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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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This type with a radiate head is unlisted in RIC VII but p. 379, 135, notes that Alföldi recorded the radiate head in RIN 1921, p. 118; citing a specimen in the Trau Collection with a PT mintmark (first officina), and another in the Gerin Collection with a TT mintmark (third officina). The note goes on to say the radiate bust type should be expected since the other rulers have parallel bust types in the issue, one of which is radiate. We know of eight total specimens of this type, but the Trau Collection coin is the only other first officina example known to Forum.
RL84331. Billon centenionalis, Alföldi RIN 1921, p. 118 (citing the Trau collection); RIC VII Ticinum 134 var. (laureate head, radiate head noted on p. 379), Choice EF, excellent bold and well-centered strike, attractive green patina, a few light marks, weight 2.947 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 320 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAES, radiate head right; reverse DOMINORVM NOSTRORVM CAESS, VOT * V in two lines, the star in center, all within wreath tied at the bottom, PT in exergue; extremely rare; $600.00 SALE PRICE $540.00
 


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In 323, Constantine the Great defeated invading Goths and Sarmatians north of the Danube in Dacia, and claimed the title Sarmaticus Maximus.
RS85085. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 308 note, SRCV IV 16728, Cohen VII 21, Hunter V 13 (plain shield), gVF, very rare in white metal, scarce and desirable shield decoration, well centered and struck, some porosity and corrosion, light scratches, weight 3.274 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 321 A.D.; obverse IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust left, spear over shoulder in right, shield on left shoulder ornamented with she-wolf suckling the twins Romulus and Remus; reverse BEATA TRAN-QVILLITAS, altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX in three lines, surmounted by globe, three stars above, STR in exergue; $215.00 SALE PRICE $194.00
 


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Crispus' earliest issue. 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.
RL76319. Billon reduced follis, RIC VII London 115 (R2), SRCV IV 16718, Cohen VII 136, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, some die wear, weight 3.243 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Londinium (London, England) mint, 1st issue, 1 Mar - end 317 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse SOLI INVICTO COMITI (to the unconquered Sun, minister [of the Emperor]), Sol standing left, radiate, nude but for chlamys over left shoulder, raising right hand commanding the sun to rise, globe in left hand, S - P across fields, PLN in exergue; scarce; $155.00 SALE PRICE $140.00
 


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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.
RL77188. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 133, Hunter V 25, SRCV IV 16734, Bastien XIII 102, Cohen VII 6, Choice EF, dark toning on silvering, weight 3.120 g, maximum diameter 18.7 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; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00
 


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In 323, Constantine the Great defeated invading Goths and Sarmatians north of the Danube in Dacia, and claimed the title Sarmaticus Maximus.
RL74542. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 372, SRCV IV 16731, Cohen VII 22; very rare shield decoration, aF, corrosion, patina flaking, weight 16.330 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 322 - 323 A.D.; obverse IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust left, spear over shoulder in right, shield on left shoulder ornamented with Victory inscribing shield; reverse BEATA TRAN-QVILLITAS, altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX in three lines, surmounted by globe, three stars above, •PTR• in exergue; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00
 


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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; $135.00 SALE PRICE $122.00
 


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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, 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; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00
 


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Certificate of Authenticity issued by David R. Sear.

David Sear notes, "a previously unpublished variant of the series listed by Bastien (Le Monnayage de l'Atelier de Lyon) on pages 163 and 164, numbers 155-6 and 159-61 (cf. RIC vii, p. 134, 202-4)...good F, rare and interesting as an unpublished obverse variant."
RL70838. Billon centenionalis, unpublished obverse variant; cf. Bastien Lyon XIII, 155-6 and 159-61; RIC VII Lyons 202 - 204, gF, weight 3.451 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 322 - 323 A.D.; obverse IVL CRISPVS NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust left, spear pointed forward in right, shield in left; reverse BEAT TRAN-Q-LITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, three stars above, PLG in exergue; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $125.00 SALE PRICE $113.00
 


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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; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00
 


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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.
RL84184. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 132 (R3), Bastien XIII 101, Cohen VII 6, Hunter V 25 var. (laureate and cuirassed, no drapery), SRCV IV 16734 var. (same), Choice gVF, excellent centering, weight 3.446 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 45o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 321 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, 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; ϖερψ ραρε τηισ βυστ; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00
 




  



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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).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, August 23, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Crispus