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

Roman Commemoratives, 307 - 361 A.D.

Constantine the Great and his sons issued small bronze coins commemorating the old capital, Rome, and the new capital, Constantinople, to symbolize the equality of the two cities and the new importance of Constantinople to the empire. On this page we also list consecration commemoratives issued by Constantine and his sons.


16 Roman Empire VRBS ROMA and CONSTANTINOPOLIS Bronze Commemoratives, c. 330 - 340 A.D.

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LT87176. Bronze Lot, 16 Roma and Constantinopolis Commemoratives struck by Constantine the Great and his sons, 16.8mm - 18.5mm, all VF or better, many choice, c. 330 - 340 A.D.; the actual coins in the photograph, no tags or flips, as-is, no returns; SOLD


Lot of 5 Roman Empire Bronze Coins - City of Rome Commemoratives, 330 - 346 A.D.

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Five different mints: Antioch (SMANZ), Nicomedia (SMNΓ), Cyzicus (SMKB), Heraclea (SMHE), and Thessalonica (SMTSE). SM beginning the mintmarks abbreviates Sacra Moneta. Mints were considered sacred and associated with the goddess Juno Moneta. The early Roman mint was located in the temple of Juno. The final letter indicates the mint workshop number: 1 (A), 2 (B), 3 (Γ), 4 (∆), or 5 (E).
LT87358. Bronze Lot, 5 city of Rome commemorative bronze reduced centenionales, 16.4 - 18.8 mm, all choice VF, with highlighting "desert" patina, 330 - 346 A.D.; no identification, no tags or flips, the lot is the actual coins in the photograph; SOLD


Roma Commemorative, c. 348 A.D.

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RIC notes on page 237, "Medallic AE 4 probably derive from the billon "quinarii" of the later third century. They occur sporadically during the fourth century, largely, perhaps exclusively, at the mint of Rome, and were presumably used for special distributions."
SH11805. Billon half centenionalis, RIC VIII Rome 104 (R4), gVF, weight 1.951 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, c. 348 A.D.; obverse RO-MA, helmeted and draped bust of Roma right; reverse P - R, emperor in military dress, standing front, head right, holding spear in right and resting left hand on shield; very rare; SOLD


City of Rome Commemorative, 330 - 331 A.D.

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On some high grade examples of the VRBS ROMA series, a certain symbol can be seen or guessed on the shoulder of the wolf. It might look like the letter Θ (at Thessalonica and Alexandria) or a flock of hair, but on this well struck and preserved wolf there is an obvious star with rounded tips, different from the two above. There are no such symbols on earlier depictions (Republic and early empire) of the she-wolf as far as we know.
RL29336. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Rome 338, LRBC I 540, SRCV IV 16507, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V -, gVF, weight 2.622 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Rome mint, 330 - 331 A.D.; obverse VRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma left wearing imperial mantle; reverse she-wolf standing left, head turned back right, suckling the infant twins Romulus and Remus, two stars above, RBQ in exergue; rare; SOLD


City and People of Rome, 1100th Year Anniversary Commemorative, 348 A.D.

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Suetonius reports that from the roof of the Basilica Julia "Caligula threw coins among the people." Many other emperors made similar donatives to the people. This very rare type is almost always very well centered and struck. Unusual quality control at the mint ensured a medallic appearance because it was minted for an imperial distribution during celebrations commemorating the 1100th anniversary of Rome's foundation. The rarity of this type suggest that all of the coins, including this coin, may have been thrown to the crowd by the emperor Constans himself.
RL87768. Bronze medallic nummus, RIC VIII 104 (R4), Vagi 3049, LRBC II 611, Hunter V -, VF, excellent full circles strike, green patina, porosity/light corrosion, edge crack, weight 1.978 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, struck under Constans, 348 A.D.; obverse ROMA, helmeted and draped bust of Roma right; reverse Virtus standing facing in military attire, head right, spear vertical in right hand, resting left hand on grounded oval shield, P - R (Populi Romania - people of Rome) cross field; very rare; SOLD


City of Rome Commemorative, 330 - 331 A.D.

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On some high grade examples of the VRBS ROMA series, a certain symbol can be seen or guessed on the shoulder of the wolf. It might look like the letter Θ (at Thessalonica) or a flock of hair, but on this well struck and preserved wolf there is an obvious star, identical to the two above. There are no such symbols on earlier depictions (Republic and early empire) of the she-wolf as far as we know.
RL29455. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 242 (R2), Bastien Lyon 201, LRBC I 184, SRCV IV 16490, Cohen VII 17, Hunter V -, EF, flan crack, weight 2.272 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 330 - 331 A.D.; obverse VRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma left wearing imperial mantle; reverse she-wolf standing left, head turned back right, suckling the infant twins Romulus and Remus, two stars above, PLG in exergue; SOLD


People of Rome Commemorative, 330 A.D.

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Constantine is most famous for leading the Empire to Christianity. Before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, he saw "In Hoc Signo Victor Eris" (By this sign you shall conquer) on the sun around a Chi Rho ligature. With the symbol of Christ on his army's shields, he was victorious. He moved the capital to Constantinople.
RL04503. Billon half centenionalis, RIC VII Constantinople 21, aEF, weight 1.15 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 0o, 11th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 330 A.D.; obverse POP ROMANVS, Genius laureate bust left with cornucopia on left shoulder; reverse Bridge, often identified as the famous Milvian bridge, water flowing below, CONS / IA in two lines above; from the Aiello Collection; SOLD


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

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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.
SH28376. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Alexandria p. 539 4; LRBC II 1445; Voetter 42; SRCV V 17489; Cohen VII 760; Hunter V p. 283, 7, Choice EF, weight 2.637 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Alexandria mint, posthumous, 337 - Apr 340 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS PT AVGG, veiled bust right; reverse Emperor in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to take him to heaven, S - R flanking high in field, SMALΓ in exergue; rare this nice; SOLD


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

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A very rare commemorative issue struck at Lyon for Constantine after his death. Constantine is most famous for leading the Empire to Christianity. Before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, he saw "In Hoc Signo Victor Eris" (By this sign you shall conquer) on the sun around a Chi Rho ligature. With the symbol of Christ on his army's shields he was victorious.
RL66868. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Lyons 2 (R), LRBC I 238, Bastien Lyon 3 (only 4 specimens), VF, weight 1.777 g, maximum diameter 12.9 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, posthumous, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse DIVO CONSTANTINO P, veiled bust right; reverse AETERNA PIETAS, Constantine standing right, in military dress, inverted spear behind in left, globe in right hand, staurogram (Greek cruciform monogram for Christ) in upper right field, PLG (off flan) in exergue; very rare; SOLD


City of Rome Commemorative, 332 A.D.

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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.
RL67101. Billon reduced centenionalis, Bastien XIII 237, RIC VII Lyons 247 (R3), LRBC I 190, SRCV IV 16492, Cohen VII 17, EF, well centered, slightly ragged flan, weight 2.505 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 225o, 2nd officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 332 A.D.; obverse VRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma left wearing imperial mantle; reverse she-wolf standing left, head turned back right, suckling the infant twins Romulus and Remus, two stars above, SLG in exergue; scarce; SOLD




  




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OBVERSE LEGENDS

CONSTANTINOPOLI
CONSTANTINOPOLIS
POPROMANVS
ROMA
VRBSROMA
VRBSROMABEATA


REFERENCES

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 frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Failmezger, V. Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity, 294 - 364 A.D. (Washington D.C., 2002).
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: The Collapse of Paganism and the Triumph of Christianity, Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 2011).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire: The Later Constantinian Dynasty and the Houses of Valentinian and Theodosius and Their Successors, Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
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).

Catalog current as of Friday, April 19, 2019.
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Commemoratives