SOLI INVICTO COMITI variety

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Valentinian, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    We recently had a thread that showed many SOLI INVICTO COMITI coins of Constantine:

    https://www.cointalk.com/threads/when-collection-focus-races-towards-obsession.319322/

    Most are pretty similar, but there are some special varieties. Here is one:

    ConstantineSICcaptive1850.jpg
    Constantine, 307-337
    19-18 mm. 3.28 grams.
    Sol standing left raising right hand and globe in left. RT in exergue. Captive, wearing Phrygian cap, to left.
    RIC Rome 52 "316-7 A.D."

    Show us SOLI INVICTO COMITI coins with something different and tell us what is special about it.
     
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  3. Carausius

    Carausius Brother, can you spare a sestertius?

    I've always liked the "two-headed" variety. This is from my collection, but is on its way out:

    roman29obv.jpg roman29rev.jpg
     
  4. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark hominem unius libri timeo Dealer

    the companion coins to the first SOL above - Rome 52

    The 1st civil war between Constantine & Licinius and some numismatic evidence

    "In A.D. 316, Constantine and Licinius began a civil war. Tensions must have been building for some time to finally reach the point of war. It might seem unusual though, that there is not much of a record of this in the bronze coinage. The clearest indication of hostilities in the coinage is actually the lack of coins- each ruler stopped minting coins in the name of his rival. This conspicuous absence indicates that something is definitely wrong.

    If you look closely though, you can find some hints that there is something wrong. For example, the mint of Rome issued some coins that tell a subtle story of the break between the two Emperors. There were a few SOL INVICTO issues from the period of 315- 316 that are different from the normal type. The first looks like a regular Sol type except for the reverse legend of SOLI INVICTO COMITI D N (see RIC VII Rome 46 below). The second Sol type has changed a bit, Sol now holds a victory on a globe and the reverse legend is SOLI INVICT COM D N (see RIC VII Rome 49 below). With the small addition of D N to the reverse legend, these coins now tell a much bigger story. D N is the abbreviation of domino nostrorum (our Lord), so these coins seem to be stating that Sol is the companion of only Constantine, not Licinius. The third Sol type (see RIC VII Rome 52 above) has a captive to the left of Sol. In 316- 317, Rome only issued these three coins in the name of Constantine and the meaning of the captive seems pretty clear…it symbolizes Licinius."

    [​IMG]

    RIC VII Rome 46

    [​IMG]

    RIC VII Rome 49
     
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  5. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    Thank you for posting this, @Valentinian. Beautiful coins from the civil war era of Constantine & Licinius. Thank you @Victor_Clark for a very informative write-up. :)

    I only have 1 of the 3 types from Rome: RIC VII Rome 49

    [​IMG]
    16 A.D., Rome Mint, 3rd Officina
    3.72g, 19.0mm, 12H
    Obverse: IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG,
    Bust of Constantine I, laureate, draped, cuirassed, right

    Reverse: SOLI INV-I-CTO COMITI,
    Sol, radiate, chlamys draped across left shoulder, standing left, raising right hand and holding Victory on globe in left hand

    Exergue: */(Crescent)//RT

    Reference: RIC VII Rome 49

    Here is a SOLI INVICTO COMITI from Rome that was minted after the first civil war:

    [​IMG]
    317 - 318 A.D., Rome Mint, 1st Officina
    4.00g, 21.0mm, 6H
    Obverse: IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG,
    Bust of Constantine I, laureate, draped, cuirassed, right

    Reverse: SOLI INV-I-CTO COMITI,
    Sol, radiate, chlamys draped across left shoulder, standing left, raising right hand and holding globe in left hand

    Exergue: (wreath)/-//RP

    Reference: RIC VII Rome 97

    I'm not sure what the wreath is supposed to mean. Does it signify peace?
     
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  6. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark hominem unius libri timeo Dealer

    No, it is just a field mark. Wreaths are fairly common marks.
     
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  7. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES! Supporter

    Well, this coinfollows the letter of the thread, but maybe not the spirit. It is a neat die break however.


    upload_2018-7-10_20-13-55.png


    Constantine I, 312-313 AD

    O: IMP C CONSTANTINVS PF AVG, die break on nose, R: SOLI INV-I-CTO COMITI, RT in ex., Rome mint. RIC VI Rome 318. 20 mm, 3.7 g
     
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  8. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    Definitely special! :) I like the contrasting patina on that one.

    Here's a similar type with Sol facing, looking our left:
    [​IMG]
    312 - 313 A.D., Rome Mint, 2nd Officina
    3.90g, 22.0mm, 6H
    Obverse: IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG,
    Bust of Constantine I, laureate, draped, right, seen from behind

    Reverse: SOLI INV-I-CTO COMITI,
    Sol, chlamys hanging behind (sometimes flying out), standing right, raising right hand and holding up globe in left hand

    Exergue: -/-//RS

    Reference: RIC VI Rome 335a
     
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  9. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    As many know, the SOLI INVICTO with the cross in the left field was struck only at Ticinum. If the cross is a Christian cross, it would be the first Christian image on a Roman circulating coin (as opposed to a medallion). I like the juxtaposition of the cross and the sun god, showing the evolving religious culture of the Empire under Constantine. Of course, the cross may be a simple control mark. CON 1 SOL 7 TICINUM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  10. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    Very interesting. The inscription "SOLI INVICTO COMITI" translates to (according to the page below) to the unconquered Sun, minister [of the Emperor]. So it seems like the Sun "god" was subordinate to the Emperor, as if the Sun god was seen as less of a god. This may be an additional piece of evidence of the evolving religious culture of the Empire under Constantine as well. Just something I've been thinking about recently.

    The article I got the translation from is below.

    http://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=soli invicto comiti
     
  11. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    5128BF3B-4C70-4384-ADB9-8590DB1BDA1C.png
    I too wonder what message, overt or covert, the legend implies. But “comiti” is derived from “comes,” which is more of a companion than a subordinate. Perhaps I take issue with how that article translates the reverse legend. A better translation, keeping the sense of the dative case, would be “To my companion, the invincible Sun,” or, as I somewhat cheekily translate it, “To my homeboy, the unbeatable Sun.” :joyful:
     
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  12. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    You know, I didn’t bother to read deeply into my own dictionary screenshot. Apparently “comes” can mean attendant or part of a retinue. So perhaps that legend does allow for a subordinate concept. But most of the definitions imply equality or companionship, which I think makes better sense for Constantine. Was he the first to use that reverse legend?
     
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  13. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark hominem unius libri timeo Dealer

    No, here is a Probus with the legend.

    7a07c4b36cf3d73f2540363eef98278f.png
     
  14. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    Would you gloss the reverse legend, then, as stating that the sun god is a companion, or an attendant/part of your retinue? To me, the former (companion) makes better sense.
     
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  15. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark hominem unius libri timeo Dealer

    on my website I use the translation "the companion of the Emperor"
     
  16. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

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  17. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark hominem unius libri timeo Dealer

    There are only a few known examples of this rare type with Sol wearing a robe. This example is from the Suk El Kedim hoard (treasure of Misurata) which consisted of 108,000 folles found in Libya in 1981, mostly from A.D. 294-333.


    Sol robe.jpg
     
  18. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    That's remarkable. Why does Sol get clothed all of the sudden? Religious mint workers?
     
  19. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark hominem unius libri timeo Dealer

    There are quite a few examples of Sol robed from Eastern mints, so perhaps the engraver was merely copying one of those types.

    Senza-titolo-1.png

    4034447.m.jpg


    here is a link to a topic on this robed Sol coin, the author brings up two possible reasons 1) modesty, maybe even a Christian engraver, or 2) Sol in a quadriga is always clothed, so perhaps copying more of an Eastern style of dress.

    http://archeologos.ibam.cnr.it/il-sol-invictus-sotto-una-nuova-veste/
     
  20. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

    These coins seemed to have been within the 3g and 5g from what I can see, so it is special when you find a SOLI INVICTO COMITI that is 2.3g (!!)

    Flan size is normal, but it is very thin. Here it is; an issue with Licinius I on it (just before the first civil war began, I presume).
    [​IMG]
    315 A.D., Rome Mint, 3rd Officina
    2.30g, 21.5mm, 5H
    Obverse: IMP LICINVS P F AVG,
    Bust of Licinius, laureate, cuirassed, right

    Reverse: SOLI INV-I-CTO COMITI,
    Sol, radiate, chlamys draped across left shoulder, standing left, raising right hand and holding globe in left hand

    Exergue: S/F//RT

    Reference: RIC VII Rome 36


     
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  21. Caesar_Augustus

    Caesar_Augustus Well-Known Member

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