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

Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

The longest lived of Constantine the Great's sons and successors, he ruled until 361 A.D. Upon Constantine's death, Constantius received the entire eastern empire as his inheritance. Soon after he added Thrace to his empire and as his brothers were killed, he annexed their territories. When he defeated the Western usurper Magnentius he was master of the entire empire. Although he started campaigning along the Danube, war with Persia forced his return to the East. Shortly after, he received news that Julian II had been proclaimed Augustus against him. Constantius died on his way to fight this new usurper and Julian II became ruler of the Roman Empire.


Lot of 6 Nice EF AE4, Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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The longest lived of Constantine the Great's sons and successors, he ruled until 361 A.D. Upon Constantine's death, Constantius received the entire eastern empire as his inheritance. Soon after he added Thrace to his empire and as his brothers were killed, he annexed their territories. When he defeated the Western usurper Magnentius he was master of the entire empire. Although he started campaigning along the Danube, war with Persia forced his return to the East. Shortly after, he received news that Julian II had been proclaimed Augustus against him. Constantius died on his way to fight this new usurper and Julian II became ruler of the Roman Empire.
LT88494. Bronze Lot, Lot of 6 AE4 bronze coins, 14.5mm - 16.3mm, EF, well centered, attractive desert patina, no additional identification, no tags or flips, the lot is the actual coins in the photograph; $160.00 (€140.80)
 


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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)
 


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D., Issued by Vetranio

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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.
SL89812. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 286 (S), LRBC II 1173, Voetter 51, SRCV V 18203, Hunter V -, NGC MS, strike 4/5, surface 4/5 (4276559-004); NGC lists centenionalis as the denomination, weight 6.31 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd 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 before; reverse HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, Constantius standing facing, head left, labarum (Chi Rho Christogram standard) in right, transverse spear in left, Victory right standing left crowning him and holding palm, A left, •BSIS• in exergue; scarce; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


Constantius II as Caesar, 324-337 A.D.

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In 328 Arelatum was renamed Constantia in honor of Constantine II. After Constantine II was killed in 340, the name reverted to Arelate, only to be changed again in 354 to Constantia by Constantius II. It retained that name, although the mintmark 'AR' appeared on some of its coins even in the fifth century.
RL86836. Billon follis, RIC VII Arles 323, LRBC I 333, SRCV V 17665, Cohen VIII 314, Hunter V -, Choice gVF, brown patina, weight 3.213 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, as caesar, 328 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse VIRTVS CAESS (the valor of the two princes), campgate with four turrets, star above, gates open, each door with two panels, each panel ornamented with two dots, S - F flanking at sides, QCONST in exergue; Vauctions sale 250 (5 Aug 2010), lot 167; ex Zachary "Beast" Beasley Collection of Camp Gates; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


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The cross was rarely used in early Christian iconography, perhaps because it symbolized a purposely painful and gruesome method of public execution that most early Christians would have personally witnessed. In 315, Constantine abolished crucifixion as punishment in the Roman Empire. The Ichthys, or fish symbol, was used by early Christians. Constantine adopted the Chi-Rho Christ monogram (Christogram) as his banner (labarum). The use of a cross as the most prevalent symbol of Christianity probably gained momentum after Saint Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, traveled to the Holy Land, c. 326 - 328, and recovered the True Cross.
RL89481. Billon light maiorina, RIC VIII Cyzicus 75, LRBC II 2478, Voetter 34, SRCV V 18233, Cohen VII 41, Hunter V -, Choice aEF, excellent centering, dark patina, scratches, earthen deposits, weight 3.168 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 348 - 351 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust left, holding globe in right hand; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), emperor standing left, labarum in right hand, resting left on grounded shield behind, two kneeling bound captives at feet before him, *SMK∆ exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73, part of lot 970; $95.00 (€83.60)
 


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In 359, Shapur II the Great of the Persian Empire invaded southern Armenia. The Romans implemented a scorched earth policy and placed strong guards at the Euphrates crossings. Shapur II besieged the Roman fortress of Amida (modern Diyarbakir). After seventy-three days the city was conquered and the population massacred. In the winter of 359, Shapur II halted his campaign, due to heavy casualties. In 360, Shapur II continued his campaign against the Roman fortresses; capturing Singara, Bezabde and Nisibis.
RL88062. Bronze reduced maiorina, RIC VIII Cyzicus 117, LRBC II 2504, Voetter 47, SRCV V 18320, Cohen VII 188, Choice VF, nice green patina, well centered, light earthen deposits, edge a little ragged, weight 1.298 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 358 - 3 Nov 361; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES REIPVBLICE (the hope of the Republic), emperor standing left, wearing helmet and military dress, globe in right hand, spear in left hand, SMKA exergue; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


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On 5 July 328, Constantine's Bridge over the Danube, between Sucidava (Corabia, Romania) and Oescus (Gigen, Bulgaria), was officially opened by the Roman architect Theophilus Patricius.
RL86842. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Siscia 217, LRBC I 740, SRCV V 17638, Cohen VII 167, Hunter V -, Choice gVF, excellent centering and strike on a broad round flan, dark patina, traces of silvering, light bumps and marks, weight 3.768 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 328 - 329 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse PROVIDENTIAE CAESS (to the foresight of the two princes), campgate with two turrets, no doors, decorated top row of bricks, star above, ∆SIS double crescent in exergue; ex Zachary "Beast" Beasley Collection of Camp Gates; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); $70.00 (€61.60)
 


City of Constantinople Commemorative, 347 - 348 A.D.

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Of the hundreds of Constantinople commemoratives we have handled in the past 17 years, this is only the second example Forum has handled with this reverse type. Although RIC lists it as only as scarce, it is certainly rare.
RL70891. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Heraclea 50 (S), LRBC I 960, Hunter V -, Voetter -, SRCV IV -, VF, tight flan, weight 1.533 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 315o, 3rd officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 347 - 348 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTINOPOLI, laureate and helmeted bust of Constantinopolis left, wearing imperial cloak, scepter over left shoulder; reverse VOT / XX / MVLT / XXX in four lines within wreath, SMHΓ in exergue; rare; $40.00 (€35.20)
 


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The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
RL88716. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII 29 (S), LRBC I 692b, SRVC V 18366, VF, green patina, tight flan, parts of legends weak, bumps and marks, minor encrustations, weight 1.970 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Aquileia mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, laurel and rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking one standard in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, AQS in exergue; scarce; $19.00 (€16.72)
 


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The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the Phoenix: 'Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon and spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odors. From the body of the parent bird, a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live as long a life as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gained sufficient strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its parent's sepulcher), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.'
RL88740. Bronze quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Constantinople 93 (S), LRBC II 2019, Voetter 36, SRCV V 18253, Cohen VII 57, Hunter V -, F, ragged flan, bumps and marks, earthen deposits, some legend weak, weight 2.498 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 348 - 351 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), radiate Phoenix standing right on globe, CONS[...] in exergue; $19.00 (€16.72)
 




  



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OBVERSE LEGENDS

CONSTANTIVSAVG
CONSTANTIVSAVGVSTVS
CONSTANTIVSMAXAVG
CONSTANTIVSNOBC
CONSTANTIVSNOBCAES
CONSTANTIVSPFAVG DNCONSTANTIAVGVSTI
DNCONSTANTIVSAVG
DNCONSTANTIVSMAXAVG
DNCONSTANTIVSNOBCAES
DNCONSTANTIVSPERPAVG
DNCONSTANTIVSPFAVG
FLACONSTANTIVSNOBC
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSAVG
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSNOBC
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSNOBCAES
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSPERPAVG
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSPFAVG
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSPIVSFELIXAVG


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).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine...Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 211).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire: The Later Constantinian Dynasty...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 Tuesday, June 18, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Constantius II