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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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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; $170.00 (€144.50)
 


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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; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


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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 (€110.50)
 


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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; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


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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; $105.00 (€89.25)
 


Thracian or Germanic Tribes, Pseudo-Imperial Coinage, Mid 4th - Early 5th Century A.D.

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This type was minted by and used as currency by tribes outside the Roman Empire in Thrace. It copied a Roman votive type issued under Constantine the Great. The inscriptions are made up of illiterate imitations of letters.
CE76987. Bronze AE 18, Imitative of Crispus types, for prototypes see RIC VII p. 379 ff. (official Roman, Ticinum mint, c. 320 - 325 A.D.), Choice VF, nice green patina, weight 2.047 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, tribal mint, mid 4th - early 5th century A.D.; obverse laureate bust left, illiterate blundered imitation of a legend; reverse blundered VOT X within wreath, illiterate blundered limitation of a legend around, ST in exergue; $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.
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; $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.
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; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


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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).
RL76941. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Siscia 181, SRCV IV 16773, Cohen VII 44, Choice aEF, nice centering, nice green patina, weight 2.983 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 195o, 4th 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 wreath, ∆SIS and sunrise in exergue; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


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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; $85.00 (€72.25)
 




  



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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, December 13, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Crispus