The CHI-RHO monogram challenge

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ocatarinetabellatchitchix, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Monogram : a motif of two or more letters, typically a person's initials, usually interwoven or otherwise combined in a decorative design, used as a logo or to identify a personal possession.
    Chi-Rho : The Chi Rho Christogram is a monogram constructed from the first two letters of Christ in Greek (ΧΡιστοs/Christos).

    [​IMG]
    In 312 A.D., Constantine the Great had a vision :he saw a Chi-Rho Christogram in the sky and heard the words IN HOC SIGNO VINCES, meaning "In this sign you will be the victor." He ordered the sign of Christ on his legions standards and shields. He won a great victory and later became the first Christian Roman Emperor.
    However, this legend remains disputed and the Emperor Constantine would have converted with certainty only once on his deathbed. It would seem that The Chi-Rho existed long before but was adopted by the emperor at a time when Christianity was still a minority. The victory of Constantine would have allowed to show his favor towards Christianity and to impose the supremacy of the Christian religion.
    The Chi-Rho symbol has pre-Christian origins and is believed to have been revered by the pagan Greeks as representative of good fortune. Pagan Greek scribes used the symbol in the margin to mark passages they considered especially significant or relevant, with the letters Chi and Rho denoting ‘chreston’ that means ‘good’. The sign has also been found on the coins of Ptolemy III (246-222 BCE).
    [​IMG]
    (Chi-Rho between eagle’s legs, acsearch pictures)

    According to Sir Flinders Petrie, the Egyptologist, the monogram Chi-Rho was the emblem of the Egyptian god, Horus, thousands of years before Christ.
    We can found the famous monogram on coins issued by Constantine the Great, Licinius II, Constantine II, Crispus, Constans, Vetranio, Magnentius, Decentius,Delmatius, Constantius Gallus, Jovian, Valentinian I, Valens, Procopius, Gratian, Valentinian II, Theodosius, Magnus Maximus, Arcadius, Honorius and many emperors of the 5th century and later. Here is the challenge: how many different coins can we found? Please show us your Chi-Rho babies !

    My only one : Magnentius
    E330708A-F336-4A10-BBFF-7E86CE398B41.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  3. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    Here's my full flan Chi-Rho

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    Q
     
  4. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    A few more

    Vetranio :
    [​IMG]

    Procopius :
    [​IMG]

    Aelia Flacilla :
    [​IMG]

    Eudoxia :
    [​IMG]

    Q
     
  5. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  6. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

    Nice selection @Cucumbor . My apologies to all : I forgot the Ladies in my list...:(
     
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  7. ValiantKnight

    ValiantKnight I AM the Senate! Supporter

    Decentius, AE maiorina, Trier

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    Poemenius in the name of Constantius II

    A0C5B136-C01D-40C0-91D2-55E583AD73D2.jpeg
     
  8. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Here's a chi-rho without religious significance:

    PtolemyIII-35mm-Sv965-RT.jpg
    EGYPT. Ptolemy III Euergetes
    246-222 BCE
    AE35, 35.53 gm
    Obv: head of Zeus Ammon right with ram's horn, wearing taenia diadem
    Rev: ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ BΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ; eagle with closed wings standing left on thunderbolt, filleted cornucopia left; XP monogram between eagle's legs
    Ref: Svoronos 965
    Formerly slabbed; NGC ChVF*, strike 5/5, surface 4/5
     
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  9. Alegandron

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

    Nice coins and write-up, @Ocatarinetabellatchitchix .

    My XP's:

    Egypt Ptolemy III AE Tet 41mm 7.2mm thick 67.5g Zeus Ammon Eagle Cornucopia XP Chi-Rho.jpg
    Egypt Ptolemy III AE Tet 41mm 7.2mm thick 67.5g Zeus Ammon Eagle Cornucopia XP Chi-Rho


    upload_2019-11-16_17-25-36.png
    Egypt Ptolemy III 245-222 BC AE 34mm 31g HemiDrachm Zeus-Ammon Eagle Tbolt Cornucopia XP Chi-Rho SV 965


    RI Poemenius in name of Constantius II summer 353 Trier XP RIC VIII Trier 332 RARE.jpg
    RI Poemenius in name of Constantius II summer 353 Trier XP RIC VIII Trier 332 R


    RI Gratian 367-383 CE AE 17mm Reduced Folles Emp Stdg w Shield and XP banner labarum.jpg
    RI Gratian 367-383 CE AE 17mm Reduced Folles Emp Stdg w Shield and XP banner labarum


    RI Valentinian I AE3 364-375 CE Emp dragging captive XP std.jpg
    RI Valentinian I AE3 364-375 CE Emp dragging captive XP std
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
  10. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Here are some Byzantine coins with the Chi-Rho:

    Byzantine Empire: Justin I (518-527 CE) Æ Pentanummium, Constantinople (Sear 75; DOC 21b)

    Obv: D N IVSTINVS P P AV; pearl diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right
    Rev: Large chi-rho, B to left, Є to right

    [​IMG]

    Byzantine Empire: Justinian I (527-565) Æ 16 Nummi, Thessalonica (Sear-178; DOC 98d; MIBE 169c; Metcalf, Copper 169-202)

    Obv: Diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right
    Rev: Large IS; Christogram above, A to left, P to right; TES in exergue

    [​IMG]

    Byzantine Empire: Heraclius (610-641) Æ Follis, Constantinople, RY 3 (Sear 805; DOC 76b)

    Obv: ddNNhЄRACLI ЧSЄT hЄRACONSTPAV; Heraclius, on left, and Heraclius Constantine, on right, standing facing, each holding long cross; cross above
    Rev: Large M; Christogram above, A/N/N/O II/I across field; B below; CON in exergue

    [​IMG]


    Byzantine Empire: Justin II with Sophia (565-578) Æ Half Follis, Constantine in Numidia (Sear-403; DOC I-205)

    Obv: Justin, holding globus cruciger, and Sophia, holding cruciform scepter, seated facing on throne; [cross above]
    Rev: Large K; A/N/N/O to left, reversed Christogram above, ςII (date) to right, CON below

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    The reigning monarch of my chi-rhos is this one, issued just a decade after the victory at the Milvian Bridge, where the soldiers allegedly painted their shields with the symbol. This coin lends some support to that story. (There are only a handful in existence.)

    Screen Shot 2019-11-16 at 2.58.59 PM.jpg
    Trier, issued 322-323
    My notes: Constantine hired (Christian) Lactantius as tutor to Crispus, who accompanied his charge to Trier when Crispus was named Caesar in 317. So Crispus was likely a Christian, and Trier was his base of operations. Prior to that, Constantine had encouraged the Christian community there, and it was the site of one of the early churches Constantine built. I don't know if Crispus had a hand in the production of this coin, but its link to the religion of Constantine's family is pretty strong! It's not surprising that one of the earliest (if not the earliest) instance of the chi-rho on a coin came from the Trier mint, and on a Crispus coin.

    The next earliest chi-rho I have isn't quite as rare, but still very rare:
    Screen Shot 2019-11-16 at 3.02.55 PM.jpg
    Constans, RIC VII Arles 384 (R5), issued 334

    In general chi-rhos from Constantine's lifetime are hard to get.

    Another favourite of mine is this double centenionalis of Magnentius, later (by the Byzantines?) carved down into a solidus weight:
    4480539.jpg
     
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  12. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    Constans. 337-350 AD. Æ (16mm). Siscia mint, 1st officina. Struck 347 AD. Obv: Rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right. Rev: Victory advancing left, holding wreath in each hand; Christogram (Chi Rho) to right; ✴ASIS✴in exergue. RIC VIII 181. ConstansSisciaVictory-3.jpg
     
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  13. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Valentinian II 5.jpg
    VALENTINIAN II
    AE4
    OBVERSE: DN VALENTINIANVS PF AVG, pearl diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right
    REVERSE: SALVS REI-PVBLICAE, Victory advancing left, holding trophy on shoulder and dragging captive beheind her. Chi-Rho in left field. Mintmark CONS
    Struck at Constantinople, 388-92 AD
    0.9g, 12mm
    RIC 86a
    Arcadius 7.jpg
    ARCADIUS
    AE4
    OBVERSE: D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, diademed, draped bust right
    REVERSE: SALVS REIPVBLICAE, Victory advancing left, trophy over shoulder in right, dragging captive with left, chi-rho left field, ALE Gamma in ex
    Struck at Alexandria, 392 AD
    1.1g, 13mm
    RIC IX 20c
    Listed in Wildwinds
     
  14. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    The usual suspects:

    Magnentius Two Victories Arles heavy maiorina.jpg

    Vetranio.jpg

    Procopius FEL TEMP REPARATIO.jpg

    Aelia Flaccilla Antioch  Salus seated AE 2.jpg
     
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  15. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    That's a fantastic Procopius, @Roman Collector - both the shield and the "mushroom" are superb.
     
  16. JROMA

    JROMA Member

    UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_9ab.jpg

    Constantius Gallus Reduced AE2, 351-355 AD (22mm, 5.39g) Siscia mint. D N CONSTANTIVS IVN NOB C: Bust of Constantius Gallus, bareheaded, draped, cuirassed, right; A behind bust / FEL TEMP - REPARATIO: Constantius Gallus, draped, cuirassed, standing left on galley, holding Victory on globe in right hand and standard with Chi-Rho on banner in left hand; steering the ship, seated Victory; III in left field. Star above right, BSIS in exergue.

    UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_9c1.jpg

    Johannes AE4 423-425 AD Rome mint. DN IOHAN-NES PF AVG, pearl diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right / SALVS REI-PVBLICAE, Victory walking left, trophy on shoulder, dragging captive behind her. Chi-rho in left field. Mintmark RM.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  17. Alegandron

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

    CHI-RHO:

    RI Verina w Leo I AE2 20mm 457-475 Victory inscribing CHI RHO - RIC X 656 R3 RARE.JPG
    RI Verina wife of Leo I AE2 20mm 457-475 Victory inscribing CHI RHO - RIC X 656 R3 R


    RI Constans 337-350 AE3 19mm Thesalonika mint Reparatio stdg CHI RHO banner.jpg
    RI Constans 337-350 AE3 19mm Thesalonika mint Reparatio stdg CHI RHO banner


    RI Delmatius 335-337 CE Quarter Folles CHI RHO banner flanked by 2 soldiers Sear 3131.jpg
    RI Delmatius 335-337 CE Quarter Folles CHI RHO banner flanked by 2 soldiers Sear 3131


    RI Magnentius 351-352 CE AE 1 CHI RHO.jpg
    RI Magnentius 351-352 CE AE 1 CHI RHO
     
  18. Gavin Richardson

    Gavin Richardson Well-Known Member

    It always surprises folks to learn that Constantine himself didn't have the Chi-Rho feature on many of his own coins during his lifetime--the monogram seemed to appeal more to his sons and challengers seeking to claim his legacy. This coin is a rare exception: a coin of Constantine struck during his lifetime featuring the chi-rho on a standard between soldiers. RIC VII Arles 394. 336 A.D., a year before his death.
    CON 1 CHI RHO ARLES.JPG
     
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  19. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    TIF, I'm glad to see one of my coins ended up in your collection :jawdrop:, see photo below. I sold that coin long ago at auction, probably Great Collections, & it sold for cheap :mad:.

    Ptolemy III, 246-222 BC, Hemidrachm 34 mm, 35.54 gm.jpg
     
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  20. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Well how about that!! I'll make a note about the pedigree :). Thanks for letting me know. It's a gorgeous coin! I think I did pick it up from a GC auction. (Edited: yep, GC, 2015)
     
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  21. FitzNigel

    FitzNigel Medievalist Supporter

    I think I only have one Chi-Rho, and its not easy to make out

    Med-16-IGCaf-1360-Anon-Pul-01.jpg
    Genoese Caffa, 1360s?
    AE Pul, 17.29mm x 1.3 grams
    Obv.: Christogram countermark, from Genoese Caffa
    Rev.: ? anonymous Jujid
    Ex Andy Singer

    Caffa was the entry point for the Black Death into Europe - see my post here (although I think I have since taken a better picture of the coin, and now have the counter mark orientated correctly...)
     
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