, Britannia and Hispania. His attempt to exert his perceived rights of primogeniture led to his death in a failed invasion of Italy in 340 AD.
RL96881. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Rome 32 (S), LRBC I 602, SRCV V 17452, Cohen VII 233, Hunter V -, aVF, dark brown tone, tight flan, light earthen deposits, ragged edge, weight 1.230 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 9 Sep 337 - May 340 AD; obverse VIC CONSTANTINVS AVG, laurel and rosette diademed and cuirassed bust right; reverse VIRTVS AVGVSTI (courage of the emperor), Emperor standing facing, bare head right, wearing military garb, spear in right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield, R palm P in exergue; scarce; $95.00 (98.80)


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|
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 (72.80)


Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D.

|Constans|, |Constans,| |9| |September| |337| |-| |19| |January| |350| |A.D.||light| |maiorina|
Nicomedia was the Roman metropolis of Bithynia. Diocletian made it the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 286 when he introduced the Tetrarchy system. Nicomedia remained the eastern (and most senior) capital of the Empire until co-emperor Licinius was defeated by Constantine the Great at the Battle of Chrysopolis in 324. Constantine resided mainly in Nicomedia as his interim capital for the next six years, until in 330 when he declared nearby Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) the new capital. Constantine died in his royal villa near Nicomedia in 337. Due to its position at the convergence of the Asiatic roads leading to the new capital, Nicomedia retained its importance even after the foundation of Constantinople.
RL98898. Billon light maiorina, RIC VIII Nicomedia 72 (S), LRBC II 2293, Cohen VII 18, SRCV V 18698 var. (no star), Hunter V 58 var. (same), VF, well centered, weight 4.684 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 150o, 2nd officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 348 - 351 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust left, globe in right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Constans right leading barbarian from hut under tree, star above, SMNB in exergue; scarce; $60.00 (62.40)


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

|Constantius| |II|, |Constantius| |II,| |22| |May| |337| |-| |3| |November| |361| |A.D.||heavy| |maiorina|
On 7 May 351, after Constantius Gallus arrived at Antioch, a Jewish revolt broke out in Palestine. In 352, Gallus sent his general (magister equitum) Ursicinus to put down the revolt. The rebels destroyed Diopolis and Tiberias. Diocesarea was razed to the ground. Ursicinus gave the order to kill thousands of Jews, even children. After the revolt, a permanent garrison was stationed in Galilee.
BB99586. Billon heavy maiorina, cf. RIC VIII Nicomedia 92, LRBC II 2306, SRCV V 18162, Cohen VII 46, F, green patina, tight flan, weight 4.181 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, Nicomedia(?) mint, 15 Mar 351 - 6 Nov 355 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, ∆ behind; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier advancing left, spearing fallen horseman, shield at feet, S upper left, [SMN...?] in exergue; Ed Strivelli Collection, ex FORVM (2019); $24.00 (24.96)











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