AD 317-326

AE3. 2.92g, 19.7mm

MINTED: Thessalonica mint, AD 320
REF: RIC VII Thessalonica 78 (R5)
OBVERSE: CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust left.

REVERSE: VIRTVS-EXERCIT, Vexillum with banner inscribed VOT/XX between two captives seated on ground; S in left field, F in right, •TS•A• in exergue.


Almost Very Fine. The vast majority of Late Roman bronzes survive without the original silvering on their surfaces intact.  This one, despite slightly rough surfaces, has actually retained much of its silvering. 

The rarity rating of R5 denotes the rarity of this variety in the public collections surveyed by the authors of volume VII of Roman Imperial Coinage (RIC).  Though R5 indicates the highest level of rarity given, it is important to note that this does not necessarily reflect the actual market rarity of any given type, as many volumes of RIC were published a long time ago.  RIC VII, for example, was published in 1966.  This particular variety, while not the most common, is currently represented by 13 examples in the online Nummus Bible database. 


Historical Notes:

Crispus was born between 299 and 305.  He was the son of Constantine the Great, by Minervina, who was either Constantine's first wife or his concubine. Crispus was already given command of his own troops while a teenager, and he campaigned alongside his father in the civil wars of the Tetrarchs.  It was Crispus who led a fleet of 200 ships to victory against Constantine's last rival for sole imperial power, Licinius I, at the  Battle of the Hellespont in 324.  The dashing young prince was wildly popular with the people and soldiers, perhaps to an extent that made his own father wary of him.  Sometime in 326, for reasons still debated by scholars today, but possibly connected to an affair or intrigue with his stepmother Fausta, Constantine put his eldest son on trial for treason and proceeded to have him executed.

CRISPUS, Caesar . AD 317-326 . AE3 . Vexillum & captives . *Silvering remaining*

SKU: 3835

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