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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Tetrarchy| ▸ |Licinius I||View Options:  |  |  |   

Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

Licinius I was a comrade of emperor Galerius in the Tetrarchic period. Following the abdication of Diocletian and Maximianus, Licinius was raised to the rank of Augustus despite never having held the position of Caesar. After Maximinus II invaded his territories, Licinius marched against him and defeated him soundly. Over the next few years, relations between Licinius and Constantine I deteriorated. Armed conflict broke out several times and Licinius was defeated. Only through the intervention of Licinius' wife, Constantine's sister, was his life spared. However, shortly after he was executed for additional political machinations against Constantine.


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Hercules is depicted in the same pose as the Farnese Hercules, a massive marble sculpture, which depicts a muscular yet weary Hercules leaning on his club, which has his lion-skin draped over it. He has just performed the last of The Twelve Labors, which is suggested by the apples of the Hesperides he holds behind his back. The Farnese Hercules is probably an enlarged copy made in the early third century A.D., signed by Glykon, from an original by Lysippos that would have been made in the fourth century B.C. The copy was made for the Baths of Caracalla in Rome (dedicated in 216 A.D.), where it was recovered in 1546. Today it is in Naples National Archaeological Museum. The statue was well-liked by the Romans, and copies have been found in many Roman palaces and gymnasiums. It is one of the most famous sculptures of antiquity, and has fixed the image of the mythic hero in the human imagination.Farnese Hercules
RL91319. Billon follis, cf. Cohen VII 59 (obv. legend), RIC VI 68 (Maximinus II), SRCV IV 15200 (Antioch); references list this rev. for Licinius only at Antioch, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, superb style, highlighting patina, light marks, scattered minor porosity, weight 5.020 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Nicomedia mint, 313 - 317 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse HERCVLI VICTORI, Hercules leaning right on club, on top of which are lion skins, ∆ left, SMN in exergue; although unpublished in references examined by Forum we know of eight other specimens; rare; $320.00 (€281.60)
 


Lot of 3 Choice gVF Roman Radiate Coins from Alexandria, Egypt, 284 - 324 A.D.

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Alexandria is a Mediterranean port city in Egypt. During the Hellenistic period, it was home to a lighthouse ranking among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World as well as a storied library. Today the library is reincarnated in the disc-shaped, ultramodern Bibliotheca Alexandrina. The city also has Greco-Roman landmarks, old-world cafes and sandy beaches. Its 15th-century seafront Qaitbay Citadel is now a museum.
LT88497. Bronze Lot, Lot of 3 radiate bronze coins, Licinius I (2) and Diocletian, 19.6mm - 20.2mm, Choice gVF, well centered, attractive desert patinas with highlighting earthen deposits, Egypt, Alexandria mint, 284 - 324 A.D.; no additional identification, no tags or flips, the lot is the actual coins in the photograph; $135.00 (€118.80)
 


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Very unusual mint error! Poor letter spacing on the reverse forced the engraver to make the final two letters extraordinarily small and curve back up to the exergue line. On many examples of this type the last two letters extend into the exergue to the mintmark. This engraver had his own idea of how to handle the problem.
RL89684. Billon follis, Hunter V 170 (also 2nd officina), RIC VII Cyzicus 9, SRCV IV 15237, Cohen VII 114, Choice gVF, bold well centered strike, some silvering, weight 3.196 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 317 - 320 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINVS P F AVG, consular bust left, mappa in right hand, globe and scepter in left hand; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG (to Jove the protector of the two Emperors), Jupiter standing left, nude but for chlamys over left shoulder, Victory on globe offering wreath in right hand, long scepter in left hand, wreath lower left, B right, SMK in exergue; ex Beast Coins; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


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This billon type is c. 2 - 3% silver. The argenteus struck six years earlier with this reverse type was about 25% silver.
RB89960. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Arles 196 (R2), SRCV IV 15347, Cohen VII 101, Hunter V 24 var. (3rd officina), Choice VF, excellent centering, dark green patina, a few tiny spots of porosity, weight 3.748 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, 319 - 320 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG (to Jove the protector of the Emperor), Licinius borne aloft by eagle right, wings spread, emperor holds a thunderbolt in right hand and scepter in left, SARL (S engraved over P?) in exergue; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


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In 320 A.D., Licinius reneged on the religious freedom promised by the Edict of Milan, and began a new persecution of Christians in the Eastern Roman Empire. He destroyed churches, imprisoned Christians and confiscated their property.
RL89635. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Lyons 70a (R1), Hunter V 17, SRCV IV 15360, Cohen 174, Choice VF, well centered, some silvering, porosity on obverse, weight 2.613 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 319 - 320 A.D.; obverse IMP LICI-NVS AVG, Laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIAE LAET PRINC PERP (Joyous victory to the eternal Prince), two victories standing confronted, holding shield inscribed VOT / P R over tall altar (type a) with a garland, two captives seated back to back in exergue; ex Beast Coins VLPP Collection, ex Keith Metzer Collection; scarce; $95.00 (€83.60)
 


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The reverse legend abbreviates, Victoriae Laetae Principium Perpertua, which translates, "Joyous victory to the eternal Prince." VOT P R on the shield abbreviates, Vota Populi Romani, which translates, "Vows (prayers) of the Roman people." For this issue, the altar is always marked I for the first (A) and second (B) officinae, and S for the third (Γ), fourth (∆) and fifth (E) officinae.
RL89672. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Siscia 96 (R4), SRCV IV 15357, Cohen VII 170, Hunter V -, Choice VF, much silvering, well centered, scattered porosity, weight 2.410 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 319 - 320 A.D.; obverse IMP LICI-NIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse VICT LAETAE PRINC PERP (joyous victory to the eternal Prince), two Victories standing confronted, holding shield inscribed VOT / P R (vows of the Roman people), set on altar inscribed with an S, ΓSIS* in exergue; ex Beast Coins VLPP Collection; rare; $95.00 (€83.60)
 


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On 8 October 314, at the Battle of Cibalae, Constantine defeated Licinius near Colonia Aurelia Cibalae (modern Vinkovci, Croatia). Licinius was forced to flee to Sirmium and lost all of the Balkans except for Thrace. The two Augusti initiated peace negotiations, but they failed and they would not make peace until 1 March 317.
RL76327. Billon follis, Unlisted bust variety of a very rare type; RIC VII Ticinum 4 (R4) var. (head), SRCV IV 15258 var. (same), Cohen VII 139, Hunter V -, VF, well centered, light contact marks and corrosion, weight 3.147 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Ticinum (Pavia, Italy) mint, 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse MARTI CONSERVATORI (Mars the Protector), Mars standing right, helmeted, in military dress, reversed spear in right hand, left hand resting on grounded shield, PT in exergue; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


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In Roman religion, every man has a genius, a presiding spirit. In De Die Natali, Censorinus says, from the moment we are born, we live under the guard and tutelage of Genius. Cities, organizations, and peoples also had a genius. On coins, we find inscriptions to the Genius of the Army, of the Senate, of the Emperor, etc. The legend GENIO POP ROM dedicates this coin to the Genius of the Roman People. Genius' image is of a man with a cloak half covering the shoulders leaving the rest of his body naked, holding a cornucopia in one hand, and a simpulum or a patera in the other.
RT87235. Billon follis, RIC VI Treveri 845b, Hunter V 5, SRCV IV 15191, Cohen VII 53, Choice EF, well centered and struck, some silvering, tiny encrustations, edge a little ragged with small cracks, weight 4.234 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 310 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), Genius standing slightly left, head left, crown of city walls on head, chest bare, himation over left shoulder around waist and over and left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, T F at sides, PTR in exergue; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


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Open civil war between Constantine and Licinius broke in 316 when Constantine invaded Licinius' Balkan provinces. Licinius fled to Adrianople where he collected a second army, under the command of Valerius Valens whom he raised to the rank of Augustus. Constantine defeated Licinius at the Battle of Campus Ardiensis, but the victory was indecisive. A treaty between Constantine and Licinius was concluded at Serdica on 1 March, 317. The peace lasted for about seven years.
RT89695. Billon follis, RIC VII London 23 (R1), SRCV IV 15185, Cohen 49, Hunter V -, VF, nice portrait, off center and a little uneven reverse strike, edge cracks, weight 3.301 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Londinium (London, England) mint mint, 314 - 315 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GENIO POP ROM (to the guardian spirit of the Roman people), turreted Genius standing slightly left, head left, wearing crown of city walls on head, boots, himation over left shoulder around hips and over left arm, pouring libations from patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, S - F across field, MLL in exergue; ex Beast Coins, ex Harlan Berk CICF show April 2013; rare; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


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In 315, Constantine the Great and Licinius battled the Sarmates, the Goths and the Carpians along the Danube. Constantine led a punitive expedition into Dacia and reestablished the Roman fortifications of the frontier.
RL91225. Billon follis, RIC VII Alexandria 10 (R2), SRCV IV 15246. Cohen VII 108, Hunter V 233 ff. var. (1st officina not listed), VF, well centered and struck, green patina, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 3.521 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Alexandria mint, 315 A.D.; obverse IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG (to Jove the protector of the two Emperors), Jupiter standing slightly left, head left, nude but for cloak on left shoulder, Victory on globe with wreath and palm frond in Jupiter's right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, eagle left at feet on left with head turned back and wreath in beak, wreath over A over N in right field, ALE in exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 76 (7 Apr 2019), part of lot 942; scarce; $80.00 (€70.40)
 




  



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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

IMPCLICLICINNIVSPFAVG
IMPCVALLICLICINIVSPFAVG
IMPCVALLICINLICINIVSPFAVG
IMPLICINIVSAVG
IMPLICINIVSPFAVG
IMPLICINIVSPIVSFELIXAVG
IMPLICLICINIVSPFAVG
LICINIVSAVGVSTVS
LICINIVSPFAVG
VALLICINNIANVSLICINNIVSPFAVG



REFERENCES|

Bastien, P. Le Monnayage de l'Atelier de Lyon, De la Réforme Monétaire de Dioclétien à la fermeture temporaire de l'Atelier en 316 (294 - 316). Numismatique Romaine XI. (Wetteren, 1980).
Bastien, P. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon. De la réouverture de l'atelier en 318 à la mort de Constantin (318 - 337). Numismatique Romaine XIII. (Wetteren, 1982).
Bruun, P. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. VII, Constantine and Licinius A.D. 313 - 337. (London, 1966).
Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Dioclétien a Constantin I (284 - 337). (Wetteren, 1995).
Failmezger, V. Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity, 294 - 364 A.D.. (Washington D.C., 2002).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. IV...The Collapse of Paganism and the Triumph of Christianity, Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 211).
Voetter, O. Die Münzen der romischen Kaiser, Kaiserinnen und Caesaren von Diocletianus bis Romulus: Katalog der Sammlung Paul Gerin. (Vienna, 1921).

Catalog current as of Friday, December 6, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Licinius I