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In 312 A.D., Constantine the Great dreamed he saw a Christogram in the sky and heard the words IN HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, meaning in Latin, "In this sign, you will be the victor." He ordered the sign of Christ on his legions standards and shields. He won a great victory and later became the first Christian Roman Emperor.RL92012. Billon maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 287 (S), LRBC II 1174, Voetter 9, SRCV V 18905, Cohen VIII 4 (25 Fr.), EF, one of the finest Vetranio bronzes we have ever seen, weight 4.857 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 1 Mar - 25 Dec 350 A.D.; obverse D N VETRANIO P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind, star before; reverse HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, Vetranio standing left in military dress, labarum (Christogram standard) in right hand, scepter in left hand, crowned by Victory behind, A left, •ASIS• (A resembling H) in exergue; ex FORVM (2009); ex Scott Collection; ex H.D. Rauch auction 75 (6 May 2005), lot 923; scarce; $750.00 (€660.00)
St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great
Helena is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches and famed for her piety. Her feast day as a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church is celebrated with her son on May 21, the "Feast of the Holy Great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen, Equal to the Apostles." Her feast day in the Roman Catholic Church falls on August 18. Her feast day in the Coptic Orthodox Church is on 9 Pashons. Eusebius records the details of her pilgrimage to Palestine and other eastern provinces (though not her discovery of the True Cross). She is the patron saint of new discoveries.SH92346. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Alexandria 48 (R4), LRBC I 1417, SRCV IV 16631, Cohen VII 12, Hunter V -, Choice EF, perfect centering on a round flan, excellent portrait, sharp reverse, some golden toned silvering, flow lines, small closed flan crack, weight 3.369 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Alexandria mint, 327 - 328 A.D.; obverse FL HELENA AVGVSTA, diademed and mantled bust right wearing double necklace; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICE (security of the Republic), Securitas standing half left, branch pointed downward in right hand, raising pallium with left hand, wreath left, B right, SMAL in exergue; rare; $350.00 (€308.00)
Jovian, 27 June 363 - 17 February 364 A.D.
After arriving at Antioch, Jovian decided to rush to Constantinople to consolidate his political position there. While en route, he was found dead in bed in his tent at Dadastana, halfway between Ancyra and Nicaea. His death has been attributed to either a surfeit of mushrooms or the poisonous carbon monoxide fumes of a charcoal warming fire. Jovian was buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.SH91547. Silver reduced siliqua, RIC VIII Arles 331 (R2), RSC V 33Ab, SRCV V 19207, VF, toned, tight flan, light marks, die wear, weight 1.601 g, maximum diameter 16.64 mm, die axis 0o, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint mint, 27 Jun 363 - 17 Feb 364 A.D.; obverse D N IOVIA-NVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VOT / V / MVLT / X in four lines within laurel within wreath, [P?]CONST in exergue; rare; $240.00 (€211.20)
Fausta, Augusta, 8 November 324 - Autumn 326 A.D., Second Wife of Constantine the Great
Fausta is depicted as Spes, the Roman personification of hope. She holds her infant children, Constantine II and Constantius II, her hopeful promise for the future of the "Republic."RL89946. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Thessalonica p. 519, 161 (R3); LRBC I 827; SRCV IV 16571; Cohen VII 17, aEF, slightly rough green patina, small encrustations, weight 2.687 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 326 - 328 A.D.; obverse FLAV MAX FAVSTA AVG, draped bust right, no diadem or stephane, hair waved, bun at back, wearing pearl necklace; reverse SPES REIPVBLICAE, Fausta standing facing, looking left, veiled and draped, holding infants Constantine II and Constantius II, SMTSA in exergue; scarce; $150.00 (€132.00)
Germanic Tribes, Pseudo-Imperial Coinage, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.
Magnentius, usurper of the western provinces, made his brother Decentius caesar, to oversee the defense of Gaul and the Rhine frontier. After Magnentius was defeated at the Battle of Mons Seleucus by Constantius II and committed suicide, Decentius, who was leading reinforcements, hanged himself at Senonae.RB91842. Billon maiorina, for prototype cf. RIC VIII Lyons 122 (Roman, Decentius, caesar, usurper in Gaul, 351 - 353 A.D., Lugdunum mint), Choice gVF, slightly crude, tight flan, encrustations, weight 3.504 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, tribal mint, 350 - early 5th century A.D.; obverse D N DECENTIVS NOB CAE (or similar, blundered), bare-headed and cuirassed bust of Decentius right; reverse VICTORIAE DD NN AVG ET C (or similar, blundered), two Victories standing confronted, together holding between them a wreath resting on a short column, IOT / HVL / X (blundered VOT V MVLT X) in three lines, SLG in exergue; $150.00 (€132.00)
Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D., Issued by Vetranio
In 312 A.D., Constantine dreamed he saw a Christogram in the sky and heard the words IN HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, meaning in Latin "In this sign, you will be the victor." He ordered the sign of Christ on his legions standards and shields. He won a great victory and later became the first Christian Roman Emperor.RL90728. Billon maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 284 (S), LRBC II 1171, Voetter 48, SRCV V 18903, Cohen VII 3, gVF, oval flan, encrustation, flan split, weight 5.040 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, issued by Vetranio, 1 Mar - 25 Dec 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind, star in front; reverse CONCORDIA MILITVM (harmony with the soldiers), Constantius standing half-left, in military dress, labarum (Chi-Rho standard) in each hand, A left, star above, •ΓSIS• in exergue; scarce; $140.00 (€123.20)
Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.
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.RL89036. Billon follis, RIC VI 117, SRCV IV 15507, Cohen VII 80, Hunter IV-, aEF, dark brown patina, lighter green highlights, weight 5.900 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Aquileia mint, as caesar, late summer 307 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS NOB CAES, laureate head right; reverse CONSERV VRB SVAE (Guardian of the city traditions), Roma seated facing on throne, head left, globe in right hand, scepter vertical in left, grounded shield at right side, all within hexastyle temple decorated with knobs as acroteria and wreath in pediment, AQΓ in exergue; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 421 (realized $130 plus fees); $140.00 (€123.20)
Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.
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."RL89581. Billon follis, RIC VI Treveri 893, Hunter V 45, SRCV IV 16125, Cohen VII 514, gVF, well centered, dark green patina, lighter highlights, minor encrustations, weight 4.247 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 310 - 313 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI (to the unconquered Sun, minister [of the Emperor]), Sol radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right seen from behind, no mintmark mark; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 428; $140.00 (€123.20)
Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.
In 323, at the age of seven, he took part in his father's campaign against the Sarmatians. At age ten, he became commander of Gaul, following the death of his half-brother Crispus. Following the death of his father in 337, Constantine II initially became emperor jointly with his brothers Constantius II and Constans, with the Empire divided between them and two of their cousins. This arrangement barely survived Constantine I’s death, as his sons arranged the slaughter of most of the rest of the family by the army. The three brothers gathered together in Pannonia and there, on 9 September 337, divided the Roman world among themselves. Constantine, proclaimed Augustus by the troops received Gaul, Britannia and Hispania.RL91853. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Antioch 59 (R4), SRCV IV 17203, Cohen VII 83, LRBC I 1325, Hunter V 90 var. (officina), Choice VF, highlighting green patina, weight 2.425 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 330o, 8th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 324 - 325 A.D.; obverse laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left, no legend; reverse CONSTAN/TINVS / CAESAR / SMANTH in four lines, star above, pellet below; rare; $130.00 (€114.40)
Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.
On 3 July 324 A.D., Constantine I defeated Licinius at Adrianople, forcing him to retreat to Byzantium. Soon after, Crispus destroyed Licinius' fleet at the Battle of Hellespont in the Dardanelles, allowing Constantine to cross over the Bosporus into Asian provinces and besiege Byzantium. On September 18th Constantine definitively defeated Licinius at Chrysopolis. Licinius escaped but abdicated on 19 December. Thanks to the pleas of his wife, Constantine's half-sister Constantia, Licinius was pardoned by Constantine and banished to Thessalonica as a private citizen. The next year he was executed on the charge of conspiring and raising troops against the emperor.RL89582. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Heraclea 64, SRCV IV 16224, Cohen VII 123, Hunter V 303 var. (no pellet at end of mintmark, EF, near full silvering, weight 3.331 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 324 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse D N CONSTANTINI MAX AVG, VOT / XX in two lines above star, all within wreath, SMHB• in exergue; ex Forum (2010); scarce; $120.00 (€105.60)
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