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Branching out a little - Constantine II


ambr0zie

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Although I can say the number of coins in my collection is respectable, I never concentrated too much on LRBs. Like most of ancient coin collectors, I have a few interesting Constantinian era coins, but they are an exception rather than a rule. 

In the latest auction, I noticed a few LRBs in well above average condition - and this is not a common thing in the auctions I frequent. I had 3 on my radar but ended with 2. Not bad. 

Both have portraits of Constantine I and Fausta's oldest son, Constantine II. 
Constantine II was born in February 316. In March 317 he was named Caesar (how cool is that? 1 year and 1 month old - most likely a genius kid, wearing diapers and being a Caesar!). At 10 years old he was commander of Gaul (I was expecting something more, judging after his early start in diplomacy). Next  step - he was named field commander in the campaign against the Goths, in 332 (so he was 16). 

After Constantine I died in 337, Constantine II was named Augustus along with his brothers Constantius II and Constans. All appeared to go well but troubles came soon after. First, Constantine II was in the middle of religious disputes, as in those times the conflicts (ideological and not only) between Arianism and Nicene Christianity were a major problem. 

Then, there was the classic conflict - about power. As the oldest son AND tutor of the younger brother Constans, Constantine II felt he is entitled to more territory. So he requested the African provinces from his brother. Not being able to reach an agreement, Constantine II decided to march towards Italy (realm of Constans) but ended being killed by the rival army. 

So the man who should have been (or thought about himself that he is) a great emperor ended in a miserable way, after just a 3 years period of Augustus. 

The coins I bought show Constantine II as Caesar. 

image.png.a8921ad6524ddbc2ed821b374f7d5484.png

18 mm, 2,63 g.
Constantine II, Caesar under Constantine I. Ӕ follis.Thessalonica. 318-319 AD. 
CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, bust of Constantine II, laureate, draped, cuirassed, right / VOT •V•/MVLT •X•/CAESS within laurel wreath with mint mark •TS•B•
RIC VII Thessalonica 44
I like the portrait (see how mature was Constantine II for a 2-3 year old? No wonder he was named a Caesar when he was 1 year old). Also the reverse containing just text (and a wreath). The serious amount of silvering is a large bonus. 

image.png.b3ea1a2f9cdba6ea1e1a5b5f75a376eb.png

20 mm, 3,13 g.
Constantine II, Caesar under Constantine I. Ӕ follis. Heraclea. 317 AD. 
D N FL CL CONSTANTINVS NOB C, bust of Constantine II, laureate, draped, left, holding sceptre in right hand and mappa in left hand / PROVIDEN-TIAE CAESS, camp gate with three turrets, without doors, with six stone layers. MintMark: -/-//MHT∈
RIC VII Heraclea 20. 
I was a little reluctant about buying this coin because of the flan crack. Fortunately it is pretty stable. The condition is great (too bad about the defect above the head) but overall this is extremely pleasant. It shows luster and, especially because I am not a specialist, if I saw this without checking the attribution, I would have been sure it's a silver coin, not a silvered follis (all follies were silvered originally, but I haven't seen too often a coin with this amount of silvering remaining). 

And of course, look how mature was Constantine II when he was 1 year old! Again, it's pretty clear why he was named Caesar. 

Let's see Constantine II coins or other LRBs in good condition. 

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Interesting portraits on both of them.

Here he is at 8 years old. I guess it looks about right.

Constantine II Nummus, 324-325
image.png.370874197fc80db695c2015a4e80808a.png
Londinium. Bronze, 18mm, 3.04g. Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C. Campgate with six layers, two turrets, star above; PROVIDENTIAE CAESS; mintmark PLON (RIC 296).

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Constantine's family is a lot of fun to collect. I've bought a lot (tens of thousands) of coins in lots of varying sizes, and I tend to pull the nicest ones out for myself. A few of my favorite Constantine II coins:

ZomboDroid_01092023111708.jpg.68b8f81768c3ff7baf88a8e07592598a.jpgZomboDroid_30082023094427.jpg.715d2628f8d05d8c3b3b8301ad980ee6.jpgConstantineiiCaesarholdingvictorycaptivesunderstandard.jpg.295f74a4111d4b9035b455a8f74a53c0.jpgConstantineIIasCaesarAE3GLORIAEXERCITVSThessalonica.jpg.a525a84b07bb7bdd4c49abad612f67e9.jpgConstantineIICaesarGLORIAEXERCITVSSMNB.jpg.1141dd168e15335d5af9e04456a4ff06.jpg

This one is I think overstruck on a coin of Constantine - the busts aren't exactly the same, with the less complete bust having a larger nose and more prominent chin

ZomboDroid12022020110848.jpg.874254021ffa61356838f7092ff82403.jpg

And coins of Constantine II as Augustus ought to be common, but I have always struggled to find good examples. When I organized and took inventory of my collection, I was shocked that I didn't have any! It took me several months to find this one on ebay - SR flanking standard is Alexandria mint, and laureate bust lets us know it's Constantine II and not his father

Constantineiiaugustusgloriaexercitus.jpg.4c0d3b0c7fae89766bc127a1dad89aad.jpg

Constantine II only has a few of his own types, and the types shared with his father can be fairly ambiguous as he often used the same obverse legends at the same mints!

Edited by Finn235
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Nice pickups!

I also rarely venture in this area, but I recently picked up this Constantine II because I liked the number of rows of bricks on the campgate (and I needed something to make the shipping worth it) 🙂

331A5000-Edit.jpg.8961cc1c004dea4c5ea565cd15e9dfa5.jpg

Constantine II, as Caesar
Antioch, 326-327 CE
BI Nummus 3.38g, 20mm, 6h
CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust to left /
PROVIDENTIAE CAESS, camp gate with no doors, pellet in doorway and two turrets; star above, pellet in doorway, SMANTS in exergue.
RIC VII 73
Ex CNG 2011.

 

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It's good to branch out. I rarely get LRB's.  Constantine I only shows up a couple of times in my catalogued coins.  I don't think I've acquired a coin of his son since the 90's.

Licinius-308-324-AEnummus-Nikomedia-19mm2.53g317-320-SMNsilveringVF.jpg.34e9b10b8b425827ac76c985db1c23d3.jpg

Here's a recent example of one of my infrequent forways into LRB's.

Licinius I. 308-324 AD. AE Follis (2.53g, 19mm). Nicomedia mint. Struck 317-320 AD. Obv.: IMP LICINIVS AVG, laureate and draped bust left, holding mappa, globe and sceptre. Rev.: IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG, Jupiter standing left, holding Victory on globe and sceptre; palm branch in left field; Γ in right field; SMN in exergue. RIC 24. Traces of silvering,

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This is my favorite Constantine II. Sorry the pictures are junky. I need to re-do them.

ConstantineIIFollisVICTORIACAESSNNTSB.png.2a1f19cefc009140371a87296ff54627.png

Constantine II
AE follis
319 AD
Obverse: CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Reverse: VICTORIA CAESS NN, Victory walking left with wreath and palm branch
Mintmark dot TS dot B

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ConstantineII_Trier.jpg.114391bd3bec081266208280ede98702.jpg

 

Constantine II
A.D. 321
19mm 2.8g
CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C; Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, holding spear over shoulder and horse’s head by reins.
BEATA TRA-NQVILLITAS globe set on altar inscribed VOT/IS/XX; above, three stars.
in ex. PTR
cf. RIC VII Trier 314; RMBT 64

possible error in RIC…this coin might actually be RIC 314

 

 

ConstantineII_Cyzicus_98.jpg.44a465c5bb9732653a75d116942eae3f.jpg

 

Constantine II
A.D. 332- 333
16x18mm 2.6gm
CONSTANTINS IVN NOB C; pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust.
GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS; Two soldiers helmeted, stg. facing one another, reversed spear in outer hands, inner hands on shields resting on the ground; between them two standards.
in ex. •SMKS
RIC VII Cyzicus 98

maybe a really good unofficial issue

spelling error on obverse-- CONSTANTINS

 

ConstantineII_Bikic-Do_387.jpg.ce2635a75c1267321c64be5511aa94bb.jpg

Constantine II
A.D. 319- 320
18x19mm 3.5g
CONSTANT-INVS IVN NOB C; laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
VICT•LAETAE PRINC PERP; two Victories stg., facing one another, together holding wreath inscribed VOT PR on altar inscribed with what looks like a circle though it should be an S.
In ex. ΓSIS✶
RIC VII Siscia –-

RIC does not list this emission with the longer obverse legend, only N C versus NOB C.

Ex-Peter Weiß

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Weiß_(Historiker)

Plate coin for Bikić-Do Hoard #387

Sirmium VIII. Études de Numismatique Danubienne: Trésors, Lingots, Imitations. Monnaies de Fouilles IV au XII Siècle (Rome: Ecole francaise de Rome, 1978)

This hoard was discovered in Serbia in 1952. There were 10,590 coins, mostly from Eastern mints. 22 coins dated before A.D. 318 and 9 after A.D. 324. There were no Licinius IOVI types retarrifed to 12 and a half.

 

 

Edited by Victor_Clark
comment on altar
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Thanks, @ambr0zie, for starting this brilliant thread.

...Except, you want some camp gates?  Got some up in this house. Starting with my Constantine II, of Trier.  (Wish I could find who sold me this, from The Cabinet --haven't checked messages from this site; now is when I could bet that's where I could find it.  Meanwhile, you know who you are: Thanks!  ...Late-breaking edit: YES, this was from @CPK! ) image.png.5d3b07abf6f10af5c7a5004554b9fac6.png

image.png.710ab0d4ce78216986e48c34c95ce303.png

...As imitated by Charles le Chauve, King of the West Franks 843-877; grandson of Charlemagne.  

image.png.1c95f5ea93d170ca0095eff38a11bb9b.png

Obv. Cross; +CARLVS REX FR.

Rev. Neo-Roman camp gate; (from 6 o'clock:) +AVRE[...]LI[...]ANIS.  (Orleans.)

Depeyrot 725.

Followed by this one, also from Orleans, in the name (if you squint hard enough) of Hugues, a son of Robert II, the second Capetian king.  This Hugues led a revolt against his dad, and wound up predeceasing him.  (This issue dated c. 1010-1025.)

 ORLEANSHUGHHUGUESCAPETFILSREV..JPG.4bcce3843a5a93b50c7a8c917b285386.JPGORLEANSHUGHHUGUESCAPETFILSOBV..JPG.98c960b2e53ea3dac526c4d79f5815a4.JPG

Rev. +AVRELIANIS CIVITAS.

Obv.  Further metamorphosis of the camp gate motif; the letters H and G in the left and right fields; V inside the gateway, and O above (...'HVGO').  +D-I DEXTRA BE 

(This is a guess: perhaps, 'DOMINI DEXTRA BEATUM;' something along the lines of, 'May the Lord favorably (or fittingly) bless you.')  Duplessy 522.

Regardless, I need how this motif was perpetuated as late as the 11th century, even in this medium.  Throughout this phase of the middle ages, literate people in Western Europe (...and there were some) were hanging onto written Latin by their fingernails.  As an American living in the early 21st century, I, for one, can get some cultural traction with that.

 

 

 

 

 

image.png

image.png

Edited by JeandAcre
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I have one of the young Caesar photographed. Here it is. To be honest, I am not sure who I purchased it from, might have been Frank Robinson sometime in the past 4-5 years. It is a garden variety GLORIA EXERCITVS type. The army at that time surely was glorious but as pointed out above, Constantine II marched against his brother Constans and was the loser, Constans thereby staying in power until 350.

 

constantinusII-1.jpg.d2682fe94f1357c1b90a41d6e910c267.jpg

constantinusII-2.jpg.460f32f40938b9be611cc9acf870bed3.jpg

 

For that matter here is a Constans, with the legend "FL CONSTANTIS BEA C" or something like "To the Happy Flavius Constans Caesar"

I guess he was happy to have prevailed in the conflict. This type apparently was only issued at Siscia

constans1.jpg.2cf54597c1e15906d3c768bbfce878ad.jpg

constans2.jpg.2d7ae3963e3d8d8fe778824139384480.jpg

Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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19 hours ago, ambr0zie said:

Although I can say the number of coins in my collection is respectable, I never concentrated too much on LRBs. Like most of ancient coin collectors, I have a few interesting Constantinian era coins, but they are an exception rather than a rule. 

Nice coins. I don't understand this lack of interest in LRB coins. I think many people regard these coins as boring with stylized busts and uninspiring reverses. However, consider this litte selection from my collection. All Constantine II coins, with different and lively bust styles:

lrb1.PNG

Edited by Tejas
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some more

 

 

I was interested in the below coin for three reasons-- #1 it is a hoard coin  #2 it is a plate in Coin Hoards from Roman Britain 10 (#238) and #3 it is not listed in RIC.

This hoard was discovered on 18 January 1993 in Chapmanslade in Wiltshire. It comprised 5,200 coins with all but 12 issued after A.D. 317 and the latest coins were from A.D. 337.

9134_23.29_1.jpg.f19bcc3b50664dc07f3d21539280efd7.jpg

 

 

Crispus
A.D. 321- 323
18mm     2.3gm
IVL CRISPVS NOB C; bust l., helmeted, cuir., shield on l. shoulder, Victory on globe in r. hand.
BEATA TRANQVILLITAS; globe set on altar inscribed VO/TIS/XX; above, three stars.
In ex.  [P]TR crescent
RIC VII Trier -- ; RMBT 247; Chapmanslade CHRB X 238 (this coin)


Interestingly, as I was reading in CHRB about this hoard, there was a section about coins that were not in RIC. This coin (#238) was not listed. I read on and saw that they considered this coin an unofficial issue.

However, there is another example, die matched with this one, that clearly shows they are official.

https://www.notinric.lechstepniewski.info/7tri-402_s.html

 

According to “Die Römische Münzserie Beata Tranquillitas in der Prägestätte Trier 321-323” (RMBT), though hesitatingly with ?'s, the shield is engraved with Constantine I seated beside Crispus with Constantine II in between.

 

 

 

This coin is not listed in RIC, but it is in Alten & Zschucke's  Beata Tranquillitas from Trier 321-323.

Though the coin is in poorly preserved condition, it looks like the left shoulder has some decoration. Trier armor is often depicted with large, intricately engraved shoulders, often depicting what some German collectors call Trierer Pelzchen or "small fur from Trier" since it looks like the armor is trimmed with fur. On this coin though, it appears to be three figures, perhaps the three graces or maybe it is just elaborate tassels/ fringes, but it really looks more like figures. Maybe the engraver was confused by the large open area of the shoulder and thought it should have been engraved like a shield.

 

nKC47jeF4tB6f5kA9SjSyy2TsPo8N3.jpg.754d8e3a118104c25b4399c207a4ad96.jpg

 

Constantine II
A.D. 322- 323
18x19mm    3.2gm
CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C; laureate, draped and cuirassed bust left, holding victory on globe in right and spear over left shoulder.
BEATA TRANQVILLITAS; globe set on altar inscribed VO/TIS/XX; above, three stars.
In ex. dot STR dot
RIC VII Trier --
Alten & Zschucke #117

 

 

4aAXrrF56RpPJwL29Dncg3DHBm7gf8.jpg.58d6bfe4c988f5dde20801b75e0d512c.jpg

 

Constantine II
A.D. 322- 323
17x18mm     2.7gm
CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C; bust left, laureate, draped and cuirassed, raising right hand, globe in left.
BEATA TRAN-QVILLITAS; globe set on altar inscribed VO/TIS/XX; above, three stars.
In ex. •PTR•
RIC VII Trier 387

 

 

struck with two flans stuck together

 

Lyons_90.jpg.9d285700623b2f0898e11eed034a7f05.jpg

 

Constantine II
A.D. 320
19mm 5.8g
D N CONSTANTINO IVN NOB C; laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
VICTORIAE LAET PRINC PERP; two Victories stg., facing one another, together holding wreath inscribed VOT PR on altar.
in ex. P two captives L
RIC VII Lyon 90

 

 

two of my favorite Constantine II unofficial issues

 

Constantine_II_Ticinum_campgate.jpg.d3c259b79d339e03f77570ae514d9b65.jpg

 

Constantine II
A.D. 326
18x19mm 2.6gm
CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C; Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust left.
PROVIDEN-TIAE CAESS; camp gate with two turrets and star between them.
In ex. T crescent T
Cf. RIC VII Ticinum 200

The obverse is in good style, but bust left is not in RIC for this issue. The reverse style is very strange for Ticinum, especially the large turrets.

 

 

ConstantineII_VIRTVS_Trier.jpg.2a2474808fbfd3f157fd72a0ac85497b.jpg

 

Constantine II
Circa A.D. 340
13x14mm 1.5gm
[????] CONSINNITVS AVG; laureate and cuirassed bust right.
[VIRTVS] IVGG NN; Virtus standing holding spear and resting hand on shield.
In ex. TRP

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A Gloria Exercitus with a nice dark olive toning, difficult to capture. Struck 2-3 years before Constantine II was named Augustus. 

image.png.25a178530351af6a71c606b9386b4dda.png

17,1 mm, 2,14 g.
Constantine II as Caesar under Constantine I. Ӕ. Siscia. 334-335.
CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, bust of Constantine II, laureate, cuirassed, right / GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS, two soldiers, helmeted, draped, cuirassed, standing facing each other, each holding spear in outer hand and resting inner hand on shield; between them, two standards. MintMark: -/-//•ЄSIS•
RIC VII Siscia 236.

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