7-010

RIC VII, ROME [after 17], CONSTANTINE I, UNLISTED ISSUE [LIBERATOR ORBIS], OFFICINA P

  

OBVERSE

IMPCONSTANTINVSPFAVG [IMP CONSTANTINVS P F AVG]; bust r., laur., dr., cuir.

REVERSE

LI-BER-A-TORORBIS [LIBERATOR ORBIS]; Emperor galloping r. over lion, r. rised. R*P in exergue.

NOT IN RIC

UNLISTED ISSUE. Minted probably in year 315 when Constantine arrived to Rome to celebrate his decennalia. At the same time the great triumphal arch was finished, dedicated to Constantine as LIBERATORI VRBIS. Omitted in RIC VI and VII but was previously well known to many scholars.

Cohen lists this type for Constantine (Cohen, vol. VII, p. 265, no. 317) and also for Licinius (Ibid., p. 201-202, no. 132-133): with R*S or R•S (Rome) and ALE (Alexandria) in exergue.

DRC mentions this issue in the article "LIBERATOR ORBIS": "-The Liberator of the World.-This new title, and sufficiently assumptive, appears on a third brass of Constantine the Great, the type which it accompanies being that of the emperor on horseback with his right hand raised, and a lion crouching under his horse's feet. -Eckhel refers it to the successes of Constantine over either his rivals or the barbarians whose incursions were pernicious to the whole Roman world, and who therefore on this medal are shadowed forth under the image of a lion trampled upon by a horseman" (p. 517).

Maurice lists all four officinae for Constantine I and officina S (bust type B4) for Licinius I. See: J. Maurice, Numismatique constantinienne, vol. I, Paris 1908, p. 215; one example on plate XVIII, no. 4.

Voetter lists only officina S for Licinius I (Voetter, p. 229, no. 30) but gives laureate head r. as bust type!

Kent follows Cohen in listing LIBERATOR ORBIS type for both Augusti, Constantine and Licinius, but he identifies it as minted exclusively at Rome in 312-313 (see Kent, p. 50, no. 454-455).

Type is listed also in RBC (only for Constantine I, no. 234CI, p. 31 and plate 14) and in: Meixner, I., "Neki kovovi iz nalaza kod Stoca koje ne poznaje najnovija radnja Sutherlanda »Roman Imperial Coinage«, VI sv. 1967. godine" [Some coins from Stoca hoard which are unlisted in the latest Sutherland's work "Roman Imperial Coinage" vol. VI, 1967], Numizmatičke vijesti, vol. XVI/27, 1969, p. 16-18 and plate V (only for Licinius).

Finally, Doyen has attested four officinae for Constantine I (bust B4) and three officinae for Licinius I (S, T, Q; bust type B5) (see: Jean-Marc Doyen, "Une émission constantinienne méconnue (Rome, 313) et la date de la 3ème réduction pondérale du follis", Bulletin du Cercle d'Études Numismatiques 1990, no. 1, pp. 1-9).

Note that there are two minor variants of reverse: with or without shield on left arm. Emperor is probably always laureate (Cohen gives "Licinius casqué" for no. 132). He has right hand raised and empty, but, surprisingly, on some specimens tip of spear is visible near the lion's head.

Coin should be listed after ROME 17.

See also:
ROME [after 17], CONSTANTINE I, UNLISTED ISSUE, OFFICINA S
ROME [after 17], CONSTANTINE I, UNLISTED ISSUE, OFFICINA T
ROME [after 17], CONSTANTINE I, UNLISTED ISSUE, OFFICINA Q
ROME [after 17], LICINIUS I, UNLISTED ISSUE, BUST TYPE B4, OFFICINA T
ROME [after 17], LICINIUS I, UNLISTED ISSUE, BUST TYPE B5, OFFICINA P
ROME [after 17], LICINIUS I, UNLISTED ISSUE, BUST TYPE B5, OFFICINA S
ROME [after 17], LICINIUS I, UNLISTED ISSUE, BUST TYPE B5, OFFICINA T
ROME [after 17], LICINIUS I, UNLISTED ISSUE, BUST TYPE B5, OFFICINA Q
ROME [after 17], LICINIUS I, UNLISTED ISSUE, BUST TYPE B5

NOTES

Weight 4.0 g; diameter 24.77 mm. From Victor Failmezger's collection (no. 234 in RBC); photo by Doug Smith.

Other specimens:

- from the British Museum Collection (reg. no. B.2141); weight 2.95 g [click for picture];

- from: Dr. Wendelin Kellner, "Ungewöhnliche und irreguläre Römermünzen. 16. Teil: Constantinische Zeit (I)", Money Trend 2011, no. 6, p. 191, no. 9; weight 3.27 g; diameter 20.3-21.0 mm; rev. legend breaks R-A-T [click for picture];

- from Doyen's article cited above (p. 5, no. 2); weight 2.76 g; rev. legend breaks A-T-O [click for picture];

- sold on Rauch auction 91 (lot 816) in December 2012 for EUR 280; weight 2.58 g; rev. legend breaks A-T-O [click for picture];

- from FORVM ANCIENT COINS; posted by mariela s; sold on CNG auction 306 (lot 427) in July 2013 for $650; weight 2.22 g; diameter 20 mm; rev. legend breaks B-ER-A-T [click for picture];

- from CGB Numishop (brm_342267), sold for EUR 1,400; weight 3.64 g; diameter 21,5 mm; rev. legend breaks A-T-O [click for picture];

- sold on FORVM ANCIENT COINS; weight 2.791 g; diameter 21.1 mm; rev. legend breaks R-A-T and B-I[click for picture].


NOT IN RIC © 2004 Lech Stępniewski