Constantius II Phoenix on globe

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by ancient coin hunter, Aug 8, 2020.

  1. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Just picked this one up. Didn't have an example of this type...also, my first new coin in about a month...

    Constantius II (337-361AD)
    AE3- 2.73 gram- 17 mm,
    Antioch mint,struck 348-350AD
    Obverse: DN CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, cuirassed and draped bust right

    Reverse: FEL TEMP REPARATIO, Phoenix, radiate,standing right on globe, star in right field, ANB in exergue

    Reference: RIC VIII 129 var


    Please share your Phoenix's or any other coin of Constantius II!
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
    Finn235, Co1ns, gogili1977 and 13 others like this.
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    That's a nice one, @ancient coin hunter ! On the globe, you can see the crossed bands that represent the intersection of the zodiac (ecliptic) and the celestial equator. This “X” is called the equinoctial cross, and represents the spring and autumnal equinoxes (where the Sun crosses the celestial equator). It signified the belief in cosmic cycles of birth, death, and rebirth. Here is a neat article about this called "Symbolism of the Sphere" by Michael R. Molnar (from the June 1998 Celator).

    I don't have one where the phoenix stands on a globe, but only on a pile of rocks:

    Constantius II, AD 337-361.
    Roman Æ 3 (1/4 maiorina?), 2.36 g, 18.7 mm, 11 h.
    Siscia, AD 348-49, fifth officina.
    Obv: D N CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
    Rev: FEL TEMP REPARATIO, Phoenix, nimbate, standing right on mound of rocks; ЄSIS(symbol 5) in exergue.
    Refs: RIC viii p. 366, 240; LRBC II 1133; RCV 18250; Cohen 58.
    Co1ns, Jovian363, gogili1977 and 8 others like this.
  4. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Thanks @Roman Collector - I like your coin as well.
    Roman Collector likes this.
  5. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    rather than a phoenix standing on a pile of rocks, I think that it might be a phoenix emerging from the pyre.
  6. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    My contribution to this post. I guess the moneyer was not too impressed with Constantius II, or maybe it is dressed up a bit. Anyhow it's a cool coin as are your examples. Pencil necked geek forunner? Constantius II copy.jpg

    Please excuse the quality of the pic, it was taken early in my quest to learn coin photography.
  7. maridvnvm

    maridvnvm Well-Known Member

    That's a good shout.....
    I have a couple of the rocks/pyre type



    and a couple of Siscia but with the symbol in the field rather than exe

  8. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Nice Phoenix's all. Thanks for posting them. I find it interesting that the FEL TEMP REPARATIO inscription was used for this type of coin reverse, instead of the more common "falling horseman" type. Does the Phoenix stand for a "resurgent" empire?

    I'm not exactly sure what is being portrayed - any ideas from mythology?
    Jovian363 likes this.
  9. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    the phoenix represents rebirth and this reverse was issued around the time of the eleven hundredth anniversary of the founding of Rome
  10. Jovian363

    Jovian363 Well-Known Member

    'The first systematic study of the FTR-coinage was undertaken by Harold Mattingly in 1933. Next to studying the technical aspects of the reform, Mattingly put particular focus on the interpretation of the new coinage’s typology. Crucial to his interpretations was the belief that the reform was fundamentally connected to the occurrence of the saeculares in 348, marking the 1100th anniversary of Rome. In this regard, the phoenix was easiest to explain: the cyclical rebirth of the phoenix made it a saecular symbol par excellence, marking the constant renewal of time. On a basic level, types showing the falling horseman and the military figure with captives were two sides of the same coin. One showed the emperor as a soldier in the act of victory, the other the emperor after battle with captives at his feet. Victory at the steer of a ship with the emperor on it conformed to the image of successful government of the state, while the figure being led from a hut could be interpreted as a legionary soldier leading a barbarian from his ‘primitive dwellings’ to be settled in the Roman world. Mattingly, however, felt this superficial analysis did not go far enough as it failed to lay bare any underlying theme. In Mattingly’s vision, the connecting theme could be found in the religious life of the mid-4th century AD. Even though Constans and Constantius II were Christians, they (or at least the officials responsible) went out of their way to communicate a – in religious terms – relatively neutral message on the new FTR coinage, not to offend a receding but still sizeable pagan population. Indeed, the labarum was the only overtly Christian symbol to make its appearance.' (Taken from Nick Vaneerdewegh: Fel Temp Reparatio: image, audience and meaning in the mid-4th century, 2017, Revue Belge de Numismatique et de Sigillographie)

    One more scarce example from Siscia with the symbol in field ConstansPhoenix.jpg

    Attached Files:

  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Thanks for the information @Victor_Clark
  12. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

  13. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Actually I checked my uncleaned coins of Constantius II this morning and found a phoenix-on-rocks type, though the obverse of the coin is obliterated. Certainly this one is an upgrade.
  14. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    My coin just arrived. Here is a photo:

  15. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    Phoenix on globe, mintmark CONS gamma star. Dane said on Wildwinds that she is aware of two other copies, which would make this one the third copy she might find out about one day.
  16. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    I ran into the same information when I was researching mine! Although at one time all of the variations of these may have had limited documentation, we’re finding that there are probably buckets of these “rare” coins out there. Still a great coin and scarce to find if you need this mint mark.
    CONS Gamma Star
  17. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Constantius II
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