Author Topic: Constantine I SOL INVICTO coins without a mintmark  (Read 689 times)

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Offline Victor

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Constantine I SOL INVICTO coins without a mintmark
« on: April 27, 2017, 03:22:49 PM »
There is an interesting series of SOL INVICTO coins without a mintmark in the exergue. RIC VI attributed these to the Trier mint; but they were also struck at London, Ticinum and Aquileia. These coins were originally attributed by style to the Trier mint by Voetter.  Bastien wrote two articles in the 1970’s that showed examples (based on style and die linkage) from Ticinum and Aquileia1&2. Most recently examples from London have been noted3.


These coins were probably struck around A.D. 311- 312, about the time that Constantine opened the mints of Ticinum and Aquileia. Gautier believes that these coins from all the mints were struck simultaneously, so 311- 312 at the earliest based on when the mints were taken over and the sequence of field marks from London issues. Bastien even stated that these unsigned coins were struck for significant occasions, like donative. There was a donativum in late A.D. 3124. There is a possibility that these coins were also minted at Lyons and perhaps even Rome.

These coins were initially struck at 1/96lb and then reduced to 1/72lb. The last picture below is from an auction that has the two different modules side by side for easy size comparison.


here is the description for the first coin below--

Constantine I
A.D. 310-13
22mm   4.7gm
CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right
SOLI INVICTO COMITI, bust of Sol r., radiate and draped, seen from rear.
RIC VI Trier 893






1 Pierre Bastien, "Une emission de folles sans marque a Ticinum en 312" Schweizer Münzblätter 20 (1970)

2 Bastien, "Folles sans marque emis par Consatntin en Italie"  Schweizer Münzblätter 24 (1974)

3 Georges Gautier, "An Unpublished Nummus of Constantine I of the Mint of London"  Numismatic Chronicle 152 (1992)

4 Bastien, “Interprétation des antoniniani sans marque émis à l'atelier de Lyon de 275 à 294” Festoen opgedragen aan A. N. Zadoks-Josephus Jitta  bij haar zeventigste verjaardag  Scripta archaeologica Groningana 6 (1976) pg. 75




Offline Joshmaggosh

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Re: Constantine I SOL INVICTO coins without a mintmark
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2017, 09:24:59 PM »
A reverse type still missing from my collection and a really cool type! I have yet to find one at the right cost / condition point.

What is the actual rarity of these? I don't see many and I'm sure when they do come up demand is high.

Offline Victor

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Re: Constantine I SOL INVICTO coins without a mintmark
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2017, 09:50:29 PM »
they are not that rare from Trier- there are eight examples for sale now on Vcoins...but none from the other mints.

Offline Genio popvli romani

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Re: Constantine I SOL INVICTO coins without a mintmark
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2017, 02:46:20 AM »
Yes, the 1/72 from Trier are not rare but 1/96 are rarer (and Marti conservatori are much more).
Thanks to an obverse die match, I have been able with the help of Lech and members of a French forum to show that the 1/96 coins have been struck, at least, up to 316.
That only confirms what Jules Maurice had noted before Huvelin/Bastien based on the smaller die diameter. However, what we don't really know, is if it was a continued emission or punctual ones.

The die-match :


The discussion (in French) :
http://www.nummus-bibleii.com/t7220-les-soli-invicto-comiti-de-treves-sans-marque

Lech's page (Trier [after 60]) :
http://www.notinric.lechstepniewski.info/av7.html
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Offline Genio popvli romani

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Re: Constantine I SOL INVICTO coins without a mintmark
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2017, 05:32:42 PM »
Victor, have you any information/source about a donativum that Constantine could have given during the year 316 or early 317 (victory over Licinius, nomination of the caesares,...)?
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Offline Victor

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Re: Constantine I SOL INVICTO coins without a mintmark
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2017, 06:19:32 PM »
I don't know any specific sources of the top of my head; but a donativum would not have been unusual in 316 or 317 since that was close to his decennalia; but maybe he gave them out every year on his dies imperii...there is evidence he gave some out, but did he do it regularly? Besides the war with Licinius, his son Constantine II was also born in 316, so quite a few important events were going on. Maybe there was even a donativum made every year on the Emperor's dies natalis to troops that served directly under him.


I just ordered the book The Emperor and the Army in the Later Roman Empire, AD 235–395 and if it has anything on the topic, I will let you know.

Offline Genio popvli romani

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Re: Constantine I SOL INVICTO coins without a mintmark
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2017, 02:20:04 AM »
Thank you for your answer.
I forgot a point in my question : that can be connected to Trier.

I have read online a few abstracts of the book which talks a lot about donativa. There is an interesting part about irregular donativa explaining that these irregular payments can be proceeded during civil wars to insure loyalty.
So, of course, I will be interested by any further information about anything new on the topic.

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Offline Victor

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Re: Constantine I SOL INVICTO coins without a mintmark
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2017, 10:34:36 AM »
Constantine was in Trier in the early part of 316, until around March, when he was in Cabillonum (Chalon-sur-Saône), Vienne in May, Arles in August, probably Verona in September, and then the Battle of Cibalae in October and the rest of 316- 317 he was in the East. So anything connected specifically to Trier would have to be those early months of 316.


Offline Genio popvli romani

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Re: Constantine I SOL INVICTO coins without a mintmark
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2017, 12:59:07 PM »
Thanks Victor. It excludes some hypothesis.
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