ROMAN EMPIRE Constantine I 307-337 AD centenionalis

$40.00

ROMAN EMPIRE, Constantine I, 307-337 AD, centenionalis, no date (324 AD), Heraclea mint, officina 2, Obverse: laureate bust R, CONSTANTINVS AVG, Reverse: D N CONSTANTINI MAX AVG around wreath in which VOT dot X*X, SMHB, billon, 17-19mm, 2.98g, SR16224, XF+

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Description

Son of Constantius I, Constantine was Caesar in the west when his father died. He was passed over for western Augustus in favor of Licinius I. After several years war broke out between them, Constantine winning in the end. He proceeded to dismantle the Tetrarchy system and inaugurated a new governmental organization that still had eastern and western Emperors but with a single family running a dynastic operation within the ruling structure. Supposedly converted to Christianity at his death. Rome became officially Christian shortly after. Called Constantine the Great.

In the Imperial Period Roman coinage became an engine for governmental propaganda. All of the themes of the coins are celebratory of some aspect of govermental authority or achievement.

The Roman Republic was founded in response to tyrannical kings. It functioned for several centuries in a kind of balance of rich and poor people (slaves didn’t count). The general idea was that laws would constrain personal power. During the days of Julius Caesar, et al, powerful people became too powerful, and a new system of slightly constrained autocracy, the Empire, developed. The main catalog we use on this web site for Roman coins is Roman Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.