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

Crispus, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 326 A.D.

Flavius Julius Crispus was the son of Constantine I by his first wife. A brilliant soldier, Crispus was well loved by all until 326 A.D., when Constantine had him executed. It is said that Fausta, Crispus stepmother, anxious to secure the succession for her own sons falsely accused Crispus of raping her. Constantine, learning of Fausta's treachery, had her executed too.

|Crispus|, |Crispus,| |Caesar,| |1| |March| |317| |-| |326| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
On 20 May 325, Constantine I summoned an ecumenical council of bishops in Nicaea (the First Council of Nicaea). The Nicene Creed declares that the members of the Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) are equal. The council also decided that Easter would be celebrated on the first Sunday after the 21st of March.
RL93231. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 50 (also 4th officina), RIC VII Rome 266 (R3), SRCV IV 16798, LRBC I 505, Cohen VII 125, Choice VF, excellent portrait, nice green patina with highlighting earthen deposits, weight 3.349 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, 4th officina, Rome mint, 324 - 325 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse PROVIDENTIAE CAESS (to the foresight of the two princes), campgate with two turrets, star above, RQ in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare (RIC R3); $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


|Crispus|, |Crispus,| |Caesar,| |1| |March| |317| |-| |326| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
RIC VII Siscia 169 (R4) lists the symbol following the mintmark as a double crescent but we have seen a number of coins like this one, on which the symbol appears to be pellet within a crescent.
RL12085. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Siscia 169 (R4) var. (double crescent), SRCV IV 16773, Cohen VII 44, Hunter V -, Choice EF, nice portrait, attractive green patina, weight 3.075 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 320 - 321 A.D.; obverse IVL CRISPVS NOB C, laureate head right; reverse CAESARVM NOSTRORVM (our prince), VOT / X in two lines within wreath, wreath tied at the bottom and decorated with a jewel at the top, BSIS and pellet within crescent in exergue; rare; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


|Crispus|, |Crispus,| |Caesar,| |1| |March| |317| |-| |326| |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."
RL89682. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Ticinum 93 (R3), SRCV IV 16827, Cohen VII 154, Hunter V 40 var. (1st officina), Choice gVF, excellent centering and strike, dark green patina with some silvering, edge split, weight 2.835 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 319 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CRISPVS NOB C, radiate, draped, 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) set on altar inscribed with a C, S T in exergue; ex Beast Coins VLPP Collection, ex 5 Empires (2004); scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
 


|Crispus|, |Crispus,| |Caesar,| |1| |March| |317| |-| |326| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
In 326, Constantine ordered the execution of his son, Crispus Caesar. Constantine's second wife and Crispus' stepmother, Fausta, accused Crispus of attempting to seduce her. After learning Fausta lied to eliminate Crispus as a rival to her own sons, Constantine had Fausta suffocated in a hot bath.
RL93229. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 86 (also 5th officina), RIC VII Antioch 64 (R4), LRBC I 1335, SRCV IV 16811, Cohen VII 125, Choice gF, centered, brown patina, porous, weight 3.134 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 325 - 326 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate draped and cuirassed bust left; reverse PROVIDENTIAE CAESS (to the foresight of the two princes), campgate with two turrets, star above, SMANTE in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


|Crispus|, |Crispus,| |Caesar,| |1| |March| |317| |-| |326| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
Flavius Julius Crispus was a brilliant soldier, well loved by all until 326 A.D. when Constantine had him executed. Fausta, Crispus stepmother, anxious to secure the succession for her own sons falsely accused Crispus of raping her. Constantine, learning of Fausta's treachery, had her executed too.
RL89636. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Siscia 87 (R4), SRCV IV 16818, Cohen VII 140, Hunter V -, Choice VF, well centered and struck, dark patina, some bumps and scratches, weight 3.422 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 319 - 320 A.D.; obverse IVL CRISPVS NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICT• LAETAE PRINC PERP, two Victories standing confronted, together holding shield inscribed VOT / P R (vows of the Roman people) set on altar inscribed with an I, •ASIS• in exergue; ex Beast Coins VLPP Collection; rare; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 


|Crispus|, |Crispus,| |Caesar,| |1| |March| |317| |-| |326| |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."
RL89669. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Siscia 97 (R3), SRCV IV 16818, Cohen VII 140, Hunter V -, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, areas of light corrosion, small encrustations, weight 3.526 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 319 - 320 A.D.; obverse IVL CRISPVS NOB C, laureate draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICT 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) set on altar inscribed with an S, ESIS* in exergue; ex Beast Coins VLPP Collection, ex Martin Griffiths Collection (2004); rare; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 


|Crispus|, |Crispus,| |Caesar,| |1| |March| |317| |-| |326| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
On 7 March 321, Constantine I proclaimed the dies Solis Invicti (Sunday) as the day of rest; trade was forbidden but agriculture allowed. Jews continued to observe the Sabbath on Saturday, and Constantine himself, despite his acceptance of Christianity, continued to worship the sun god, Sol.
RL87900. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 59 (also first officina), RIC VII Siscia 181, SRCV IV 16773, Cohen VII 44, Choice aEF, well centered, much silvering, areas of small areas of some porosity, weight 2.955 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 321 - 324 A.D.; obverse IVL CRISPVS NOB C, laureate head right; reverse CAESARVM NOSTRORVM (our prince), VOT / X in two lines within wreath, wreath tied at the bottom and decorated with a jewel at the top, ASIS and sunrise in exergue; ex Beast Coins; $65.00 SALE |PRICE| $58.50
 


|Crispus|, |Crispus,| |Caesar,| |1| |March| |317| |-| |326| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
On 3 July 324, at Adrianople, Constantine defeated Licinius forcing him to retreat to Byzantium. Crispus destroyed Licinius' fleet at the Battle of Hellespont in the Dardanelles, allowing his father to cross over the Bosporus and besiege Licinius. On 18 September, Constantine I decisively defeated Licinius at the Battle of Chrysopolis and became sole emperor.
RL93230. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 36 (also 2nd officina), RIC VII Arles 266 (R3), LRBC I 277, SRCV IV 16796, Cohen VII 124, Choice VF, nice portrait, dark patina, earthen deposits, well centered, weight 3.488 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Arles mint, 324 - 325 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE CAESS (to the foresight of the two princes), campgate with two turrets, star above, pellet in doorway, S*AR in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $65.00 SALE |PRICE| $58.00
 


|Crispus|, |Crispus,| |Caesar,| |1| |March| |317| |-| |326| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
In 320, Crispus, the 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.
RL89707. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Thessalonica 78 (R1), SRCV IV 16857, Cohen VII 168, Hunter V -, Choice VF, well centered, excellent portrait, much silvering, areas of light corrosion, weight 2.754 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 315o, 4th officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 320 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse VIRTVS EXERCIT (courage of the army), standard inscribed VOT / XX, flanked by a seated captive on each side, captive on left seated left with hands bound behind back, captive on right seated right with right hand raised to head and looking back left, S - F across fields, •TS•∆• in exergue; ex Beast Coins, ex Harlan Berk CICF (2013); scarce; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 


|Crispus|, |Crispus,| |Caesar,| |1| |March| |317| |-| |326| |A.D.|, |reduced| |follis|
On 1 March 317, Constantine and Licinius elevated their sons Crispus, Constantine II (still a baby) and Licinius II to Caesars. After this arrangement, Constantine ruled the dioceses Pannonia and Macedonia, and established his residence at Sirmium, from where he prepared a campaign against the Goths and Sarmatians.
RL89944. Billon reduced follis, Hunter V 56 (also 3rd officina), RIC VII Siscia 39 (R3), SRCV IV 16702A, Cohen VII 106, Choice gVF, excellent centering and strike, nice portrait and reverse style, brown tone, round flan, weight 3.112 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 317 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAESAR, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINCIPIA IVVENTVTIS (in honor of the Prince of Youth), soldier standing right, wearing crested helmet and military garb, paludamentum (long military cloak) behind hanging from shoulders, inverted spear in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, ΓSIS in exergue; scarce; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 




  



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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

CRISPVSCAESAR
CRISPVSNOBCAES
CRISPVSNOBILC
CRISPVSNOBILCAES
CRISPVSNOBILISSCAES
DNCRISPONOBCAES
DNCRISPVSNOBCAESAR
DNFLIVLCRISPVSNOBCAES
FLIVLCRISPVSNOBC
FLIVLCRISPVSNOBCAES
IVLCRISPVSNOBC
IVLCRISPVSNOBCAES


REFERENCES|

Alföldi, A. "il tesoro di Nagytétény" in RIN 1921, pp. 113 - 190.
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).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
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: The Collapse of Paganism and the Triumph of Christianity, Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 2011).
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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