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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Constantinian Era ▸ Constantine IIView Options:  |  |  |   

Constantine II, 22 May 337 - March or April 340 A.D.

Constantine II was the son of Constantine I, the eldest with his second wife, Fausta. He was born in Arles (which was renamed Constantia in his honor in 328, explaining the CON mintmarks for Arles) and was made Caesar before he was a year old in 316 A.D. Upon his father's death, Constantine II inherited the Western part of the empire. After quarreling with his brother Constans, he invaded his territory, only to be killed in an ambush near Aquileia. His coins often include "IVN" in the legend, an abbreviation for junior.


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This type is apparently unpublished and this is the only example of the type known to Forum. This reverse was used for very rare (both R5) issues of Licinius I and Licinius II Caesar. CNG e-auction 368, lot 496, is Constantine II with this same reverse, also 5th officina, but with Constantine II on the obverse left holding a Victory on globe and mappa.
RL76392. Billon centenionalis, apparently unpublished, cf. RIC VII Siscia 116 - 117 (for obv. type) and 138 - 139 (for rev. type, issues of the Licinii), EF, excellent portrait, both sides slightly off-center, left side of reverse legend weak, some porosity, a few light marks, weight 2.773 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, as caesar, 320 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust left; reverse VIRTVS EXERCIT (courage of the army), vexillum inscribed VOT / XX in two lines, two seated barbarian captives back-to-back flanking base, Christogram (Chi Rho monogram) left, ESIS star in exergue; ex Scott Collection; extremely rare; $270.00 (€240.30)
 


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Constantine II was about eight years old when this coin was minted. Here he is draped and cuirassed as a powerful child Caesar with the world in his hands!
RL77197. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 353 (R2) corr. (no cuirass), SRCV V 17154, Cohen VII 23, Hunter V -, Choice VF, small closed flan crack, weight 3.023 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 322 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left, Victory on globe offering wreath in his right hand, mappa in his left hand; reverse BEATA TRANQVILLITAS (blessed tranquility), globe set on altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX in three lines, three stars above, PTR• in exergue; rare; $200.00 (€178.00)
 


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Constantine II was about eight years old when this coin was minted. Here he is draped and cuirassed as a powerful child Caesar with the world in his hands!
SH63721. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 382 (R3) corr. (no cuirass), SRCV V 17155, Cohen VII 23, gVF, well centered on a tight flan, nice green patina, weight 2.868 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 322 - 323 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, mappa in left, head of Medusa on cuirass; reverse BEATA TRANQVILLITAS (blessed tranquility), altar inscribed VO/TIS / XX, surmounted by globe, three stars above, •STR• in exergue; rare; $170.00 (€151.30)
 


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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 "vow, 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, a bargaining expressed by do ut des, "I give that you might give."
RL76939. Billon reduced follis, RIC VII London 236, Cohen VII 8, SRCV V 17149 var. (helmeted bust), Hunter V -, Nice gVF, weight 3.109 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, Londinium (London, England) mint, as caesar, 321 - 322 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN N C, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse BEATA TRANQVILLITAS (blessed tranquility), globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, three stars above, PLON in exergue; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


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In 331 A.D., Constantine I vigorously promoted Christianity, confiscating the property and valuables of a number of pagan temples throughout the Empire.
RL79178. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 527, LRBC I 56, SRCV V 17313, Cohen VIII 122, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, nice dark green patina, slight die wear, areas of light porosity, weight 2.245 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 195o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, as caesar, 330 - 331 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, heads turned inward confronted, two standards in center between them, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, TRS• in exergue; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79129. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 244 (R2), LRBC I 187, SRCV V 17318, Cohen VII 122, Choice EF, perfect centering, some luster, dark patina, weight 2.663 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 225o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 331 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, heads turned inward confronted, two standards in center between them, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, •PLG in exergue; scarce; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


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This type was from a commemorative issue struck only at Rome, for the 15th Anniversary of the reign of Constantine I.
RL63961. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Rome 156, SRCV V 17261, Cohen VII 171 (3f.), F, cleaning scratches, weight 3.314 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Roma (Rome, Italy) mint, 318 - 319 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE (to eternal Rome), Roma seated right on shield, helmeted and draped, holding shield inscribed X/V on her lap, P - R flanking across field, RT in exergue; rare (R3); $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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Constantine II's younger brother Constans was born in 323. After their father's death, as the oldest son, Constantine II was made Constans' guardian. When the brother's could not agree on their fair shares of the empire, Constantine II invaded Constans' territory. In March or April 340 A.D., Constantine II was ambushed, defeated and killed near Aquileia by Constans' forces.
RL74450. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 4, RIC VII London 287, SRCV V 17149, Cohen VII 10, EF, weight 2.712 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Londinium (London, England) mint, 322 - 324 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN N C, helmeted and cuirassed bust left; reverse BEAT TRANQLITAS, celestial globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS / XX in three lines, three stars above, PLON in exergue; ex William B. Porter Collection; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79132. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 244 (R2), LRBC I 187, SRCV V 17318, Cohen VII 122, EF, dark green patina, some mint luster, weight 2.095 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 331 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, heads turned inward confronted, two standards in center between them, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, •PLG in exergue; scarce; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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In 332, Constantine I and his son Constantine II, age 16, defeated the Goths in Moesia. The Goths agreed to become Roman allies and to protect the Danube frontier. Only two years later, in 334, the Goths on the Danube frontier prevented an invasion by the Vandals.
RL79149. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 254 (R1), LRBC I 193, SRCV V 17317, Cohen VII 122, Choice aEF, well centered, dark green patina, areas of porosity, weight 2.464 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, as caesar, 332 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, heads turned inward confronted, two standards in center between them, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, crescent and PLG in exergue; scarce (RIC R1); $80.00 (€71.20)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

CONSTANTINVSAVG
CONSTANTINVSIVNAVG
CONSTANTINVSIVNNC
CONSTANTINVSIVNNOBC
CONSTANTINVSIVNNOBCAES
CONSTANTINVSMAXAVG
CONSTANTINVSPFAVG
DNCONSTANTINVSIVNNOBCAES
DNFLCLCONSTANTINVSNOBC
FLCLCONSTANTINVSIVNNC
FLCLCONSTANTINVSPFAVG
IMPCONSTANTINVSAVG
VICCONSTANTINVSAVG


REFERENCES

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).
Carson, R., H. Sutherland & J. Kent. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VIII, The Family of Constantine I, A.D. 337 - 364. (London, 1981).
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 Constantin II à Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
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).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire: The Later Constantinian Dynasty and the Houses of Valentinian and Theodosius and Their Successors, Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
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, April 26, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Constantine II