Saturday, 24 August 2019

Rare Constantine I Solidus

A rare Roman solidus of Emperor Constantine I was dug up from a field in Somerset. It carries an estimate of £10k-12k. On the reverse is a rare portrayal of Constantine riding his horse in battle holding a spear and shield with two fallen enemy soldiers. It commemorates a victory over Maxentius at Milvian bridge outside Rome on October 28, 312. Constantine the Great ruled between 306 and 337 AD.
Constantine enacted reforms. To combat inflation he introduced the solidus, a new gold coin that became the standard for Byzantine and European currencies for more than a thousand years. Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, which he did on his deathbed.
Constantine was a ruler of major importance, and a controversial figure.

Constantine had his eldest son Crispus seized and put to death by "cold poison" at Pola (Pula, Croatia) sometime between 15 May and 17 June 326. In July, he had his wife Empress Fausta killed in an overheated bath. Constantine was succeeded by his three sons born of Fausta, Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans. More bloodshed followed.