ROMAN COINS OF THE LONDON MINT: 296-325 AD
As cataloged in RIC, Volumes VI and VII

CONSTANTINE & LICINIUS - RIC, VOLUME VII, LONDON (313-325)

Last updated: 25 November 2016

Brief historical background: co-Augusti 313-324

Constantine (West) was co-Augustus with Licinius (East) from 313-324. Although they were now brothers-in-law, it was an uneasy collaboration that involved several military confrontations that eventually ended in a decisive armed conflict between the two of them. It was Constantine who emerged victorious to become sole Augustus of the Roman Empire in 324.

Initially Constantine set up his headquarters and seat of government at Trier, later (315) moving it to Milan in order to be closer to the center of the political scene. Licinius intially set up his headquarters and seat of government at Nicomedia in the East.

Although in theory the Augusti had joint control of all the Imperial mints, in actuality each Augustus influenced (probably dictated?) the design and output of each mint within their geographical domain. In 317 Constantine unabashedly took over full control of the western mints.


RIC VII, London, Constantine, No. 11

[Constantine coin photo] [Constantine coin photo]


actual size of coin


RIC VII, London, Licinius, No. 3

[Licinius coin photo] [Licinius coin photo]


actual size of coin


Chronology of Events:

313 AD
* Exergue PLN mint mark continued [1]
* Weight range is approx. 3.5 to 3.0 grams throughout this period.
* Silver content is now approx. 2% to 1% which prevails throughout this period [2]

314 AD
* Skirmish between forces of Constantine & Licinius at Cibalae in October (mutually resolved).
* Exergue MLL, MLN, MSL mint marks introduced [3]

315 AD
* Tensions between Constantine and Licinius continue accompanied by mutual distrust.

316 AD
* "First Civil War" breaks out between Constantine and Licinius in Autumn.
* Forces of Constantine & Licinius join in battle at Campus Ardiensis in December.
* Diocletian dies of natural causes.

317 AD
* Constantine and Licinius negotiate a peace and resume their positions as co-Augusti on 1 March.
* The three sons of the Augusti -- Crispus, Constantine II and Licinius II are appointed Caesars.
* The London Mint operation is taken over by Constantine [4]
* A whole new series of reverse depictions and inscriptions are introduced [5]

318 AD
* End of SOLI INVICTO COMITI reverses - the last depiction of a pagan god on Roman coins.

320 AD
* Exergue PLON mint mark introduced [6] 321 AD
* Licinius refuses to accept Crispus and Constantine II as Consuls for the year.
* A new rift between Licinius and Constantine develops.

322 AD
* Constantine is involved in war with Sarmatia and is accused by Licinius of violating his territory.

324 AD
* "Second Civil War" breaks out between Constantine and Licinius on 3 July.
* After a series of battles, Constantine defeats Licinius at Chrysopolis on 18 September .
* Licinius flees with his son to Nicomedia where he subsequently surrenders.
* Constantine is now sole and undisputed Augustus.
* Constantine appoints his third son, Constantius II, as Caesar.
* Constantine invests his mother, Helena and wife, Fausta as Augusta.

325 AD
* Exiled in Thessalonica, Licinius is accused of plotting against Constantine and is executed.
* The London Mint ceases operation and is closed.

Family members of the House of Constantine during this period

Following are exemplar coin issues for each of the above personages


RIC VII, London, Constantine, No. 8

[Constantinian coin photo] [Constantinian coin photo]


actual size of coin


RIC VII, London, Crispus, No. 122

[Constantinian coin photo] [Constantinian coin photo]


actual size of coin


RIC VII, London, Constantine II, No. 292

[Constantinian coin photo] [Constantinian coin photo]


actual size of coin


RIC VII, London, Constantius II, No. 297

[Constantinian coin photo] [Constantinian coin photo]


actual size of coin


RIC VII, London, Helena, No. 299

[Constantinian coin photo] [Constantinian coin photo]


actual size of coin


RIC VII, London, Fausta, No. 300

[Constantinian coin photo] [Constantinian coin photo]


actual size of coin


Because of the poor quality of the above coin depictions, I have included photographs of the following similar (Trier Mint) Killingholme Hoard coins:

RIC VII, London, Helena, No. 299K

[Constantinian coin photo] [Constantinian coin photo]


actual size of coin


RIC VII, London, Fausta, No. 300k

[Constantinian coin photo] [Constantinian coin photo]


actual size of coin

Footnotes (with return links to location in text)

[1] The first coins issued in the names of Constantine and Licinius in 313 were marked PLN in the exergue and S (left) F (right) in the reverse field - exergue Mint marks are frequently accompanied by letters/symbols in the field of the coin reverses throughout this period (313-317). PLN was superceded by the "M" series exergual mint marks in late 314 but reappeared in 316 and continued in use until 321. RIC (Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume VII) uses the appellations Constantine I and Licinius I. Consult this Reference by Ken Elks for a tabulation of mint marks. (RICVII 92-96, 97, 102-109) Location in page [1]

[2] In addition to RIC Vol. VII, an excellent reference is Victor Clark's Metallurgy of Constantinian "Bronzes" page. (RICVII 79-87) Location in page [2]

[3] These "M" series mint marks were employed for London Mint coins 314 to 316 and only coins struck in the names of Constantine and Licinius used them. With the exception of Constantine SOLI INVICTO COMITI reverse coins issued in 315 - MLL & MSL in the exergue and S (left) F (right) in the reverse field - these series coins are rare to very rare, especially those issued in the name of Licinius.(RICVII 92-93, 98-102) Location in page [3]

[4] AG titulature obverse legend:

The following RIC Vol. VII Constantinian London Mint coins (with a variety of reverse depictions/legends/marks) have AG in the obverse legend: 12, 28, 33, 36, 38, 40, 44, 57, 59, 64, 66, 69, 70, 71, 163, 169, 171, 186, 217, 244, 245, 246, 248, 269, 270, 271, 272, 290, 294, 300. All are coins of Constantine I with the sole exception of No. 300 which is a coin of Fausta (FLAV MAX FAVSTA AG) Location in page [4]

[5] New reverse inscriptions include: CLARITAS REIPVBLICAE, VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP, VOT P R, eventually followed by VIRTVS EXERCIT, VOT XX, BEATA TRANQVILLITAS, BEAT TRANQLITAS, VOTIS XX, SARMATIA DEVICTA, VOT X/CAESARVM NOSTRORVM, PROVIDENTIAE AVGG/PROVIDENTIAE CAESS, SECVITAS REIPVBLICE, SALVS REIPVBLICAE. (RIC 92-96) This Reference by Ken Elks provides detailed information relating to obverse and reverse depictions and inscriptions. Location in page [5]

[6] This exergual mint mark was employed for all London Mint coins from 320 (in conjunction with PLN earlier in that year) until the Mint closure in 325. (RICVII 95-96, 109-116) Location in page [6]

[7] Imperial Personages depicted on coins produced at the London Mint by the Constantinians:

Constantine I as Augustus
Licinius I as Augustus
Crispus as Caesar
Constantine II as Caesar
Constantius II as Caesar
Helena as Augusta
Fausta as Augusta


Of the above personages, only Constantine I was ever physically in Britain.

Licinius II was not depicted on London Mint coins.

[8] The portrait depictions of Constantine II and Constantius II on London Mint Coins are products of the coin engraver's imaginations. They are both depicted as young men -- or at least teenagers -- on the obverse of coins issued upon their investiture as Caesar, when in fact Constantine II was only one year old when he was designated Caesar in 317 and Constantius II was only seven years old when he was designated Caesar in 324

References and Resources


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