Probus became emperor in AD 276 after overthrowing the emperor Florianus. A native of the city of
Sirmium in what is now Serbia, he rose to prominence and proved himself a capable administrator
and commander and is recognised as an emperor who contributed to the revival of the Roman Empire at
a time of severe turmoil and crisis. In AD 277/8 his armies defeated the Goths, Alamanni, Longiones,
Franks and Burgundians. He realised that the best way to keep his soldiers out of trouble was to keep
them busy so, with the frontiers of the empire stabilised, he set his men to the task of rebuilding the shattered
infrastructure of key provinces that had crumbled under previous emperors by building roads,
bridges and fortifications, draining marshes, digging canals and, interestingly, planting extensive vineyards.
New plantations sprang up across Europe and there is mention in some records of Probus authorising
the planting of vineyards in Britain too so we may still be enjoying the fruits of his labours today!
These Antoninianus, or ‘Ants’ as we call them, are as good as they come, virtually as struck and with
original lustre. There are a variety of reverse types most with standing figures but a limited number available
in this grade.
This is one of a handful of very interesting commemorative issues struck by Constantine the Great. The type offered here is one of the two more affordable types and was made for the founding of Constantinople in A.D. 330. They are made from bronze and show the Goddess of the city, ‘Constantinopolis’, in a helmet and
war gear on the obverse. The reverse shows the goddess of Victory on the prow of a ship holding a sceptre and shield. This is to symbolise the port being captured using ships by Constantine’s son, Crispus. On a small amount of these reverses, the prow will be facing
towards Victory, this is because the engravers making the designs didn’t realise the goddess was meant to be on the ship!
There are enough variations in mintmarks and the styles of the designs on these to form a collection of these types alone.
But the most interesting about these coins is how well they have survived! At this time bronze coins would circulate so heavily that it is very hard to find them in a good grade. We have a small collection of this commemorative from 1600 years ago in this exceptional
almost Extremely Fine grade.
This is a very interesting Ancient Roman commemorative coin of Constantine the Great. It
was issued to commemorate the founding of Constantinople. You have the bust of
Constantine the Great on one side and a standing goddess with wings on the other.
Roman commemorative coins tend to be scarce and expensive. This is one of only two
commemoratives that is both reasonable and available. They are struck in copper and we have
them in Fine, they represent a very important historic event.
Constantius II was the last surviving son of Constantine the Great. Constantius was named after his grandfather, The Tetrach who actually came to Britain and died at York. After Constantine the Great died in A.D. 337 Constantius II had to share the rule of the empire with his two brothers. But after a few years of warfare Constantius II emerged as sole ruler of the entire Roman Empire. Constantius II was involved in
many wars throughout his reign, putting down rebellions and defending the empire against invaders. This is the theme of the coins we offer from the reign of this interesting and successful ruler. They are bronze coins with the reverse design of two Roman soldiers either side of one or two standards – the legend reads: ‘GLORIA EXERCITVS’. Approximately this translates as ‘To the Glory of the Army’! On the obverse is a profile portrait bust of Constantius II himself. He died in 361 A.D. on the way to fight another rival, who became Julian II! We can offer these coins in Very Fine Condition.