Coins in Britain

As I’ve explained previously, there are very few coins of Constantine that have been digitized online. One exception to this is with the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s success in putting up many of Constantine’s coins found in Britain. Much of Roman coinage in Britain is similar to that of coinage in the rest of the empire, with dedications to the sun god, and in emphasizing his success as a military leader. This nummus below was found in Wiltshire in 307-309 A.D., and is interesting because it is a commemoration of his Constantine’s father Constantius I. The reverse reads “Memoria Felix”, and depicts an altar with a bird on either side.

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Obverse: “DIVO CONSTANTIO PIO”; Bust facing right, laureate and veiled

Reverse: “MEMORIA FELIX”; Altar, flanked by eagles

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In Britain as in other coins of Constantine, there becomes a rise of coins being minted praising Constantine for his military accomplishments, and excellence as a leader. This copper nummus below found in Norfolk, dating to 319-330 A.D., depicts Constantine on the obverse, while the reverse reads a very familiar phrase of honor “VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP” (perpetual leader of happy victory), with two Victories depicted.

 

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Obverse: “IMP CONSTAN[…]”; Helmeted cuirassed bust left, spear over shoulder

Reverse: VICTORI[IIIILIIII?][…]

 

 

Again, this nummus depicts Constantine on the obverse. Minted LondonĀ in 319 A.D., the reverse again depicts two Victories facing one another with the previously seen phrase “VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP” inscribed.

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Obverse: “[IMP CONSTANTINVS AVG]”; Bust left with high-crested helmet, cuirass and spear

Reverse: “VICTORI[AE LAETAE PRINC PERP]”; Two Victories standing facing one another, together holding shield inscribed [VOT/PR] on column
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Overall, the coins found in Britain are not distinctly different from coins found elsewhere in the empire, but it is nice to be able to actually see images of a lot of coins to understand what they looked like and the impression they would have given.