Roman Cross

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by 7Calbrey, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Many Roman coins of the Constantine era bore a christogram like Chi-Rho (XP) or crossed Rho or others to symbolize the cross, especially in the early reign. Very few included a clear cross. I remember scarce coins of Theodosius or later when the Roman Empire was divided between East and West. The following coin has Valens on Obverse heading right. Reverse shows the Emperor dragging a captive with his right hand, and raising a labarum with his left hand. The labarum includes a clear cross. The coin weighs 2.67 g. Please post your Roman coins with a clear cross. Thanks.

    Valsn O.JPG ValnCross R.JPG
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Khnum-Hotep

    Arcadius with cross on reverse.

  4. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    That's really neat. Never seen an obverse with a hand coming out of the sky reaching down to place a wreath.
  5. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Khnum-Hotep

    The "hand of god" is definitely interesting. Aelia Eudoxia (Arcadius' wife) struck the same type.
  6. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member 'bout those christians eh?!...><
    Alegandron likes this.
  7. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Hand of God reminds me of Monty Python...

    RI Aelia Eudoxia wife of Arcadius 395-401 CE AE3 2.83g 17mm crowned by hand of God Enthroned Constan mint RIC 79
    FitzNigel, Finn235, Orfew and 4 others like this.
  8. kolyan760

    kolyan760 Well-Known Member

    actually very common
    7Calbrey likes this.
  9. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    Some Romans with clear Christian crosses:

    Rom – Theodosius, AE4, Salvs Reipvblicae, Antioch.png
    Theodosius I, Roman Empire, AE4, 383–392 AD, Antioch mint. Obv: DN THEODOSIVS PF AVG; bust of Theodosius I, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed, r. Rev: SALVS REIPVBLICAE; Victory advancing l., carrying trophy over shoulder with r. hand, and dragging captive with l.; in l. field, cross; in exergue ANTB. 12mm, 1.16g. Ref: RIC IX Antioch 67B.

    Rom – Theodosius II, AE4, Frontalporträt, Concordia, Antiochia.png
    Theodosius II, Roman Empire, AE3/4, 401–403 AD, Antioch mint. Obv: D N THEODOSIVS P F AVG; ust of Theodosius II, helmeted, pearl-diademed, cuirassed, facing front, holding spear in r. hand behind head and shield decorated with cross on l. arm. Rev: CONCORDIA AVGG; Constantinopolis, helmeted, draped, enthroned, enthroned, facing front, head r., holding long sceptre in r. hand and Victory on globe in l. hand; beneath her r. foot, prow; in exergue, ANT(Γ?). Ref: RIC X Arcadius 100.

    Rom – Theodosius II, AE4, Kreuz.png
    Theodosius II, Roman Empire, AE4, 425–235 AD, Heraclea mint. Obv: DN THEODOSIVS PF AVG; bust of Theodosius II, pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed, r. Rev: Cross within a wreath; in exergue, SMHA. 11mm, 0.88g. Ref: RIC X Theodosius II (East) 442.
  10. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    Constantine I ("the Great")
    AE nummus
    Ticinum mint, A.D. 316
    RIC 45.
    Rev: SOLI INVI-C-TO COMITI - Sol, saising right hand, holding globe in left.
    PT is exergue; cross in left field, star in right.
    19 mm, 3.9 g.
  11. tartanhill

    tartanhill Well-Known Member

    I don't think the XP Christogram was meant to represent a cross as much as it represented the first two letters in the name Christ. It was used by Magnentius and Decentius in 350-353 to imply that they were on the side of Christians when actually they were still pagans.

  12. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    @gsimonel . Really great.. I believe that a coin of Constantine I with a cross on reverse is likely to be a unique coin. Even coins struck before Arcadius and Honorius are considered as scarce, with a clear cross on them. What you think ?
  13. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    After the edict of Milan in A.D. 313, coins with crosses (and Chi-Rho's) as control marks were issued by some western mints during Constantine's lifetime. These were not official Imperial endorsements of Christianity by Constantine, but rather decisions made by individual engravers or mint officials. They are not common, but I wouldn't call them rare, either.

    You can also find the GLORIA EXERCITVS - 2 soliders type from Arles with a Chi-Rho in the standard in the name of Constantine and some from Siscia in his sons' names.

    However, the combination of Sol and the cross on the same side of the coin I posted makes for a interesting juxtaposition. "The times, they are a-changing . . ."
  14. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter


    RI Poemenius in name of Constantius II
    summer 353
    AE1-2 22mm 5.14g
    Maiorina-Double Maiorina
    Trier mint
    RIC VIII Trier 332 R
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page