AE3. 3.32g, 19.2mm
MINTED: Thessalonica mint, AD 320
REF: RIC VII Thessalonica 105 (R5)
OBVERSE: CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate bust right.
REVERSE: CAESARVM NOSTRORVM, wreath with dot in badge encircling VOT/V; TSΔVI in exergue.
Very Fine. Attractive desert patina. Gouge on cheek of portrait.
Very rare, with only 1 example in the Nummus Bible database and an R5 (rarest) rating in RIC.
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 . "Vota in wreath" . Thessalonica, R5
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