Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, 306-337 AD


ID Number: AC13-0502
Category: Ancient Coins
Description: Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, 306-337 AD
Country or State: Roman Empire (57th Emperor of the Roman Empire)
Period: Constantine as Caesar and as FIL AVG (Filius Augustorum) 306-310 A.D.
Head of State/Ruler: Constantinus I (Full NAmeFlavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus) Commonly known as Constantine the Great
Reign: 25 July 306 AD – 22 May 337 AD, (30 years, 301 days)
Currency: Follis
Face Value:  
Subject/Theme: GENIO CESARIS
Obverse: Bust diademed, draped and cuirassed of Constantine I on the right
Obverse Designer:  
Reverse: Genius standing left, holding Patera and filling horn
Reverse Legend: GENIO CESARIS CA / / SMNT
Reverse Designer:  
Edge: Irregular
Note: Nicomedia mint
Mint Mark:  
Composition: Bronze
Diameter: 27.0 mm (irregular)
Weight: 6.9 grams
Krause & Mishler Number:  
Other Catalog Number: RIC: 32
State of Conservation: Extremely Fine (XF), Natural Patina
Rarity: Extremely Rare

Proof (Prf) € -
Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) € -
Mint State/Mint Condition (MS) € -
Uncirculated (Unc) € -
Extremely Fine (XF) € -
Very Fine (VF) € -
Fine (F) € -
Very Good (VG) € -
Good (G) € -


The Caesar Constantine took the title Augustus in the West in 307 without the consent of the East. Before the East also recognized him as Augustus he was awarded the ephemeral imperial title Filius Augusti, "Son of the Augusti." "FIL AVG" and "FIL AVGG" appear only on coins of Constantine and Maximinus II, and, because both rejected the title, only on coins issued in their names from mints they did not control. The story begins in the context of the tetrarchic system in July 306 when the western Augustus Constantius I, terminally ill, gave his son Constantine imperial power. It ends in mid 310 when events forced the eastern Augustus Galerius to recognize Constantine and Maximinus II as Augusti. Coins illustrate the complicated power struggle during these four years.

The first tetrarchy was a new governmental system for sharing power that was created by Diocletian. After becoming emperor in 284, Diocletian chose a colleague, Maximian, to rule in the West in 286. Diocletian associated himself with the god Jupiter and Maximian with Hercules. To distinguish Maximian from other rulers with very similar names, he is sometimes called Herculius. The first tetrarchy originated in 293 when each Augustus took a junior ruler, a Caesar, as an associate, to make a total of four simultaneous rulers (tetra means four in Greek, arches means ruler). Constantius became Caesar in the West and Galerius became Caesar in the East. These two new rulers were not sons, or even close relatives, of the Augusti. At this stage the Jovian and Herculian dynasties relied on adoption of highly-qualified candidates who were then married into the dynasty.