Caracalla. A.D. 198-217. Rome - A.D. 213-215. Æ Dupondius. Radiate, draped & cuir. bust R. / 'PROVIDENTIAE DEORVM' with 'S-C' either side of Providentia stg. L. holding a sceptre & a wand over a globe. Very Fine & Scarce.
Before the Crisis of the Third Century most cities in the Roman Empire did not have walls, dried fruit from Syria could be bought in Britain and copper from Cornwall was traded in Egypt! Carinus was in his early thirties when he was made Caesar by Carus, his father, in A.D. 282. More competent than his brother, Numerian, he quelled disturbances in Gaul & Germania. He returned to Rome in charge of the West while his father and brother went to war in the East in A.D. 283. Bias sources have him marrying then divorcing nine women, forcing others into affairs and murdering people he deemed disrespectful. Regardless, he never saw Carus or Numerian again but in their place returned Diocletian at the head of the victorious eastern army. In July A.D. 285 they met at the Battle of the Margus River (the modern Morava River) in Moesia. Legends state Carinus was winning when he was betrayed and stabbed in the back for forcing himself on that person’s wife. Some name them as his Praetorian Prefect and joint Consul, Aristobulus, which appears to have some truth as Diocletian kept Aristobulus in service and later made him governor of multiple provinces. So maybe some of those rumours were right! But judging by the two year run of coins for his wife, Magnia Urbica, the marrying rumour isn’t. This ended what we call ‘The Crisis of the Third Century’ as Diocletian stabilised the Roman Empire with the Tetrarchy system. We offer you Antoninianus of Carinus, the last emperor of the Crisis, in Very Fine Condition with a variety of reverses. After his death what we call a ‘Damnatio Memoriae’ was enacted, Diocletian destroyed his inscriptions and coins, trying to wipe him from the record. This means he is Scarce and a difficult coin to find. Don’t miss out on your chance to get one of these coins!
Maximian was born around 250 A.D. near Sirmium, a man of humble origins who rose fast through a military career to high rank. He was later chosen by the emperor Diocletian as his colleague and co-emperor. When the Tetrarchy was proposed by Diocletian, Maximian chose Constantius (father of Constantine the Great) as his deputy, Caesar, and successor. Maximian campaigned with Diocletian against Rome’s enemies on the Rhine and Danube frontiers. But he was unsuccessful in his attempts to beat the rebel North Sea Fleet commander Carausius who had seized Britain. This was not achieved for another 10 years and then by Constantius. He later fought with success against a revolt in North Africa. When the senior emperor Diocletian abdicated in 305 A.D. Maximian also abdicated at his order, but with great reluctance. But in 307 A.D. Maxentius, the son of Maximian, rebelled against the legitimate emperor Galerius and proclaimed himself emperor in Rome, at the same time luring Maximian out of retirement to aid him. But Maximian had other plans and when he tried to usurp Maxentius’ authority he was forced to take refuge in Gaul with his son-in-law Constantine. Then in 310 A.D. while Constantine was away fighting the Franks, Maximian announced Constantine was dead and had himself proclaimed emperor at Arles. Constantine hearing of the trouble returned. Maximian fled to Marseilles where he was besieged and defeated, either being murdered or forced committed suicide. The coins we offer here are Billon Antoninianus in Extremely Fine condition showing his radiate bust on the obverse and with various reverses.
Probus became emperor in AD 276 after overthrowing the emperor Florianus. A native of the city of Sirmium in what is now Serbia, he rose to prominence and proved himself a capable administrator and commander and is recognised as an emperor who contributed to the revival of the Roman Empire at a time of severe turmoil and crisis. In AD 277/8 his armies defeated the Goths, Alamanni, Longiones, Franks, and Burgundians. He realised that the best way to keep his soldiers out of trouble was to keep them busy so, with the frontiers of the empire stabilised, he set his men to the task of rebuilding the shattered infrastructure of key provinces that had crumbled under previous emperors by building roads, bridges and fortifications, draining marshes, digging canals and, interestingly, planting extensive vineyards. New plantations sprang up across Europe and there is mention in some records of Probus authorising the planting of vineyards in Britain too so we may still be enjoying the fruits of his labours today! These Antoninianus, or ‘Ants’ as we call them, are as good as they come, virtually as struck and with original lustre. There are a variety of reverse types most with standing figures but a limited number available in this grade.
Constans. A.D. 337-350. Billion Maiorina. Born around A.D. 320, Constans was the youngest son of Constantine the Great. Following a short war with his brother, Constantine II, he survived and ruled the Western empire with Constantius II in the East. Constans even visited Britain in A.D. 343 by enduring the very dangerous crossing of the channel in mid-winter, campaigning against the Picts and Scots. This means Constans was the last legitimate Roman Emperor we know visited our shores. In A.D. 350 he was killed by followers of the usurper Magnentius while on a hunting trip in Gaul. These billon coins (1% silver content) are called Maiorina and were struck across the empire for Rome’s 1100 year anniversary in A.D. 348. They show a soldier dragging a barbarian from their hut with the legend ‘Fel (cium) Temp (orum) Reparatio’ which stands for ‘The Restoration of Happy Times’. They grade Good Very Fine and are priced to please!
Our recent offering of the Roman Starter Collection was so well received we thought we would help our collectors add to it by offering coins of the famous Constantinian Dynasty. This important dynasty, named for its founder, stewarded the pagan-dominated empire from a Tetrarchy of four military men to a heavily Christianised one under one family. But this was by no means a smooth transition! Constantine I is the only Roman emperor called ‘the Great’. Born around A.D. 272 at Naissus (in modern Serbia) his father was Constantius I, one of the soldier emperors in the Tetrarchic system. On campaign in Britain the sick Constantius I died at York in A.D. 306 so the army proclaimed Constantine emperor. From A.D. 307 Constantine styled himself as ‘Augustus’ and slowly but surely became the sole ruler of the empire. Notably, at the Milvian Bridge in A.D. 312, he defeated Maxentius with a Christian symbol on his soldier’s shields, apparently given by God in a dream. As he aged Constantine left the old gods behind, becoming Christian, and this support shaped our modern world as Christianity in the medieval era was the common cause that united the West. He was baptised just before his death in A.D. 337 at roughly 65. Importantly for Britain, he struck the gold Solidus at 72 to the Roman pound, called a Libra. Librae, solidi, and the defunct denarii became pounds, shillings, and pence (£.s.d.). The coin presented here was made after A.D. 320 when Constantine moved away from pagan imagery. It shows a wreath and grades Very Fine. You can now add one of the most important Roman emperors to your collection! And if you already have a coin of him you might not have this type…
This is one of a handful of very interesting commemorative issues struck by Constantine the Great. The type offered here is one of the two more affordable types and was made for the founding of Constantinople in A.D. 330. They are made from bronze and show the Goddess of the city, ‘Constantinopolis’, in a helmet and war gear on the obverse. The reverse shows the goddess of Victory on the prow of a ship holding a sceptre and shield. This is to symbolise the port being captured using ships by Constantine’s son, Crispus. On a small amount of these reverses, the prow will be facing towards Victory, this is because the engravers making the designs didn’t realise the goddess was meant to be on the ship! There are enough variations in mintmarks and the styles of the designs on these to form a collection of these types alone. But the most interesting about these coins is how well they have survived! At this time bronze coins would circulate so heavily that it is very hard to find them in a good grade. We have a small collection of this commemorative from 1600 years ago in this exceptional almost Extremely Fine grade.
This is a very interesting Ancient Roman commemorative coin of Constantine the Great. It was issued to commemorate the founding of Constantinople. You have the bust of Constantine the Great on one side and a standing goddess with wings on the other. Roman commemorative coins tend to be scarce and expensive. This is one of only two commemoratives that is both reasonable and available. They are struck in copper and we have them in Fine, they represent a very important historic event.
Continuing our series of the famous Constantinian Dynasty we offer Crispus, the son who was second only to Constantine before being executed. A 1700-year-old mystery that will likely never be solved. Flavius Julius Crispus was born around A.D. 300, the son of Constantine the Great by his first wife Minervina. Made Caesar in A.D. 317 Crispus had a very successful military career, even helping his father to overcome and defeat the rival emperor LiciniusIinA.D. 324. He was all but heir to the throne but inA.D. 326 he was mysteriously executed on the orders of his father, Constantine the Great. The best theory we have is that his stepmother, the Empress Fausta, engineered it for her own son’s advancement as shortly after Fausta herself was dead on the orders of her devastated and furious husband. These bronze coins were struck in the early A.D. 320s and have various reverses. Crispus does not reign long and after his death, a ‘Damnatio Memoriae’ was enacted meaning his coins are Scarce, and we have limited stock available for this coin. These coins remain some of the best sources of information for him being Caesar. We offer them here in Fine, do not miss out.
Gallienus ruled as sole emperor from A.D. 260-268 during one of the most difficult times in the history of the empire. Not only was the empire facing natural disasters and invasions on all sides but he had to face at least eight rebellions from his own governors and generals! He issued a fantastic group of bronze Antoninianus coins to honour the Gods, asking for their protection against these troubles. Though made in Europe, these coins were used in Britain and are a large part of the Mildenhall Hoard in the British Museum. Depicted on these coins are a variety of animals, some real and some mythical, each linked to one of the Roman deities. This series is known as the 'Gallienus Zoo Coins' and make a great set to try to complete. From this series, we offer here the Gazelle, identified as different to the antelope by the numbers ‘XI’ or ‘XII’ underneath and the straight horns. These are designed to honour Diana, the sister of Apollo and the goddess of the hunt. This is likely to bring luck to hunting and like her brother, for plagues and disease. The coins are at least Very Fine but because of the chaos at the time remember they may be a little weakly struck. As always the first to order will get the best. This is the last to complete the set we have available!
Maxentius. A.D. 307-312. Ostia - A.D. 309. Æ Follis. Laureate head right / 'AETERNITAS AVG N' Castor & Pollux, The Dioscuri, standing facing each other holding bridle of horse & sceptre; Romulus & Remus feeding from she-wolf in the middle. About Extremely Fine & Scarce type with Romulus & Remus. This is the year Spain declares for Constantine against Maxentius, they are on the way to the Milvian Bridge
Laureate head right / ‘ANNONA AVGVSTI CERES’ Ceres seated left holding corn-ears & torch, facing Annona standing right, holding cornucopiae; between them modius on garlanded altar; ship’s stern behind; ‘S C’ in ex. Handsome green patina, Good Very Fine & Rare! Expressive portrait in high relief. This coin represents the grain supply to Rome, Nero is showing he looks after his citizens.
Nerva. A.D. 96-98. Rome - Sept-Dec A.D. 97. Æ Sestertius. Laureate head right / 'FORTVNA AVGVST' Fortuna standing left, holding rudder and cornucopiae; 'S-C' across fields. Very Fine & Rare. This coin asks for fortune for the emperor. An impressive portrait of Nerva this highlights his aquiline nose.