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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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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.'
RL89950. Bronze quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 247, LRBC II 1131, SRCV V 18718, Cohen VII 22, Hunter V -, Choice aEF, glossy jade green patina, light scratches, minor edge chipping, weight 2.253 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 348 - 19 Jan 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), radiate Phoenix standing right on pyre, symbol in right field, BSIS in exergue; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00 ON RESERVE


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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 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
 


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

Click for a larger photo
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 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


Click for a larger photo
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 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 


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The reverse legend translates, "Happy Times Restored." Happy times would not last for Constans. This coinage was among his last issues before his general Magnentius rebelled and had him killed.
RL76207. Billon light maiorina, RIC VIII Cyzicus 77 (S), LRBC II 2479, Voetter 20, SRCV V 18699, Cohen VII 18, Hunter V -, aEF, well centered, nice green patina, some encrustation, small edge cracks, weight 4.253 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust left, holding globe in right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Constans walking right, looking back left, leading barbarian from hut under tree, holding spear, star above, SMKΓ in exergue; scarce; $65.00 SALE |PRICE| $58.50
 


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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).
RL89951. Billon quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Thessalonica 120, LRBC II 1642, SRCV 18732, Cohen VII 10, Hunter V -, Choice gVF, well centered, glossy dark patina, die wear, weight 1.974 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, 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; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
 


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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 SALE |PRICE| $15.30
 


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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.
RL88566. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Cyzicus 142 (R4), LRBC I 1268, SRCV V 18376, Hunter V -, F, green patina with earthen highlighting, weight 1.656 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 336 - 337; obverse FL IVL CONSTANS NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLOR•IA 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, SMKB in exergue; rare (R4); $14.00 SALE |PRICE| $12.60
 


Click for a larger photo
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 SALE |PRICE| $12.60
 


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VOT XX MVLT XXX abbreviates Votis Vicennalibus Multis Tricennalibus advertising that Constans had completed his vows (prayers) to thank God on the 20th anniversary of his rule, and made more vows to God that he might help him successfully rule to his 30th anniversary.
RL88561. Billon reduced centenionalis, cf. SRCV V 18641 ff., aF, weight 1.430 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, 342 - 348 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANS P F AVG, rosette diademed head right; reverse VOT XX MVLT XXX within wreath, mintmark in exergue; $9.00 SALE |PRICE| $8.10
 




  



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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 Sunday, August 25, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Constans