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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Constantinian Era ▸ ConstansView Options:  |  |  |   

Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D.

Constans was the youngest son of Constantine I and Fausta. Born around 320, Constans inherited part of the Western Empire upon its division among the sons of Constantine. In 340, his brother, Constantine II, invaded his territory but was defeated and killed leaving Constans in total control of the West. In 350, however, the general Magnentius rebelled and Constans fled as his legions switched sides. He was overtaken and killed while trying to escape to Spain.


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The reverse legend translates, "Happy Times Restored." Happy times would not last for Constans. This coinage was among his last issues before his general Magnentius rebelled and had him killed.
RL90437. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 244, LRBC II 1136, Voetter 31, SRCV V 18730, Cohen VII 10, Choice gVF, light encrustations, weight 4.945 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 45o, 2nd officina, Aquileia mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTA-NS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Constans standing left in Galley left, labarum in left hand, Phoenix on globe in right hand, Victory steering at stern, AQS• in exergue; $180.00 (€160.20)
 


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The reverse may advertise the resettlement and protection of Christian Goths in 348. Persecuted by the Gothic chieftain Athanaric, Wulfila obtained permission from Constantius II to migrate with his flock of converts to Moesia. They settled near Nicopolis ad Istrum.
RL76990. Billon light maiorina, RIC VIII Alexandria 60, LRBC I 2820, Voetter 12, SRCV V 18701, Cohen VII 18, Hunter V -, aEF, well centered on a tight flan, weight 4.832 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Alexandria mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTA-NS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust left, celestial globe in right hand; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Soldier advancing right, looking back, leading barbarian from hut under tree with right hand, spear in left, ALEA in exergue; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


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The reverse legend translates, "Happy Times Restored." Happy times would not last for Constans. This coinage was among his last issues before his general Magnentius rebelled and had him killed.
RL76207. Billon light maiorina, RIC VIII Cyzicus 77 (S), LRBC II 2479, Voetter 20, SRCV V 18699, Cohen VII 18, Hunter V -, aEF, well centered, nice green patina, some encrustation, small edge cracks, weight 4.253 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust left, holding globe in right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Constans walking right, looking back left, leading barbarian from hut under tree, holding spear, star above, SMKΓ in exergue; scarce; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


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The Roman historian Eutropius says Constans "indulged in great vices," in reference to his homosexuality, and Aurelius Victor stated that Constans had a reputation for scandalous behavior with "handsome barbarian hostages." Nevertheless, Constans did sponsor a decree alongside Constantius II that ruled that marriage based on "unnatural" sex should be punished meticulously. However, the decree may have only outlawed homosexual marriage. It may also be that Constans was not expressing his own feeling when promulgating the legislation but was rather trying to placate public outrage at his own perceived indecencies.
RL77064. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Thessalonica 122, LRBC II 1649, SRCV V 18675, Cohen VII 13, Hunter V 56 var. (3rd officina), VF, traces of silvering, well centered, some die wear, some light corrosion, weight 5.017 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Constans standing left on galley, Victory on globe in right hand, labarum (chi rho Christogram standard) in left, Victory seated in stern steering ship, A in left field, TSA in exergue; $115.00 (€102.35)
 


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79320. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 552 (R3), LRBC I 75, SRCV V 1834, Cohen VII 77, EF, excellent portrait, centered on a tight flan cutting off tops of letters on part of the reverse legend, some mint luster, edge crack, weight 2.277 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, as caesar, 333 - 334 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking two standards and wreath in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, TRP in exergue; rare; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL79321. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 552 (R4), LRBC I 75, SRCV V 1834, Cohen VII 77, EF, dark near black surfaces with some mint luster, areas of light porosity, reverse slightly off center on a tight flan, some die wear, weight 2.656 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, as caesar, 333 - 334 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking two standards and wreath in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, TRS in exergue; very rare; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


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In 337 A.D., Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans succeed their father Constantine I and rule as co-emperors. A number of descendants of Constantius Chlorus, including the caesar Delmatius, as well as officials of the Roman Empire, were executed. The three Augusti denied responsibility for the purge.
RL79351. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 593 (R3), LRBC I 95, SRCV V 18360, Cohen VII 52, EF, nearly as struck, excellent portrait, well centered on a tight flan cutting off bottom of mintmark, clashed reverse die, tiny edge crack, weight 1.834 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 335 - 337 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse GLOR-IA EXER-CITVS, two soldiers standing facing, flanking a standard in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, •TRS• in exergue; rare; $100.00 (€89.00)
 


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The reverse legend translates, "Happy Times Restored." Happy times would not last for Constans. This coinage was among his last issues before his general Magnentius rebelled and had him killed.
RL71445. Billon quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 244, LRBC II 1136, Voetter 31, SRCV V 18730, Cohen VII 10, Choice EF, weight 1.982 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Constans standing left in galley left, Phoenix on globe in right hand, labarum in left hand, Victory seated in stern steering, BSIS followed by control-mark in exergue; $90.00 (€80.10)
 


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In 337 A.D., Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans succeed their father Constantine I and rule as co-emperors. A number of descendants of Constantius Chlorus, including the caesar Delmatius, as well as officials of the Roman Empire, were executed. The three Augusti denied responsibility for the purge.
RL79352. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Trier 593 (R3), LRBC I 95, SRCV V 18360, Cohen VII 52, VF, near black patina, obverse slightly off center off center cutting off beginning of obverse legend, edge cracks, some porosity, weight 1.433 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 335 - 337 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLOR-IA EXER-CITVS, two soldiers standing facing, flanking a standard in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, •TRP• in exergue; rare; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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The Christogram (also called a Monogramma Christi or Chrismon) is a ligature of Chi (X) and Rho (P), the first two letters of Christ in Greek. It was among the earliest symbols of Christianity. The crucifix was rarely used in early Christian iconography, perhaps because most people then had personally witnessed its gruesome use for public execution.
RL79388. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Arles 397 (S), LRBC I 401, SRCV V 18363, Cohen VII 64, VF, dark green patina, traces of silvering toned gold, well-centered, tight flan cutting off much of mintmark, tiny spots of corrosion, die cracks larger reverse center, weight 1.811 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, 336 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse GLOR-IA EXER-CITVS, two soldiers standing facing, flanking a labarum (Chi Rho Christogram vexillum) in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, SCONST in exergue; scarce; $80.00 (€71.20)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

CONSTANSAVG
CONSTANSAVGVSTVS
CONSTANSCAESAR
CONSTANSPFAVG
DNCONSTANSPFAVG
FLCONSTANSNOBCAES
FLCONSTANTISBEAC
FLIVLCONSTANSAVG
FLIVLCONSTANSNOBC
FLIVLCONSTANSNOBCAES
FLIVLCONSTANSPERPAVG
FLIVLCONSTANSPFAVG
FLIVLCONSTANSPIVSFELIXAVG


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.M. 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.E. & D.R. 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.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume 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, 211).
Sear, D.R. 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, February 22, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Constans