I’m working on writing a popular essay that parallels the current debate in the U.S. over a border wall with Mexico to the fourth-century popularity of the campgate numismatic motif. My basic thesis is that in times of great cultural anxiety, many people are reassured by such images of strength and protection, whether real or imagined. I have no idea whether this piece will ever see the light of day, but I’m writing it anyway. I want to begin by understanding the cultural context of the campgate motif. Please, no contemporary political comments below, lest the mods delete this thread. Plus, I think we still pretty much all like each other. Let’s keep it that way, and keep the focus on antiquity. Here’s my very broad outline of the development of the campgate motif so far: A. City gates and city walls appear on coinage as early as the fifth century B.C., but the campgate received particular interest in the late third and fourth centuries. I know a city wall is not quite the same thing as a border wall (like Hadrian’s Wall), but the cultural effect is similar: separating who’s in from who’s out, Romanitas from “barbarity.” B. Diocletian and his cohorts struck an argenteus depicting the tetrarchs sacrificing to the gods in front of a campgate. The coin’s message was that Diocletian’s new organizational scheme, along with the power of the army and strongly fortified walls, would provide Rome a way out of the chaos of the military anarchy of the third century. C. The campgate motif seems to really get revived toward the end of the Licinius and Constantine Civil War. @dougsmit has a fantastic discussion of the campgate here: << http://www.forumancientcoins.com/dougsmith/acmcampgate.html >>. Doug writes, “To the man on the 4th century Roman street, one of the most important services of government was protection from the barbarian invasions that had troubled Rome for over 200 years. This is evidenced by coin types relating to the military. One popular type is known as the campgate…Campgates were the common coins being issued at the end of the civil war and the type continued for quite a while into the sole reign of Constantine.” I suppose my most basic question is why does the campgate get revived at this time? Licinius seems to get into the campgate game early, with an argenteus of 306. He seems to be striking base metal campgates by at least 315 A.D. The earliest Constantine campgate I’ve seen is 324 A.D., the same year as the Battle of Adrianople, in which Constantine defeated Licinius. Did Licinius, then, start this particular campgate trend? Is it accurate to read Constantine's campgates as being reactionary? Is it fair to see them both striking campgates to “compete” about which man could protect Romans better, or was it simply a mutually adopted numismatic motif without a competing element? Does Constantine adopt the campgate late as a appropriation of this Licinian motif as a gesture of triumph over Licinius? I wish I were as good at providing answers as I am about asking questions. Feel free to help “crowdsource” a cultural history of the campgate and suggest print and online resources, as well as previous related threads. (A Cointalk search of “campgate” turns up scads of hits, most not relevant to my query. If someone recalls a helpful thread, I’d appreciate the direction.) And of course post related coins. The coin shown here is a silvered Constantine campgate from Antioch, 327-8 A.D., a gift from our own @Victor_Clark .