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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Constantinian Era ▸ CrispusView 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.


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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; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


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On 19 Dec 324, Licinius abdicated his position as Emperor. He was pardoned by Constantine I as a result of the supplication of his wife Constantia (who was Constantine's half-sister) and banished to Thessalonica as a private citizen. The next year Licinius was executed on the charge of conspiring, and raising troops against the emperor.
RL87875. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII London 250, Cohen VII 27, SRCV IV 16725, Hunter V 4 var. (bust), EF, some luster, attractive portrait, tight flan, some reverse die wear, weight 3.385 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Londinium (London, England) mint, 322 - 323 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOBIL C, laureate and cuirassed bust left, holding shield and spear with point forward; reverse BEAT TRANQLITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, F-B across fields, three stars above, PLON in exergue; ex Pegasi Numismatics, ex Beast Coins; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


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On 7 March 321, Constantine issued an edict proclaiming Dies Solis Invicti (Sunday) as the day of rest; trade was forbidden but agriculture was allowed.
RL77203. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 133, Hunter V 25, SRCV IV 16734, Bastien XIII 102, Cohen VII 6, Choice EF, charming portrait, some silvering, weight 3.162 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 321 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse BEATA TRANQVILLITAS (blessed tranquility), altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX in three lines, surmounted by globe, three stars above, C left, R right, PLG crescent in exergue; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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On 7 March 321, Constantine issued an edict proclaiming Dies Solis Invicti (Sunday) as the day of rest; trade was forbidden but agriculture was allowed.
RL84257. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 133, Hunter V 25, SRCV IV 16734, Bastien XIII 102, Cohen VII 6, Choice aEF, some silvering, well centered, some letters on reverse not fully struck (filled die?), some porosity, tiny edge crack, weight 2.639 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 321 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse BEATA TRANQVILLITAS (blessed tranquility), altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX in three lines, surmounted by globe, three stars above, C left, R right, PLG crescent in exergue; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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On 7 March 321, Constantine issued an edict proclaiming Dies Solis Invicti (Sunday) as the day of rest; trade was forbidden but agriculture was allowed.
RL84258. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 133, Hunter V 25, SRCV IV 16734, Bastien XIII 102, Cohen VII 6, Choice EF, traces of silvering, attractive nice surfaces, nearly as struck, weight 3.186 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 321 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse BEATA TRANQVILLITAS (blessed tranquility), altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX in three lines, surmounted by globe, three stars above, C left, R right, PLG crescent in exergue; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


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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; $75.00 (€63.75)
 


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On 1 March 317, Constantine the Great and co-emperor Licinius elevated their sons Crispus, Constantine II (still an 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.
RL88065. Billon reduced follis, RIC VII Arles 129 (R2), Hunter V 29, SRCV IV 16713, Cohen VII 99; only issued by the 4th officina, VF, dark patina, tight flan, stuck with worn/damaged dies, weight 2.782 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, 1 Mar 317 - 318 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PRINCIPIA IVVENTVTIS (in honor of the Prince of Youth), Mars advancing right, nude but for helmet, boots and chlamys on shoulders and flying behind, transverse spear in right, round shield on left arm, R S at sides, QARL in exergue; scarce; $70.00 (€59.50)
 


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On 1 March 317, Constantine the Great and co-emperor Licinius elevated their sons Crispus, Constantine II (still an 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.
RL79649. Billon reduced follis, RIC VII Thessalonica 20 (R4), SRCV IV 16702B, Cohen VII 109, F, full circles centering, dark green patina, weak centers, weight 2.822 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 317 - 318 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOBILISSIMVS CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINCIPIA IVVENTVTIS (in honor of the Prince of Youth), soldier standing right, spear in right hand, shield on ground in left, •TS•Γ• in exergue; rare; $65.00 (€55.25)
 


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On 19 Dec 324, Licinius abdicated his position as Emperor. He was pardoned by Constantine I as a result of the supplication of his wife Constantia (who was Constantine's half-sister) and banished to Thessalonica as a private citizen. The next year Licinius was executed on the charge of conspiring, and raising troops against the emperor.
RL84251. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII London 250, SRCV IV 16725, Cohen VII 27, Hunter V 4 var. (bust), Choice VF, well centered, some silvering, spots of light corrosion, weight 3.245 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Londinium (London, England) mint, 322 - 323 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOBIL C, laureate and cuirassed bust left, holding shield and spear with point forward; reverse BEAT TRANQLITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, F-B across fields, three stars above, PLON in exergue; $55.00 (€46.75)
 


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VOT X abbreviates Votis Decennalibus, which means Crispus has completed vows (prayers and sacrifices) for ten years of rule. In a religious context, votum, plural vota, is a vow or promise made to a deity. The word comes from the past participle of voveo, vovere; as the result of the verbal action, a vow, or promise. It may refer also to the fulfillment of this vow, that is, the thing promised. The votum is thus an aspect of the contractual nature of Roman religion and sacrifice, a bargaining expressed by "do ut des" (I give that you might give).
RL84288. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 440, SRCV IV 16760, Cohen VII 44, Hunter V -, EF, sharp portrait, well struck, some luster, traces of silvering, weight 4.083 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 45o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 323 - 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, STR crescent in exergue; $55.00 (€46.75)
 




  



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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).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, March 20, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Crispus