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Numismatics

ID number:  BIRBI-R3434
Object type:  Coin
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Named collection:  P. D. Whitting Collection
Collector:  Whitting, Philip D.
Maker:  Constans I (337-350)
Denomination:  Solidus
Place made:  Mint of Thessalonica
Culture:  Roman
Date made:  337-340
Metal:  Gold
Weight (g):  4.58
BIRBI-R3434.jpg

Description:  Obverse: Bust of Constans I facing right, wearing cuirass with a cloak and a diadem.

Victory holding a spear topped with a trophy and a palm branch. Constans was the son of Constantine I and on his father’s death received the central portion of the empire (Italy, Illyricum, Dalmatia and Greece). Constans, shown as leader of the Roman army, and Victory, with her trophies from conquered enemies, give this coin a strong military theme. This coin is from a period in Roman history when the emperor spent most of his time with his troops. Constans himself campaigned along the Danube frontier. The army in many ways directed the way in which the empire was ruled. Although Constans spent much of his time with his troops and was engaged in many successful campaigns, his troops took advantage of his absence from the army to revolt and raise another to the throne in a rebellion that would eventually leave Constans dead. The multiple G’s at the end of the reverse inscription correspond to the number of emperors at that time.

Inscriptions:  Obverse: FLIVLCON STANSPFAVG (Flavius Julius Constans Dutiful, Happy, Augustus)
Reverse: VICTORIA DDNNAVGG (Victory of Our Lords the Augusti) TES (Mint mark of Thessalonica)

Bibliography:  Kent, J. The Roman Imperial Coinage Vol VIII, The Family of Constantine I A.D. 337-364 C.H.V. Sutherland and R.A.G. Carson eds. (London 1981) Coin 13.

2 Related People

Haines, Geoffrey Colton
British
1899
1981-09-14
Whitting, Philip David
British
1903
1988
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