Early Constantine I Snack

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    When this ex- @Stevearino coin came up at a recent @John Anthony auction, I found it intriguing.

    Constantine I MARTI PATRI CONSERVATORI follis Trier.jpg
    Constantine I, AD 307-337.
    Roman billon follis, 6.38 g, 25.3 mm, 1 h.
    Trier, Autumn 307-end 308.
    Obv: IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust, right, seen from rear.
    Rev: MARTI PATRI CONSERVATORI, Mars standing right, holding inverted spear and resting hand on grounded shield, S|A//PTR.
    Refs: RIC vi, p. 217, 774; Cohen 359; RCV 16002.

    MARTI PATRI CONSERVATORI is a title not previously used on Roman coins. Here, Constantine is likened to Mars because of his defeat of the Franci and Alemanni.*

    This reverse type was primarily used in Trier and Lugdunum, and it antedates Constantine's assumption from Caesar to Augustus.

    This coin (Triskeles sale 22, lot 530, 15 Dec 2017), was issued for Constantine I as Caesar. Note it has a laureate and cuirassed bust type, seen from the front.


    The coin then appears with the same bust type after Constantine's promotion to Augustus (Naumann Auction 9, lot 772, 3 Nov 2013).


    Mine has a different bust type -- perhaps used subsequently -- depicting Constantine laureate, draped and cuirassed and seen from the rear. Mine's a bit worn to fully appreciate this, but it is better seen on this example from CNG.


    Post anything you feel is relevant!


    *Stevenson, Seth William, et al. A Dictionary of Roman Coins, Republican and Imperial. G. Bell and Sons, 1889, p. 540.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
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  3. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    A nice new acquisition! I very much like the earlier, not-so-common AE types of Constantine.

    Rom – Konstantin der Große, AE1, Mars, Trier (neu).png
    Constantine I, Roman Empire, AE1 ("follis"), 309 AD, Trier mint. Obv: IMP CONSTANTINVS PF AVG; bust of Constantine I, laureate, cuirassed, r. Rev: MARTI PATRI CONSERVATORI; Mars, nude, helmeted, standing r., leaning on reversed spear with r. hand and placing l. hand on shield; in fields, T-F; in exergue, PTR. 27mm, 5.94g. Ref: RIC VI Treveri 830.

    Rom – Konstantin der Große, Optimo Principi, Rom (eigenes Foto).png
    Constantine I, Roman Empire, AE2, 312–313 AD, Rome mint. Obv; IMP CONSTANTINVS PF AVG; bust of Constantine, draped and laureate, r. Rev: SPQR OPTIMO PRINCIPI; legionary eagle between two standards; in exergue, RP. 23.5mm, 3.43g. Ref: RIC VI Rome 348a.
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  4. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Good observation of all variants of the same coin type. I have only MARTI CONSERVATORI from Ticinum.
  5. Archeocultura

    Archeocultura Well-Known Member

    Here's anothe cuirassed bust.. 12 nr 651 Constantinus I Aug Mars Trier 772.jpg
  6. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    It’s a lovely coin and I have one too!


    Hope that’s relevant...
  7. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    As Augustus, cuirassed, from the front:
    constantine mars.jpg

    It also comes as a half-follis with shorter legends, although this is typically given a later date (310-311). Do you know why? I would have expected them to be part of the same series.
    constantine mars half.jpg
  8. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    Constantine I Ae Half Follis Trier 310-311 AD Obv. Bust right laureate and cuirassed Rv Sol standing facing head left. RIC 899 2.18 grms 17 mm Photo by W. Hansen conmag309.JPG I bought this little guy over 10 years ago when I was still at the time trying to maintain a rather large group of the coins of Constantine. What impressed me about this coin is the absolute freshness of the dies particularly on the obverse. The reverse is overall almost as nice except that the mintmark PTR is rather smushed. On rare occasions Constantine would mint these "half follis" coins. Given that the differences between the imagery on this coin and the contemporary follis is pretty small I would suspect that it was not a success.
  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Basileus Megalos

    Nice coin @Roman Collector - and it has some heft to it, unlike the later pieces.
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  10. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I've got a similar one to you!
    Constantine I London RIC VI 120 (2020_11_18 03_38_31 UTC).JPG
    PLG though, and it's what I assume to be a full follis, at a solid 22mm. I like yours better.
  11. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    Here's one with a truncated reverse legend:
    London mint, A.D. 307-310
    RIC 108
    Rev: MARTI PAT-RI PROPVG - Mars, holding transverse spear and shield
    PLN in exergue
    24 mm, 7.4 g.
  12. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    R.C. Those are interesting coins of Constantine I from the Trier Mint :happy:! I've never had an example depicting Mars in a stationary pose like your 1st coin posted, but I have had a few depicting Mars in the charging pose like the coin gsimonel posted. Pictured below is the last one I acquired.

    534_1 (2).jpg
    Constantine I, AD 307/310-337, Trier Mint, 1st Officina. AE Follis: 26 mm, 6.65 gm, 6 h. Struck AD 307-308. RIC VI 776. Ex Spink 169, July 2004.

    The example pictured below I sold at CNG 483, lot 519, for $177.00.

    Constantine follis 307-8, Sear 16008.jpg

    AE Follis: 26 mm, 5.42 gm, 6 h.

    The coin pictured below is my favorite from the Trier Mint :D.

    CNG 477, Lot 638.jpg
    Constantine I as Caesar, AD 306-309, Struck c. summer 307, Trier Mint. AE Follis: 29 mm, 8.73 gm, 6 h. Ex CNG Inventory #774824, July 2006.
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