Roma/Constantinople-Two Soldier Hybrids

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by gsimonel, Sep 28, 2021.

  1. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    In a recent discussion (Nova Roma Commemorative) both @Heliodromus and I discussed the possibility that the VRBS ROMA/two soldier and the CONSTANTINOPOLIS/two soldier hybrid coins may have been minted during the 3-4 month interregnum between the death of Constantine I and ascension of his son to Augusti.

    I went through RIC VII and RIC VIII and tracked down all the listings of these hybrid coins and noted where they were minted and their mint marks. In most cases the hybrids overlapped the two volumes. That is, they had the same mint marks and were minted in the same officinas in both volumes. Basically this means that the hybrids could have been minted anytime between 336-340 A.D. The one exception is Heraclea, where a few coins with a dot at the end are listed in RIC VIII but not in RIC VII, suggesting that these could not have been minted during Constantine's lifetime (if these few, rare examples actually exist).

    So the suggestion that these hybrids were minted during the interrugnum cannot be proven by reviewing the mint marks, but it cannot be dismissed, either. The possibility remains. For now.

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  3. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I have both, albeit in poor condition. These seem to be pretty rough and undersized, and not at all easy to find in FDC condition.

    This one has the interesting CONSTANTINOPOLI reverse, dropping the terminal S. Some believe this is indicative of vocal pronounciation, sort of like how the French drop their terminal S sounds.
    Evidently the celator was told to engrave CONSTANTINOPOLIS, but was given the order verbally, which dropped the -S.

    Constantinopoli RIC VIII Heraclea 29.JPG

    This one is in slightly better condition. The mintmark SMAH/SMAN doesn't appear to show up in wildwinds.
    Vrbs Roma RIC VII 156.JPG
    Marsyas Mike, ominus1 and Bing like this.
  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Here's my VRBS ROMA/GLORIA EXERCITVS from Heraclea. It has the later small module flan.

    Sons of Constantine I.
    Roman billion reduced centenionalis, 1.67 g, 15.5 mm.
    Heraclea, AD 337-340.
    Obv: VRBS ROMA, helmeted bust of Roma, left.
    Rev: GLORIA EXERCITVS, two soldiers holding one standard between them; SMHЄ in exergue.
    Refs: RIC viii, p. 431, 28; LRBC I, 941; RCV 16529.
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    What is the evidence that there was such a period of interregnum?
    ominus1 likes this.
  6. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    Constantine died 22 May 337. Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans declared themselves Augusti on 9 September 337. There is apparently some controversy regarding the events of the months between these dates. Though I haven't taken the time to read it completely, this article looks promising:
    (Only subscribers can download but non-subscribers can read up to 100 articles online free each month)
  7. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    Marsyas Mike, Broucheion and dltsrq like this.
  8. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

  9. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    Looks like an interesting article. Here's the first sentence:
    "Although Constantine was the first Christian emperor, his reign was marred by more familial bloodshed than that of any other Roman emperor: he himself was involved to one degree or another in the deaths of his wife’s father, his wife’s brother, his half sister’s husband, his eldest son, his wife, and another half sister’s husband and son (Maximian, Maxentius, Bassianus, Crispus, Fausta, Licinius,and Licinius II, respectively . . .)"
  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter 3rd Century Usurper

    Well, that's why he requested a deathbed baptism. All of his sins would be washed away before he could commit another murder. St. Constantine in the Orthodox Church.
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  11. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter



    17 mm. 1.27 grams.
    Mintmark: CONSZ
    RIC VII Constantinople 144, page 589 "336-7"
    The same description as
    RIC VIII Constantinople 47, pages 449-450 "special issue for the dedication of the city, A.D. 330" (but that volume has coins from 337 and later. 330 is the beginning date, not the end date).
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2021
  12. Helvetica

    Helvetica Member

    In another work, I can't remember who it was written by, but it was someone of great repute, I read that these were not hybrids or mules, but deliberately paired obverse and reverse types.
  13. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Gorgeous! Hard to find the large module flans for these.
  14. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    Agreed. That's about the nicest hybrid I've seen.
    But 330 is the beginning date for the Rome/Constantinople commemorative issue. According to RIC, the earliest hybrids are in the series that ran from 336 - 340.
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