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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Constantinian Era| ▸ |Constans||View Options:  |  |  |   

Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D.

Constans was the youngest son of Constantine I and Fausta. Born around 320, Constans inherited part of the Western Empire upon its division among the sons of Constantine. In 340, his brother, Constantine II, invaded his territory but was defeated and killed leaving Constans in total control of the West. In 350, however, the general Magnentius rebelled and Constans fled as his legions switched sides. He was overtaken and killed while trying to escape to Spain.


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In 348, the Goth bishop Wulfila escaped religious persecution by the Gothic chieftain Athanaric and obtained permission from Constantius II to migrate with his flock of converts to Moesia and settle near Nicopolis ad Istrum (Bulgaria).
RL89952. Billon quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Thessalonica 120, LRBC II 1642, SRCV 18732, Cohen VII 10, Hunter V -, Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, green patina, weight 2.574 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Constans standing left in galley left, Phoenix on globe in right hand, labarum in left hand, Victory seated in stern steering, TESB in exergue; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


Constans I, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D.

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The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the Phoenix: 'Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon and spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odors. From the body of the parent bird, a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live as long a life as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gained sufficient strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its parent's sepulcher), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.'
RL89594. Billon quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Antioch 131 (S, unlisted officina), LRBC II 2619, SRCV V 18667, Cohen VII 21, Hunter V -, VF, green patina, earthen deposits, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.166 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 90o, 6th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTA-NS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), radiate Phoenix standing right on globe, star right, ANS in exergue; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher), ex Alex G. Malloy (Mar 1993); very scarce; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


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The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the Phoenix: 'Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon and spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odors. From the body of the parent bird, a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live as long a life as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gained sufficient strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its parent's sepulcher), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.'
RL91651. Billon quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Trier 228, LRBC II 33, SRCV V 18708, Cohen VII 22, VF, a little rough, edge a little ragged, weight 2.244 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL • TEMP • REPARATIO (happy times restored), Phoenix radiate standing right on a rocky mound, TRP• in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


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During this period A's were frequently engraved with open tops and looked like H's.
RL88732. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Siscia 185, LRBC I 793, SRCV V 18629, Cohen VII 176, VF, green patina, ragged flan, edge cracks, earthen encrustations, weight 1.334 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 347 - 348 A.D.; obverse CONSTANS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIAE DD AVGG Q NN (to the victories of our two lord emperors), two victories standing toward center confronted, each extending a wreath in their right hand and holding a palm frond in their left hand, •ASIS• in exergue; $17.00 (€14.96)
 


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In 348, the Goth bishop Wulfila escaped religious persecution by the Gothic chieftain Athanaric and obtained permission from Constantius II to migrate with his flock of converts to Moesia and settle near Nicopolis ad Istrum (Bulgaria).
RL88574. Billon quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Thessalonica 120, LRBC II 1642, SRCV V 18732, Cohen VII 10, Hunter V 55 var. (officina), aVF, well centered, rough, weight 2.512 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 30o, 3rd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Constans standing left in galley left, Phoenix on globe in right hand, labarum in left hand, Victory seated in stern steering, TESΓ in exergue; $16.00 (€14.08)
 


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Siscia, a chief town and colony of Pannonia, was located at the confluence of the Colapis and the Savus, and is now called Sisak, Croatia. The mint master was called procurator monetae Siscianae. Dates of operation: 260 - c. 390. Mintmarks: S, SIS, SISC, SISCPS.
RL88793. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Siscia 183, LRBC I 791, SRCV V 18628, Cohen VII 176, Hunter V var. (exergue), VF, green patina, scratches, encrustations, ragged irregular flan edge, weight 1.500 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 347 - 348 A.D.; obverse CONSTANS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIAE DD AVGG Q NN (to the victories of our two lord emperors), two victories facing one another, each holding a wreath and palm frond, ASIS in exergue; $16.00 (€14.08)
 


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The reverse legend abbreviates, Victoriae duorum dominorum augusti que nostrorum, which means, "to the victory of our two lord emperors."
RL88615. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V 47 (also 3rd officina), RIC VIII Siscia 195, LRBC I 801, SRCV V 18633, Cohen VII 179, VF, dark patina, earthen deposits, ragged flan, weight 1.739 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 347 - 348 A.D.; obverse CONSTANS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIAE DD AVGG Q NN (to the victories of our two lord emperors), two victories standing toward center confronted, each extending a wreath in their right hand and holding a palm frond in their left hand, palm in center (control symbol), ΓSIS in exergue; $14.00 (€12.32)
 


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VOT XX MVLT XXX abbreviates Votis Vicennalibus Multis Tricennalibus, which means Constans has completed vows (prayers and sacrifices) for twenty years of rule and additional vows and prayers to ask for success in achieving his thirtieth anniversary. In a religious context, votum, plural vota, is a vow or promise made to a deity. The word comes from the past participle of voveo, vovere; as the result of the verbal action, a vow, or promise. It may refer also to the fulfillment of this vow, that is, the thing promised. The votum is thus an aspect of the contractual nature of Roman religion and sacrifice, a bargaining expressed by "do ut des" (I give that you might give).
RL88644. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Alexandria 34, SRCV V 18647, LRBC 1 1476, Cohen VII 197, Hunter V -, VF, rough, ragged flan edge, weight 1.526 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Alexandria mint, 345 - 347 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl-diademed head right; reverse VOT / XX / MVLT / XXX in four lines within wreath, SMALΓ in exergue; $14.00 (€12.32)
 


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In 331 A.D., Constantine I vigorously promoted Christianity, confiscating the property and valuables of a number of pagan temples throughout the Empire.
RL88781. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Cyzicus 87 (R2), LRBC I 1230, SRCV V 18356, Cohen VII 75, Hunter V -, F, dark green patina, tight flan, porous, weight 1.305 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 331 - 334; obverse FL IVL CONSTANS NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking one standard in center, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, SMKΓ in exergue; rare; $14.00 (€12.32)
 


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The Christogram (also called a Monogramma Christi or Chrismon) is a ligature of Chi (X) and Rho (P), the first two letters of Christ in Greek. It was among the earliest symbols of Christianity. The crucifix was rarely used in early Christian iconography, perhaps because most people then had personally witnessed its gruesome use for public execution.
RL88671. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Siscia 88, LRBC I 781, SRCV V 18546, Cohen VII 65, Hunter V -, VF, encrustations, edge split, weight 1.639 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse CONSTANS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, flanking labarum (chi-rho Christogram standard), heads confronted, each holds spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on shield, BSIS exergue; $11.00 (€9.68)
 




  



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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

CONSTANSAVG
CONSTANSAVGVSTVS
CONSTANSCAESAR
CONSTANSPFAVG
DNCONSTANSPFAVG
FLCONSTANSNOBCAES
FLCONSTANTISBEAC
FLIVLCONSTANSAVG
FLIVLCONSTANSNOBC
FLIVLCONSTANSNOBCAES
FLIVLCONSTANSPERPAVG
FLIVLCONSTANSPFAVG
FLIVLCONSTANSPIVSFELIXAVG


REFERENCES|

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).
Carson, R., H. Sutherland & J. Kent. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VIII, The Family of Constantine I, A.D. 337 - 364. (London, 1981).
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 Constantin II à Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
Failmezger, V. Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity, 294 - 364 A.D. (Washington D.C., 2002).
King, C. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Milchev, S. The Coins of Constantine the Great. (Sophia, 2007).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine: The Collapse of Paganism and the Triumph of Christianity, Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 2011).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire: The Later Constantinian Dynasty and the Houses of Valentinian and Theodosius and Their Successors, Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
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 Monday, October 14, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Constans