Gaul and Londinium Production (294-306)

Coinage Characteristics

Roman Tetrarchic coin photoRoman Tetrarchic coin photoRoman Tetrarchic coin photoRoman Tetrarchic coin photo

Last updated: 10 August 2017

The coinage covered on these pages -- Unreduced folles produced in Gaul and at London under the auspices of Constantius (Caesar, and subsequently Augustus, of the west) from c. 294 until his death on 25 July 306 and as catalogued in ROMAN IMPERIAL COINAGE (RIC) Edited by C. H. V. Sutherland and R. A. G. Carson, Volume VI, (Londinium & Lugdunum).

Inasmuch as the information on this web page relates to coinage of the Tetrarchies catalogued and described in THE ROMAN IMPERIAL COINAGE (RIC), Volume VI, I employ the Imperial name forms used in the headers by Sutherland here. The following depiction includes the alternate name forms frequently used by collectors, dealers and authors of historical texts and and reference documents:

DIOCLETIAN ........................ (no other names commonly used)
MAXIMIAN HERCULIUS ...... Maximianus, Herculius
CONSTANTIUS .................... Constantius I, Constantius Chlorus
GALERIUS MAXIMIAN ......... Galerius
SEVERUS ............................. Severus II,
MAXIMINUS .......................... Maximinus II, Maximinus Daia, Daza
CONSTANTINE ..................... Constantine I, Constantinus
MAXENTIUS .......................... (no other names commonly used)
LICINIUS ................................ Licinius I, Licinius Licinianus

Note: Caution should be exercised when attributing the coins of Galerius Maximian & Maximian Herculius due to the similarity of their titulature. Galerius Maximian was both Caesar and Augustus during this time period whereas Maximian Herculius was always only Augustus. Therefor, coins bearing the titulature MAXIMIANVS and NOBIL CAES, NOB CAES, NOBIL C, etc.can only be those of Galerius Maximian. There is a special problem with Galerius as Augustus coins: The titulature is exactly the same as that of Maximian Herculius and frequently the only way to differentiate between the two is by the portraiture on the coin obverse.

Composition -- bronze with a silver wash.

Weight range -- Typically 11.0 to 8.5 gm.

Mints -- A quantity of Constantius "Invasion coinage" was produced at a Mint in Gaul (exact location unknown, although some French researchers and collectors list it as Boulogne), manned by Lugdunese workers. All other issues were produced at the London mint formerly operated by the usurper Emperors Carausius/Allectus now re-opened (most likely consisting of just one officina) by Constantius.

Obverse depiction -- Almost always (and throughout these pages) cuirassed (sometimes draped) right facing busts (but occasionally bare neck truncated) with a laureate head.

[Constantius coin photo] [Constantius coin photo]
Cuirassed bust with laureate head ................. Bare neck truncated bust with laureate head

Obverse inscription (legend) -- Around periphery -- names and titulature reading clockwise

Following is a key for name and titulature abbreviations:

Reverse depiction -- Almost always a representation of the Genius of the Roman People standing, facing left, head surmounted by a modius, naked except for a chlamys over the left shoulder, holding a patera in the right hand and cradling a cornucopia in the left arm. Very rarely, and mostly after 1 May 305, Genius is depicted with loins draped, and wearing a towered head-dress. Reference: A transitional issue from the Roman Mint at London - a PDF by Hubert J. Cloke

[Constantius coin photo]
Depiction of Genius of the Roman people

Reverse inscription (legend) -- around periphery, reading clockwise GENIO POPVLI ROMANI without a mint mark (often referred to as unmarked) except for the very early Group I coins (RIC numbers 1a through 5) that have LON in the exergue.

Reverse axis -- 6 or 12 o'clock

Primary reference for coin information and attribution on these pages -- THE ROMAN IMPERIAL COINAGE (RIC), Spink & Son Ltd., London, Volume VI

The end of Constantius Coinage

On 1 May 305, Diocletian and Maximian Herculius abdicated to become Seniore (retired) Augusti as planned. Constantius succeeded Maximian Herculius as Augustus of the West and Galerius Maximian succeeded Diocletian as Augustus of the East. Flavius Valerius Severus (Severus) was appointed Caesar of the West by Constantius and Galerius Valerius Maximinus Daia (Maximinus) was appointed Caesar of the East by Galerius.

Constantius died at Eboracum (York) in Britain during a campaign against the warlike tribes of the North on 25 July 306. Just before he died, Constantius conferred Imperium on his son, Flavius Valerius Constantinus (later Constantine the Great). The army commanded by Constantius wanted Constantine proclaimed Augustus, however, Galerius Maximian, the now de-facto senior Augustus, instead proclaimed him Caesar of the West and elevated Severus to Augustus of the West in accordance with the rules for succession.

The London Mint continued to operate until AD 325, mostly under the auspicies of Constantine.

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