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The name of Licinius (AD308-324)


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You'd think Roman mints would know how to spell the emperor's name, but the name of the emperor we call Licinius was not consistently spelled that way even after a few years had gone by. 

Here is typical coin with the usual spelling:


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IMP LICINIVS AVG
Simple!
19 mm. 3.27 grams.
RIC Nicomedia 24


However, the mints of Cyzicus, Antioch, and Alexandria sometimes spelled it with two Ns and spelled out more of his name.

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22 mm. 6.34 grams.
VAL LICINNIANVS LICINNIVS PF AVG   [Now, that's a name!]
GENIO AVGVSTI CMH (the CMH ligate)
Genius standing
MKVΓ
RIC VI Cyzicus 76 "c. mid 311"

Licinius was appointed Augustus in late 308 at the Conference at Carnuntum. This coin is from 2 1/2 years later and his name is spelled with two Ns. Most other mints spell it with one N.

Some legends at Cyzicus and Nicomedia, like this one, end with the enigmatic elided CMH:

If that is really CMH, what does it mean? I don't think we know, but some have speculated that the C is 100 in Roman numerals and MH is 48 (in Greek). Maybe it is "48 to the pound" and 100 of something (denarii?). 

I like coins with long versions of the emperor's name. Show us a Licinius or a coin on which the emperor's name is unusually long.
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Here are a Maximinus and a Licinius.

The Maximinus has no long name, but a long title.

MAXIMINUS :

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MAXIMINIUS NOBILISSIMUS CAES

GENIOPOPU-LI ROMANI

RIC VI nr 59b  LONDON 10,00 gr  26,29 mm

LICINIUS :

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VAL LICINNIANUS LICINNIUS PF AVG

VIRTUTI E-XERCITUS

CYZICUS  A/ /MKV

RIC VI nr 51     5,94 gr   25,46 mm

 

 

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Not that much longer but an extra LIC 😉...

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Licinius I AE Follis. 20mm dia/ 3.2gr
Obverse- IMP LIC LICINIVS PF AVG, laureate head right
Reverse- IOVI CON-SERVATORI, Jupiter standing left, holding victory and sceptre, eagle at foot with wreath in its beak,gamma to right.
Mintmark SIS. RIC VII#8G (Siscia oficina3)

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These mints which have the alternative spelling LICINNIVS belonged to Galerius and then Maximinus II and this spelling lasts until Licinius takes them over after the death of Maximinus in 313. Perhaps there's some connection there. It certainly looks like the preferred ortography by Licinius himself was LICINIVS with only one N.

Antioch 310

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Obv:- IMP C VAL LICAN (sic) LICINIVS P F AVG, radiate draped and cuirassed bust right
Rev:- IOVI CONSERVATORI, Jupiter standing left, holding Victory and sceptre, eagle at foot left, captive at foot right, X II Mu right
Minted in Antioch (//SMANTZ). A.D. 321-323
Reference:- RIC VII Antioch 35 var (LICAN for LICIN)

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Obv:– IMP C LIC LICINNIVS P F AVG, Laureate head right
Rev:– GENIO AVGVSTI, Genius, nude but for a chlamys hanging low from his left arm, modius on head, standing facing, head left, holding up a figurine of Victory in his righ hand and a cornucopia in his left arm
Minted in Antioch (* | H // ANT). A.D. 311-312
Reference:– RIC VI Antioch 162a (S)

RI_155ar_img.jpg

 

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I've posted this coin recently on another thread but hope you don't mind me posting it again as for future reference I think the title of the thread fits...Misspelled name.

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Licinius I (RIC VII#155 Arles)-Unlisted-

Licinius I AE Follis 20mm/3.43gr (Emperors name Misspelled)

Obverse-IMP LICINVS PF AVG- laureate, cuirassed bust right

Reverse-REV SOLI INVICTO COMITI- Sol standing right, looking left, chlamys across chest and over his left arm, holding globe and raising right hand. C-S across fields

Exergue-PARL- minted 313-318AD Arles

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Bronze coin (AE Follis) minted at SMN = Nicomedia during the reign of LICINIUS I between 311 - 313 A.D Obv. IMP.C.VAL.LICIN.LICINVS.P.F.AVG. Rev. IOVI.CONS-ERVATORI. Jupiter standing facing, hd. l., chlamys hanging from l. shoulder, r. holding Victory on globe, l. leaning on sceptre; eagle with wreath in beak at feet to l. RCS #3799. RICVI #69a pg.566.

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Bronze coin (AE Follis) minted at Alexandria during the reign of LICINIUS I in 321 A.D Obv. IMP.C.VAL.LICIN.LICINVS.P.F.AVG. laur. & cuir. bust r. Rev. IOVI.CONS-ERVATORI. Jupiter standing facing, hd. l., chlamys hanging from l. shoulder, r. holding Victory on globe, l. leaning on sceptre; eagle with wreath in beak at feet to l.  RCS #3798. RICVII #28 pg.708.

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Bronze coin (AE3) minted at Nicomedia during the reign of LICINIUS I, for his Son LICINIUS II, as Caesar, between 317-320 A.D Obv. D.N.VAL.LICIN.LICINVS.NOB. C. laur. and draped bust r. Rev. PROVIDEN-TIAE.CAESS. Jupiter stg. l., a palm at his feet. RCS #3818. RICVII #34 pg.605. DVM #7.

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