Featured The Four Sons of Constantine the Great

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by DonnaML, May 26, 2020.

  1. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I recently posted my coins of Constantine I in the "Death of Constantine the Great" thread. So I thought I'd start a new thread to post my one coin of each of his four sons -- the oldest by Minervina, and the other three by Fausta.

    1. Crispus Caesar (son of Constantine I), Billon reduced Centenionalis, Arelate [Arles] Mint (3rd Officina) 321 AD. Obv. Laureate bust right, CRISPUS NOB CAES / Rev. VOT • V in three lines within laurel wreath, CAESARVM NOSTRORVM. In exergue: T [Crescent] A. RIC VII ARLES 235 (p. 260), Sear RCV IV 16747, Cohen 30. 20 mm., 2.73 g.

    Crispus Caesar - jpg version.jpg
    Ever since I first read about the fates of Crispus and then Fausta, I've found it extremely odd that those events so closely parallel the myth of Hippolytus and Phaedra, which I vividly recall from reading Mary Renault's The Bull from the Sea. Which makes me wonder if some elements of the Crispus-Fausta story as it has come down to us were invented after the fact to fit the myth.

    2. Constantine II Caesar (son of Constantine I), Æ reduced Follis, small bust type, Heraclea Mint (5th Officina), 317 AD. Obv. Small laureate half-bust of young Constantine II left, wearing imperial mantle, holding mappa in right hand and globe and scepter in left hand, D N FL CL CONSTANTINVS NOB C / Rev. Camp gate with three turrets and no door, PROVIDEN-TIAE CAESS; in exergue, mintmark MHTЄ [Epsilon = 5th Officina]. RIC VII 20 (p. 545), Sear RCV V 17140, Cohen 107. 18 mm., 3.31 g. (Purchased from Kirk Davis.)

    Constantine II (small bust) jpg version.jpg

    I picked this coin of Constantine II to buy specifically because of the small bust, which seemed so unusual to me for an ancient Roman coin. (The proportion of bust to coin reminds me a little of the George III copper halfpennies of 1806 and 1807.) Are there other Roman coins with similarly small busts?

    3. Constantius II Caesar (son of Constantine I), silvered billon centenionalis, Trier Mint (2nd Officina) 326 AD. Obv. laureate, draped and cuirassed bust left, FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C / Rev. Camp-gate with no door and two turrets, star above; PROVIDEN-TIAE CAESS. In exergue: STR followed by pellet in crescent. RIC VII Trier 480S (p. 209), Sear RCV V 17618. 19 mm., 3.09 g.

    Constantius II jpg version.jpg

    4. Constans (son of Constantine I), AE Centenionalis, Alexandria Mint (1st Officina) 348-350 AD. Obv. Draped and cuirassed bust left, wearing pearl diadem and holding globe in right hand, D N CONSTA - NS P F AVG / Rev. Emperor in military dress, standing left and holding labarum in right hand and shield in left, placing right foot on leg of one of two captives before him with hands bound behind their backs, wearing Phrygian caps and kneeling facing with their heads turned towards one another, FEL TEMP REPARATIO. ALEA [Alexandria Mint, 1st Officina] in exergue. RIC VIII 56(A) (p. 542), Sear RCV V 18706. 20 mm., 3.45 g. (Purchased from Harlan J. Berk.)
    Constans jpg version.jpg The captives' caps don't look very "Phrygian" to me, but that's how I've seen them described.

    As yet, I have no coins to post for Constantine I's father Constantius I Chlorus, his mother Helena, or his wife Fausta. I don't know of any coins issued for his daughters, and don't have any for his son-in-law (and half-nephew) Constantius Gallus. And I've recently posted my three coins of Julian II -- his other simultaneous half-nephew and son-in-law -- so I won't repeat them here. Instead, I'll close with a coin of Constantine's brother-in-law, Licinius, who was married to Constantine's half-sister Flavia Julia Constantia:

    Licinius I, silvered AE Follis, Siscia Mint (4th Officina) 315-316 AD. Obv. Laureate head right, IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG / Rev. Naked Jupiter standing and facing left, chlamys across left shoulder, holding Victory on globe in right hand and leaning on scepter held in left hand; eagle with wreath in beak at his feet left, IOVI CON-SERVATORI. Δ [Delta] in right field, • SIS • in exergue. RIC VII SISCIA 17 (p. 424), Sear RCV IV 15212, Cohen 66. 21 mm., 3.36 g.

    Licinius I - jpg version.jpg

    If you'd like to post any coins you have of Constantine the Great's sons or any of the other members of his family whom I've mentioned here, I'd love to see them.
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
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  3. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Cool post and great coins! I especially like the Constantine II with the little bust.

    Rare type, esp for Crispus. AE3. 3.35g, 19.9mm. Thessalonica mint, AD 319. RIC VII Thessalonica 69. O: D N FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust right. R: VIRT EXERC, plan of Roman camp(?), Sol standing left at center; TSЄ in exergue.

    AE3. 3.09g, 20.8mm. Arles mint, 325-326. RIC VII Arles 294. O: CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust left. R: VIRTVS CAESS, campgate with 12 rows, open doors, 4 turrets and star above; TA(crescent)RL in exergue.
    Ex Stevex6 Collection

    AE3, Holed. 2.27g, 18.3mm. Antioch mint, AD 324-325. RIC VII Antioch 60 (R2). O: Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right. R: CONSTAN / TI • VS / CAESAR in three lines, SMANTΔ.

    AE4. 2.5g, 17.8mm. Siscia mint, AD 333-335. RIC VII Siscia 238 (R4). O: FL CONSTANTIS BEA C, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right. R: GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two soldiers holding spears & shields with two standards between them; •ΔSIS[•] in exergue.
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  4. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

  5. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    That's a very interesting Crispus -- I don't know if that's really a plan of a Roman camp on the reverse, but Sol looks to me like he's either surfing, or walking a tightrope!
  6. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    True! And yes, the "camp plan" notion is a question mark and I'm not convinced either, but it's one of the more common theories put forward (and how it is described in RIC, which also notes that it is possibly the last time Sol appears on bronze coinage). David Vagi simply writes, "The meaning of this reverse type, struck only at Thessalonica c. 319, is much-debated." In any case, one of my favorite LRBs, and a wonderful surprise X'mas gift that I received last year. :)
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  7. David@PCC

    David@PCC allcoinage.com

    Lots of conjecture on that one.

    318 to 319 AD
    Mint: Thessalonica
    AE Follis
    Obvs: HELENA N F, bare head right, waved hair, mantled.
    Revs: Laurel wreath enclosing eight pointed star.
    17x18mm, 3.05g
    Ref: RIC VII 50, Vagi 2898

    Constantine II
    Mint: Rome
    320 AD
    AE Follis
    Obvs: CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, Laureate draped and cuir.
    Revs: VOT X ET XV F PR, in three lines within laurel wreath.
    19x20mm, 3.22g
    Ref: cf. RIC VII.209
    Note: Mint mark P not known for this RIC entry. Only S & Q are recorded. Possibly unpublished.

    Constantius II
    Mint: Antioch
    324 to 325 AD
    AE Follis
    Obvs: Laureate, draped, and cuirass bust left.
    Revs: CONSTAN TI•VS CAESAR SMANTS in four lines. Star above, dot below.
    16x18mm, 2.32g
    Ref: RIC VII 60; LRBC 1327
  8. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

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  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Trajan Decius

    I have ten coins of Constantine, over 80 of Constantius II, and several for each of the other family members. I also have some of the Licinii - here's a newish one:

    Nice helmet and cuirass detail, IMHO


    AE3, 318-319 AD. 19mm 3.1 grams

    IMP LI-CINIVS AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust right

    ROMAE AETERNAE, Roma seated right, shield on lap inscribed X/V. P-R across fields.

    Mintmark: RQ

    Reference: RIC VII Rome 151; Cohen 150; Sear 15354.


  10. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Do you have a favorite of Constantius II, or of any of his brothers, that you could post?
  11. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    Happy to oblige:

    Caesar, A.D. 317-326
    (Bronze) AE3
    Cyzicus mint, A.D. 317-320
    Rev: IOVI CONSER-VATORI CAESS - Jupiter, nude, standing, facing left, holding Victory on globe in right hand and leaning on scepter with left
    SMK in exergue; [wreath] in left field, Z in right.
    RIC 10
    19mm, 3.6g.

    Constantine II
    Caesar, A.D. 316-337
    Augustus, A.D. 337-340
    (Bronze) AE3
    Siscia mint, A.D. 321-324
    Rev: CAESARVM NOSTRORVM around wreath enclosing VOT/X in two lines
    ASIS[sunburst] in exergue
    RIC 182
    18mm, 2.9g.

    Constantius II
    Caesar, A.D. 324-337
    Augustus, A.D. 337-361
    (Bronze) AE3
    Siscia mint, A.D. 350
    Rev: HOC SIG-NO VICTOR ERIS - Emperor, standing, facing left, holding labarum (standard with Chi-Rho) being crowned by Victory
    [dot]ΓSIS[star] in exergue; A in left field
    RIC 291
    21mm, 3.8g.

    Caesar, A.D. 333-337
    Augustus, A.D. 337-350
    (Bronze) AE2
    Constantinople mint, A.D. 348-350
    Rev: FEL TEMP REPARTIO - Emperor, standing on galley, facing left, holding Victory on globe in right hand and labarum in left; Victory at helm.
    CONSIA[star] in exergue; S in field
    RIC 83
    24mm, 5.2g.
  12. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Trajan Decius


    Here's one of the better ones of Constantius II. Most came from uncleaned hoards.


    Constans with CONSTANTIS BEA C



    Constantine II

    Don't have a Gallus yet.
  13. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Beautifull coins Donna, here are my 4 not as nearly as nice:

    P1230168.JPG P1170717 (3).JPG P118015savoca (2).jpg P1140493 (2).JPG
  14. gogili1977

    gogili1977 Well-Known Member

    Very nice coins Donna. Some from my collection:
    Constantine II
    image(1).jpg Constantius II
    image(3).jpg Constans
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  15. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you! How is it that you ended up with so many more of Constantius II than his brothers?
  16. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    Thank you for posting this thread. This is a period of Roman history that I have, at best, just a general understanding of.

    The Bull from the the Sea is a good read, and I recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the story of Thesus and Hippolyta.
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  17. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I recommend reading The King Must Die first, though -- I read them one after the other, and loved both.
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  18. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    Another work, more or less covering the same period, and from different perspectives, is Last of the Amazons by Steven Pressfield. His style of writing takes a little getting used to, but it is a sweeping mythological tale of the love between Thesus and Antiope, the misguided invasion of Athens and the numerous, bloody battles, and the final, tragic outcome.
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  19. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    A great write-up and some fascinating coins that show how LRBs, though often neglected a bit by collectors, are in fact a rewarding and fascinating field of numismatic interest!

    Here are some of my coins of the Constantinians:

    Crispus – one of the less-common issues from Trier:
    Rom – Crispus, AE3, Principi iuventutis.jpg
    Crispus, Roman Empire, AE 3, 317–318 AD, Trier mint. Obv: FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES; laureate and cuirassed bust of Crispus r. Rev: PRINCIPI IVVENTVTIS; Crispus standing l. holding spear and globe; in fields, F-T; mintmark .ATR. 19.5mm, 3.19g. Ref: RIC VII Trier 171. Ex AMCC 1, lot 458.

    Constantine II Junior – a radiate issue from London:
    Rom – Constantinus II Junior, AE3, Beata Tranquilitas, London (neu).png
    Constantine II Iunior, Roman Empire, AE3, 322–323 AD, Londinium mint. Obv: CONSTANTINVS IVN N C, bust of Constantine II, radiate, cuirassed, l. Rev: BEAT TRANQLITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT/IS/XX; above, three stars; in fields, F-B; in exergue, PLON. 19mm, 3.22g. Ref: RIC VII Londinium 257.

    Constantius II – probably the most common LRB reverse:
    Rom – Constantius II, AE3, Gloria exercitus, Konstantinopel.png
    Constantius II, Roman Empire, AE3, 330–333 AD, Constantinople mint. Obv: FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C; bust of Constantius II, laureate, draped, cuirassed, r. Rev: GLORIA EXERCITUS; Two soldiers, helmeted, draped, cuirassed, standing facing each other, each holding reversed spear in outer hand and resting inner hand on shield; between them, two standards; in exergue, CONSS. 18mm, 2.30g. RIC VII Constantinople 61.

    Constans – a common type yet with an especially well-rendered portrait:
    Rom – Constans, AE 3, Zwei Victorien, Trier 2.png
    Constans, Roman Empire, AE3/4, 347–348 AD, Trier mint. Obv: CONSTANS P F AVG; bust of Constans, rosette-diademed, draped, cuirassed, r. Rev: VICTORIAE DD AVGGQ NN; two Victories, winged, draped, standing front, facing each other, each holding wreath in r. hand and palm in l. hand; between them, star; in exergue, TRS. 15.5mm, 1.38g. Ref: RIC VIII Treveri 188.

    Let's also not forget about Constantine's nephews:

    Delmatius – rose to the rank of Caesar and governed Thrace, Achaea and Macedonia, but fell victim to the purge after Constantine's death in 337 AD.
    Rom – Delmatius, AE4, Gloria Exercitus.png
    Delmatius, Roman Empire, AE4, 335–337 AD, Antioch mint. Obv: FL DELMATIVS NOB C; laureate, draped, cuirassed bust of Delmatius r. Rev: GLORIA EXERCITVS; two soldiers standing with one standard between them; mintmark SMANΘ. 15mm, 1.36g. RIC VII Antioch 112.

    Constantius Gallus – was installed as Caesar in the east in 351 AD after Constans' death, but soon fell out with his cousin Constantius II and was executed by him in 354 AD.
    Rom – Constantius Gallus, AE 3, Reitersturz, Siscia.png
    Constantius Gallus, Roman Empire, AE3, 351–355 AD, Siscia mint. Obv: DN CONSTANTIVS IVN NOB C; bust of Constantius Gallus, bare-headed and draped, r. Ref: FEL TEMP REPARATIO; Roman soldier l. spearing fallen horseman; in exergue, BSIS. 18.5 mm, RIC VIII Siscia 351.

    Julian – younger brother of Gallus, became the last pagan emperor in 360 AD but fell in a skirmish against the Sasanians three years later.
    Rom – Julian II, AE3, Vota X Mult XX, Antiochia.png
    Julian II, Roman Empire, AE3, 361–363 AD, Antioch mint. Obv: DN FL CL IVLIANVS PF AVG; bust of Julian II, helmeted, cuirassed, with shield and spear, l. Rev: VOT X MVLT XX; in wreath; in exergue, ANTB and branch. 20mm, 3.1g. Ref: RIC VIII Antioch 219 B.

    If anyone here has a coin of Hannibalianus, it would complete the male family of Constantine, and I'd love to see it!
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  20. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I didn't know that there even was a Constantine II Junior!

    And I don't know if I've ever seen a coin of Hannibalianus. I guess someone would also need to post a Licinius II to make this thread complete for Constantine the Great's male family members, given that he was a nephew of Constantine as well.
  21. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Nice thread with some good looking coins.....
    ......I own 'zero' Constantine coins at the moment, it's an area I've yet to delve into, but it will happen.....I do have a Licinius II though....
    Licinius II (320 ad)Follis.Siscia 3.00gr 20mm dia.
    Obv.LICINIVS IVN NOB C.(Laureate head right)
    Rev.CAESARVM NOSTRORVM (Wreath inscribed VOT.V
    Mintmark (delta)SIS(star)
    RIC VII Siscia #162 (Rated scarce)
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