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Aurelian and Constantine Gift Coins


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  • Benefactor

Warmest Christmas Greetings to my fellow ancient coin collectors.

When my wife asked what coins I would like for Christmas, I told her that I would love to have some from the time of Constantine the Great. I didn’t have many Constantines prior to receiving her amazing gift. The Aurelian was a request of my own — he’s an emperor associated with the Sol Invictus holiday observance on December 25th. The origins of Saturnalia, Sol Invictus, and Christmas on December 25th are a fascinating study.


Here are my Imperial Roman coin gifts from my dear wife.





I would love to see your Aurelian and Constantine the Great coins.



Edited by LONGINUS
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Merry Christmas!

Two important emperors. 

My only Aurelian has the same reverse type 


20,6 mm, 3,6 g.
Aurelian 270-275. Billon antoninianus. Cyzicus.
IMP C AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right / RESTITVTOR ORBIS, female (Orbis Terrarum) standing right presents wreath to Aurelian standing left. Small figure kneeling between. Mintmark BC.
Note – The reverse character ould also be Victory.
RIC V Aurelian 368.

I have many Constantine coins - here are my favorites 



.... and of course a a few Sol Invicto coins - this is the coin my collection starts with. 



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What wonderful Christmas gifts, @LONGINUS! Very thoughtful and with much eye-appeal.  I'm also glad your wife purchased the Constantine ones from @Victor Clark

I have a handful of Aurelian and Constantine coins. These are my favorites.

Aurelian AD 270-275.
Roman silvered billon Antoninianus, 3.60 gm; 21.7 mm, 6 h.
Rome mint, officina 9, issue 11, early – September AD 275.
Obv: IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust, right.
Rev: ORIE-N-S AVG, Sol walking r., holding olive branch in r. hand and bow in l. hand, l. foot resting on a captive in oriental dress kneeling on the ground to r., head turned l., r. hand raised; * in left field, XXIR in exergue.
Refs: RIC 64; MER/RIC temp 1834; RCV 11569; Hunter 23; Cohen 159; La Venera 1321-32.

Constantine I, AD 307-337.
Roman billion follis, 3.56 g, 23.6 mm, 6 h.
Thessalonica, AD 312-13.
Obv: IMP C CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust, right.
Rev: IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG NN, Jupiter, chlamys draped over left shoulder, standing front, head left, holding Victory on globe in right hand and leaning on scepter with left hand; at feet to left, eagle holding wreath in beak; -/-//•TS•Є•.
Refs: RIC vi, p. 519, 61b; Cohen 310; RCV 15972.

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What nice thoughtful gifts! Merry Christmas @LONGINUS!

I don't have an Aurelian but I've got plenty of Constantine. 😉 Here's one I just recently re-photographed. A slightly scarcer type (Roma Numismatics says R4) and ex Dieter Alten Collection:


AE3 (21.05mm, 3.61g, 12h)
Struck AD 320. Treveri mint
Obverse: CONSTA-NTINVS AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust of Constantine I right
Reverse: VIRTVS EXERCIT, trophy, with two captives seated back to back at base; T|F in fields, STR in exergue
References: OCRE VII 279, RCV 16313
Dark patina with areas of flat strike. Good style and details.
From the Dieter Alten Collection.

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4 hours ago, LONGINUS said:

The Aurelian was a request of my own — he’s an emperor associated with the Sol Invictus holiday observance on December 25th. The origins of Saturnalia, Sol Invictus, and Christmas on December 25th are a fascinating study.

Yes, and then mixed in with aspects of Yule - an evolving convergence of celebrations!

Constantine's son Constans had been made caesar on Dec 25th, 333 AD, no doubt chosen as an auspicious date, conceivably already considered as Natus Christus rather than (or in addition to) Dies Natalis Soli Invicti, although the first record of Dec 25th being adopted as the birth of Christ comes a few years later in 336 AD (from the Chronograph of 354 AD). Still, it wasn't until 350 AD, under Pope Julius I that Dec 25th was officially designated as Jesus' birthdate.

It's easy to think of Christianity as replacing paganism, and of course it eventually did, but transition was quite slow and organic and it seems many early Christians didn't see it as an either/or choice, with Pope Leo I c.440 AD berating his congregation for turning east to pray to the sun on the steps of St. Peter's!

The modern form of Christmas -  a respectable family occasion including Christmas tree and presents is all fairly recent. Christmas trees apparently only go back to the 16thC, and In early America Christmas had been such a raucous drunken celebration that the Puritans had actually banned it!


Edited by Heliodromus
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Great gifts. The portrait on the Lugdunum example is stunnig.

This Aurelian is one of my first coin purchases, back in 1982


Aurelian, Aurelianus
IMP AVRELIANVS AVG, Radiate and cuirassed bust right
ORIENS AVG, Sol walking left between two captives. V at exergue
3,30 gr
Ref : Cohen #145


Constantine the Great from Trier


Constantine the Great, Follis - Trier mint, 1st officina
IMP CONSTANTINVS PF AVG, Laureate and cuirassed bust of Constantine right
MARTI PATRI PROPVGNATORI, Mars walking right, holding spear and shield. S A in field, PTR at exergue
7.40 gr, 26 mm
Ref : RC #3864, Cohen #368


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A Christmas gift to myself:


               Constantine I, the Great : Ae Follis, Ticinum mint

               Obv: CONSTANTINVS AVG: Laureate and cuirassed bust right

               Rev: D N CONSTANTINI MAX AVG; Camp-gate with two turrets, star above; T (crescent) T in exergue

               Ref: RIC 198

Edited by O-Towner
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  • Benefactor

That's a wonderful gift!  Wonderful coins posted as well.

I only have one crusty bronze of Aurelian, purchased decades ago:

Aurelian, Sestertius, 274-275 AD.


And a rough Alexandrian tetradrachm:

Aurelian, potin tetradrachm, Alexandria, 270-75 AD.

7.76 grams


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