7-026

RIC VII, ALEXANDRIA [after 21], CONSTANTINE II, UNLISTED FOR RULER, OFFICINA B

  

OBVERSE

FLCLCONSTANTINVSNOBCAES [FL CL CONSTANTINVS NOB CAES]; head r., laur.

REVERSE

IOVICONSER-VATORICAESS [IOVI CONSERVATORI CAESS]; Jupiter stg. l., chlamys across l. shoulder, leaning on sceptre, Victory on globe in r. hand; eagle with wreath to l. K in left field, wreath above X above B in right field. ALE in exergue.

NOT IN RIC

UNLISTED FOR RULER. RIC does not list Constantine's II coins for this issue.

General note from page 699-700: "The N-marked series were superseded by three issues struck in two officinae only, all characterized by the letters K|X in the field [..]. Thus the coins show Licinius breaking relations with Constantine, an incident marked by the revised reverse legend IOVI CONSERVATORI AVG. This reverse legend was continued into the following mark until the nomination of Valens, when the wording with AVGG was restored. The short reign of Valens is reflected in the rarity of his coins. Constantine seems to have been admitted to the coinage in advance of the reconciliation confirmed on 1 March 317 at Serdica; the coins of the western ruler are only slightly scarcer than those of Licinius. On the other hand, the coins of the Caesars, which probably appeared only after settlement at Serdica, are very scarce indeed. In fact, not more than a single coin of Crispus and two of Licinius II are known. Finally it should be pointed out that the bronzes conclusively establish the date of Civil War I as 316. In the course of a single mark we have the rupture between Constantine and Licinius, the appointment of Valens, the restoring of friendly relations between East and West manifest in the dethronement of Valens, and the elevation of the sons of Constantine and Licinius to princely rank.

The first issue with the Caesars is unusual inasmuch as the obverses have the bust B1, whereas all other Licinian mints introduce the Emperors with the consular bust J1 l. The obverse legends of the Caesars also are exceptional. D(ominus) N(oster), later regularly employed for all the Caesars, is lacking both for Crispus and for Licinius II (no coins of Constantine II are known), and in addition the latter's praenomen Constantinus, only rarely used, appears in the legend".

Commentary by Curtis Clay (from FORVM ANCIENT COINS): "As Bruun points out in RIC, the neat things about the coins of the Caesars in this issue at Alexandria are (1) their rarity: 1 recorded for Crispus, 2 for Licinius II, and now 1 for Constantine II. (2) the odd forms of their names, obviously because this was their first appearance in the coinage. No D N preceding their names, though this was normal from the next issue on; and Licinius II gets his praenomen CONSTANTINVS, "only rarely used". (3) Finally, the appearance of the Caesars in this issue proves that the first civil war between Constantine and Licinius took place in 316 not 314 as previously thought, because we know the Caesars were elevated on 1 March 317, but THE VERY SAME ISSUE at Alexandria contains the very rare coins of Valens, whom Licinius I made co-emperor during the war with Constantine. An issue that certainly continued until after 1 March 317 is unlikely to have started any earlier than the year before, 316!".

Commentary by David R. Sear (from Certificate of Authenticity): "[...] unrecorded in the principal works of reference [...] apparently unique, the only recorded specimen of the Alexandrian coinage of Constantine II belonging to the first issue in the names of the sons of Constantine and Licinius".

Coin should be listed after ALEXANDRIA 21.

See also:
ALEXANDRIA [after 21], CONSTANTINE II, UNLISTED FOR RULER, OFFICINA A

NOTES

Weight 3.50 g; diameter 21 mm. Coin sold on eBay in August 2018 for GBP 76.99.

Other specimens:

- sold on eBay in August 2018 for GBP 46; weight 3.30 g; diameter 22 mm [click for picture];

- from Robin Ayers' collection [click for picture].


NOT IN RIC © 2004 Lech Stępniewski