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Follis of Licinius I


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Now bear with me (again) as I don't write these descriptions myself. This is the info given to me and the pictures as well from the seller with permission.

I looked at 14 images on Wildwinds with this reverse and none had the mintmark like this one has. I'm not saying it is a rare variant, but it might be. I just don't know. It doesn't matter too much to me. I like it.

I kind of like these coins in the rough with nice remaining detail. Maybe I'm like the guy who posts common wheat cents on the other sites with my coins asking a bunch of rookie questions? I don't know.

You people are so polite and helpful, never putting down anyone's coins and I think that's great. A very nice place to be, encouraging new ancient collectors like me with our humble treasures.

That given description here I believe it is accurate. No reason why it wouldn't be.

26007365_24.00FollisofLiciniusIJupiterA.jpg.4587aaef7e077f2765a983c41980247e.jpg

 

1627448913_24.00FollisofLiciniusIJupiterB.jpg.490410962e5f45f03db58d405e7fe46f.jpg

Follis of Licinius I Jupiter, Antioch Mint. Natural Desert Patina. RARE Variant, R2 in RIC.
Ancient Coins - Follis of Licinius I Jupiter, Antioch Mint. Natural Desert Patina. RARE Variant, R2 in RIC.

Licinius I AE Follis of Antioch. 313-314 AD. IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS PF AVG, laureate head right. PF AVG gets kind of lost at edge there.

Jupiter standing left, chlamys across left shoulder, holding Victory on globe and leaning on sceptre, eagle with wreath in left field.

I cannot make out the mintmark but I think I see the letters
SHANTZ or SMANTZ  in exergue, a big new word I just learned and am using for the first time.

From mintmarks I can find that isn't one of them.

The IOVI CONSERVATORI types are an important part of the history of Christendom, as they were struck immediately after the Edict of Milan (an agreement between Licinius I and Constantine I) which gave Christianity legal status and a reprieve from persecution. Eventually Licinius would renege on the agreement and the empire would be plunged into a civil war from which Constantine would emerge as victor.

These coins were struck during the uneasy peace between the cousin kings. Jupiter is the special protector of Roman emperors. This is a very rare variant in the RIC sample, R2. The coin has a completely natural and attractive "desert" patina.

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Nice one, @thenickelguy! Dig that bug-eyed portrait!!! This one is from the same mint but a different officina and is perhaps my favorite Licinius coin. This should answer your question. You should think of your mint-mark as reading S(acra) M(oneta) ANT(ioch) Z(eta).

 
[IMG]
Licinius I, AD 308-324.
Roman billon follis, 3.43 g, 19.1 mm, 11 h.
Antioch, sixth officina, AD 321-323.
Obv: IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
Rev: IOVI CONSERVATORI, Jupiter standing left, holding Victory on globe and eagle-tipped scepter, another eagle to feet to left, captive seated on ground to right; X/IIΓ in field, right; SMANTS in exergue.
Refs: RIC vii, p. 682, 35; Cohen 74; RCV 15225.
 
 
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Very nice!  I like the ones with a lived-in look too!

I have one of these types but for his son Licinius II from the Cyzicus mint - very not lived-in for this one (sadly?) :

image.jpeg.60644742e4d48b82d5f06875ba505fba.jpeg

However I don't think these are the IOVI CONSERVATORI issues from just after the Edict - your coin dates from late in Licinius's reign, just before he got trounced by Constantine, i.e. 321-4.  One key detail is this one:

2 hours ago, Roman Collector said:

X/IIΓ in field, right

Those symbols have an interesting meaning.  I can tell you but maybe you'd prefer to do some digging first!

The earlier IOVI CONSERVATORI is this one (mine's from Siscia) :

image.thumb.jpeg.22466faad08b20d298028186337e281b.jpeg

No captive either. (RIC 8 I think.)

3 hours ago, thenickelguy said:

This is a very rare variant in the RIC sample, R2.

I guess the seller got the RIC number wrong (I haven't checked your coin), but independent of that, a useful thing to know about RIC rarity guidelines for late roman bronze (lrb) is that... they are next to useless!  The major collections that RIC based the estimates on weren't very interested in these common late bronzes for decades/centuries so they were neglected.  Add that to the massive modern finds due to metal detectors, opening of borders etc. and it turns out that most of these lrb rarity estimates are way off these days.

To close, here's one of my favourite Licinius coins, an unusual earlier Licinius from the Antioch mint, struck 312-313 (ex Dattari collection) :

image.thumb.jpeg.580847dfa118078d7e9de3c22961d809.jpeg

Your enthusiasm is infectious! 😄

 

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That's a nice example @thenickelguy...

I do have the same mint mark on a Lic II...

331209271_licinius_II(1).jpg.f82aee626da496b50845d504a7aeca93.jpg

Licinius II (Caesar, 317-324). AE Follis, 2.96 gram, 19.0mm, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint,
Obverse..D N VAL LICIN LICINIVS NOB C ("Our Lord Valerius Licinianus Licinius, Noblest Caesar"), helmeted, cuirassed bust left, shield in left hand and spear in right held over shoulder;
Reverse..IOVI CONSERVATORI ("To Jupiter the protector"), Jupiter standing facing, head left, nude but for chlamys over shoulder, Victory on globe offering wreath in his right hand, eagle-topped scepter vertical in left, eagle with wreath in beak on left, X/IIΓ (12 1/2) on right above bearded captive at feet seated right with head turned looking back at Jupiter, SMANTZ in exergue (7th officina)
RIC VII Antioch 36 (R3), SRCV IV 15410, Cohen VII 21,

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

I have one of these types but for his son Licinius II from the Cyzicus mint - very not lived-in for this one (sadly?) :

image.jpeg.60644742e4d48b82d5f06875ba505fba.jpeg

Did you know there is a band called Death of Licinius II?

4 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

Those symbols have an interesting meaning.  I can tell you but maybe you'd prefer to do some digging first!

Oh, yes! I wrote about this elsewhere five years ago. 😉

Edited by Roman Collector
Fix a URL
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  • Benefactor
Posted · Benefactor
Posted (edited)

Hey, thenickleguy => that's a cool new Licinius addition (I like it)

Ummm, I had one of those sweet examples too ... and here it is

 

Licinius I, Æ Follis (below)

A.D. 308-324

Heraclea A.D. 313

Diameter: 20 mm

Weight: 3.29 grams

Obverse: IMP C VAL LICIN LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate head of Licinius I right

Reverese: IOVI CONSER-VATORI AVGG, Jupiter standing facing, head left, holding Victory on globe, and scepter; at feet to left, eagle standing left, head right, holding wreath in beak; Δ//SMHT

Reference: RIC 73

Other: 6 h … sweet gree/brown patina

Ex-stevex6

 

 

Licinius I.jpg

 

Coins Rock!

Edited by Steve
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10 hours ago, thenickelguy said:

SHANTZ or SMANTZ  in exergue, a big new word I just learned and am using for the first time.

The mintmark indicates the mint (city) the coin was made in and the "officina" (specific workshop/workgroup within the mint).

It breaks down as S(acra) M(oneta) ANT(ioch) Z, in other words "sacred money, made in Antioch workshop Z". For eastern mints such as Antioch, greek letters are normally used to number the officinas, so here we have Z(eta) = 7.

 

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10 hours ago, thenickelguy said:

Maybe I'm like the guy who posts common wheat cents on the other sites with my coins asking a bunch of rookie questions? I don't know.

This might be a good place to make a couple points about collecting ancient coins and even point out that there are some parallel things in modern, US coinage.  Since you are thenickelguy, I might point out a few situations involving nickels.  There are a million different variations on ancient coins.  If you get really picky, there were probably several million of which many have not yet been discovered and may not exist even below ground.  It is possible to get a specimen of every US nickel defined as date/mintmark combinations.  There are some nickel coins that are more different so you feel the need for a Type 1 or Type 2 or a three legged one.  In a few cases, you can date a coin without having the date remain (remember when people dipped slick buffalo nickels in acid to bring out the date?).  With ancients, a very small percentage of collectors collects by date and the vast majority of coin are not openly dated even if they can be narrowed down to a period within a reign.  Your coin is not dated but comes from a few years when Licinius revalued the coinage to 12 1/2 denarii of account rather than the old 25 which was used by his co-emperor Constantine.  The majority of people who want a coin of Licinius (many do not care even to have one) do not really care about such fine points.  It is like nickels where there are specialists who want every minor variation down to die cracks, regular collectors who want one of each date or mint and type collectors who want one nickel of a handful of major types.  Not everyone will agree on what defines a collectable variation.  Some nickel collectors may want a 'no cents' coin while others will do with one V or say "I only collect buffalos."  Quite a few only want the rare variations and have no interest whatsoever in the rest of the run.  Some will collect 3 cent and copper nickel 1 cent coins.  Others will include the nickels without nickel issued in WWII.  All these situations have parallels in ancients.  If you have a rare variation made different by the workshop letter or an extra dot here or there, you may have trouble finding someone who cares unless you are lucky enough to know someone who shares you exact obsession.   I do not have an exact match of your coin but I only have 33 Licinius I coins which classifies me as barely interested in him at all.  We have a few people here who are much more into him than I am but it would be less than certain that any of them either have this coin or are anxious to obtain it.  I have no idea how many variations there are in coins of Licinius.  The way catalogs are arranged, you do not get a different number for each workshop.  There are even people who only collect coin "Not in RIC" (the 'standard' catalog missed many coins).  It happens I do have the SMANTZ coin of this general variation issued in the name of Licinius I's son Licinius II (as Noble Caesar). 

ru4540bb1166.thumb.jpg.bee81b887dcab86dc2dc2632b200be40.jpg 

What should you collect?  Don't listen to me or anyone else who tells you what is worthwhile.  Buy what speaks to you.  As thenickelguy, you might be interested in the coins I show here.  These are two of the three ancient coin types made of a nickel alloy (25% nickel or so, go figure).  They are issued in more than one (3?) denomination for a short time in Bactria.  I lack the design with the panther reverse issued by another king (Pantaleon). You may know that nickels do not respond kindly to being buried in some types of soil so you may have a herd time finding a really nice one (better than my 'average' ones let alone 'mint state').  I wish I knew the why and how it happened that nickel made an appearance in coinage in the 2nd century BC and then took a vacation until the 19th AD.  'Experts' know all they want to know about these but amateurs like me consider many of their statements as just guesses.  They will attach denomination names and might even suggest how many of these it took to buy some silver coin of that day.   It is not like we have a copy of mint records with a copy of the edict where the king demanded nickel in the coins and the people would value them as a certain rate.  Exact dates and relationships between the rulers are far from certain.  Coin sellers like to pick a theory and look intelligent.  

Euthydemos II, NI double unit 

http://coinindia.com/galleries-euthydemos2.html

og1150bb2095.thumb.jpg.b01c0f85d70337ab52efa28dbf2cfcae.jpg

Agathokles, NI unit

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agathocles_of_Bactria

og1290bb1600.thumb.jpg.c8f4a6f6153db4c39f083f7cd8324423.jpg

My coin was sold by CNG in sale 37 in 1996 and (to me) by Frank Robinson in 1998.  It will be passed on to someone else when I am dead.  Like modern coins, some get traded every day, others come up every now and then.  Enjoy the hobby. 

 

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15 hours ago, thenickelguy said:

You people are so polite and helpful, never putting down anyone's coins and I think that's great. A very nice place to be, encouraging new ancient collectors like me with our humble treasures.

I'm going to quote myself. LOL

Dougsmit (and others of course)

This is exactly what I meant when I posted that.

You know, I am just collecting things that I like for now. I'm having so much fun learning.

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