Roman Nummi (folli) of the Late 3rd - Early 4th Century

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Al Kowsky, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Well-Known Member

    Constantine I Ae Follis Alexandria Obv. Head right laureate FL. VAL. CONSTANTINVS FIL. AVG. Rv. Genio stg left RIC 100b 308-310 A.D. 25 mm conmag305.JPG
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  3. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Terence, That's a fine looking nummus of Constantine the Great, in virtual mint state, with the rarely seen title Filius Augustorum (Son of the Augusti). This empty title was bestowed upon Constantine & Maximinus Daia to placate them after being bypassed by Licinius I, for the promotion to Augustus.
  4. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    Do you attach any significance to the use of the plural AVGG on the Maximinus below and the singular AVG on the Constantine?

    The FIL coins are not all that rare unless you only look at mint state gems. Certainly they are scarce compared to the usual Augustus title. A similar coin of interest is the issue by Maxentius from Rome for Constantine as Caesar. The mints had to take care to use the appropriate titles depending on who controlled their city at the time. Diocletian's idea of 'four' rulers cooperating was shot by this time. The 'four' and the 'cooperating' parts were history almost as soon as Diocletian retired. The FIL coins illustrate this very clearly.
  5. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Doug, You may have answered your own question :). Whoever the claimant controlling the area of the mint location at that specific time most likely dictated what the inscription should look like :smuggrin:. After Diocletian & Maximian abdicated the Roman coinage grew even more complex than it was before :rolleyes:. I've been looking for a high grade nummus with the FIL AVG inscription ending for a long time without success :(. The example Terrence posted is certainly high grade, & your Maximinus Daia nummus is a handsome example despite the light porosity on the obverse. Your Daia example is the 1st I've seen with the AVGG ending to the inscription, & I'm sure quite RARE.
  6. jamesicus

    jamesicus Well-Known Member

    Here is a somewhat dated contribution I made that needs to be updated:

    The Conference at Carnuntum - attempting to restore the Tetrarchy

    In the spring of 308 Maximian Herculius had a falling out with his son, Maxentius, and left to join his now son-in-law, Constantine, in Gaul. In the autumn of 308 Galerius Maximian organized and convened a conference at Carnuntum consisting of himself, Diocletian and Maximian Herculius (as retired seniore Augusti) to discuss and resolve the "Augusti problem". Diocletian was but a shadow of his former self, both mentally and physically, due to the severe illness that befell him in 304 and consequently Galerius Maximian "ran the show" -- he was now the dominant force in the Tetrarchy. Galerius Maximian did not recognize either Constantine or Maxentius as Augustus, proposing instead that his old friend and military comrade Flavius Valerius Licinianus Licinius (Licinius), be appointed Augustus of the West to replace the deceased Severus and he obtained the concurrence of Diocletian and Maximian Herculius in this maneuver. Maxentius was declared an enemy of the state by the conferees and Maximian Herculius once more went into retirement. Galerius Maximian proposed that Constantine be recognized as Caesar of the West, although Constantine did not acquiesce.

    Filius Augustorum

    Constantine was incensed at his proposed "demotion" to Caesar subservient to Licinius as was Maximinus at the elevation of Licinius to Augustus over him, and so Galerius Maximian designated both of them Filius Augustorum: "Son of the Augustus" -- a somewhat empty title of convenience and compromise -- in an attempt to mollify them. This attempt to placate the two de-facto Caesars didn't work however. Constantine generally ignored it (for instance, no coins bearing this titulature were minted in any of the western mints now controlled by him: London, Trier, and Lugdunum {Lyon}). Maximinus begrudgingly minted some coins bearing this titulature at the mints he controlled (Alexandria and Antioch). The remaining issues bearing this titulature were produced by Galerius at the mints he controlled: Siscia, Thessalonica and Nicomedia.


    RIC VI, Alexandria, No. 99b, Constantine as Filius Augustorum

    FL VAL CONSTANTINVS FIL AVG ..................................... GENIO CAESARIS
    ALE in reverse exergue

    RIC VI, Thessalonica, No. 32a, Maximinus Daia as Filius Augustorum

    MAXIMINVS FIL AVGG ................................... GENIO CAESARIS
    SMTS in reverse exergue
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  7. Alegandron

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

    RI Galerius 293-308 AE30mm Folles Ticinum mint Moneta 12g

    RI Constantine I CE 306-337 Æ Follis 19mm 3.2g Siscia CE 326-7 AVG Laureate R - PROVIDENTIAE AVGG Camp gate 2 turrets no door star RIC 200

    RI Maximinus II Daia 305-308 CE Folles AE30 Trier mint GENIO POPV-LI Genius-Serapis
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  8. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the write-up & added examples :D.
  9. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Alegandron, Your nummus of Maximinus Daia as Caesar is a real beauty :jawdrop:! The chocolate patina & lustrous surfaces enhance it :D. Large nummi of his are not common. (correction).
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  10. jamesicus

    jamesicus Well-Known Member

    Since I wrote the foregoing the distribution of the following excellent reference …………………
    • GALERIUS AND THE WILL OF DIOCLETIAN, William Lewis Leadbetter, Routledge, New York, (2013)
    ………………… has caused me to re-think the state of the physical and mental health of Diocletian at Carnuntum and the dominance of Galerius in the proceedings there. @Curtisimo and I discussed this in private correspondence (we both have copies of the book) and I hope he does a write-up about it because I believe he is eminently qualified to do it and is such an excellent researcher and writer.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  11. Alegandron

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

    Thank you. Although I am not a big fan after 200 CE, I sometimes “luck into” finding one. I, too, was drawn to the patina.
  12. jamesicus

    jamesicus Well-Known Member

    BTW, I have found @Victor_Clark (Vcoins) to be a great source for Filius Augustorum coins - he usually has two or three for sale at any given time. I have always liked his offerings - nice authentic coins, correctly attributed, fast delivery - and Victor is a guru for Constantinian (and associated) coins. I purchased the two Filius Augustorum coins I featured in my write-up from him. And no, I do not get any discounts from Victor for saying things like this - I just would like fellow enthusiasts to know about good places to obtain these sought after coins. Oh, and the venerable and very knowledgeable @Valentinian possesses similar credentials and often has these coins for sale on his web site.

    Added via Edit: I hasten to add that I hold these two gentlemen in equal esteem.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  13. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    Great coins all. Kind of a "follis" the leader:angelic:. These are such great areas of study as there are so many to play with. My wife is a violinist and I'm quite sure the person on the reverse was part of Maximinus II's marching orchestra as a violinist with a very small fiddle and a very long bow.

    Attached Files:

  14. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Here is my site on FIL AVG and FIL AVGG coins.
    The link skips down to images of coins of Maximinus II, which normally have 2 G's.
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  15. jamesicus

    jamesicus Well-Known Member

    In a previous post I wrote:
    For everyone who is interested: I am curious, would you please post what you use to research, identify and attribute these coins?

    Thank you.

    Added: and please include the Volumes of RIC you own.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  16. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Black Friar, Thanks for tossing your log into the fire :p. Your Alexandrian nummus of Maximinus Daia is a handsome coin, especially the reverse composition of Mars strutting off with a trophy, or maybe he is playing the "Rhapsody of Death" on on a violin :smuggrin:.


    I've got one nummus of Constantine I, AD 307-308, with Mars on the reverse, Trier Mint: 5.40 gm, 26 mm, 5 h. The inscription: MARTI PATRI PROPVGNATORI translates To Mars, Protector of the Fatherland.

    Constantine follis 307-8.jpg
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  17. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Thanks Valentinian, that's a tremendous group of nummi :jawdrop: & a beautiful structured layout. I'll be sure to use your study for reference in the future ;).
  18. jamesicus

    jamesicus Well-Known Member

    My goodness you have some great “Filius coins” Warren! I wasn’t aware you had so many. That’s what I get for not visiting your web site more often!
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  19. Fugio1

    Fugio1 Supporter! Supporter

    I've recently returned to the collecting of the tetrarchic issues. I was happy to see this thread re-emerge just in time to share my most recent acquisition which arrived yesterday, and is a type that has not yet been discussed in this thread. The hercules reverse type is not rare, but has always be interesting to me. I won this example of a Constantius I follis/nummus from the Alexandria mint in the Sept 1 Naumann auction. Constantius-RIC VI-40-ALE-Hercules.jpg Visually, this piece caught my attention not only by the strong depiction of Hercules, but also the ringlets on the beard of Constantius, a style I've seen before in the past, but not commonly.
  20. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    Fugio1, Nice score ;)! Your coin has a lot of character with a great portrait & impressive reverse. With his huge club, rugged physique, & menacing stare, Hercules looks like he's daring anyone to take those apples off his plate :nailbiting:. And Constantius I, with that thick neck looks like he might be a match for Hercules :eek:.

    The coin I'm posting below is another example of Constantius I, I've posted before, but since the reverse type hasn't appeared in this thread it's being posted again.
    IMG_3645.JPG IMG_3648.JPG
  21. Fugio1

    Fugio1 Supporter! Supporter

    It's hard to imagine what was the reasoning for the Surface 4/5. This looks to me to be nearly perfect with surfaces virtually free of corrosion or roughness. Great coin with relatively unusual reverse type, and in amazingly lovely condition.
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