Crispus (AD 317 - AD 326)

Flavius Julius Crispus, also known as Flavius Claudius Crispus and Flavius Valerius Crispus was a Caesar of the Roman Empire. He was the first-born son of Constantine I and Minervina. Constantine apparently believed in the abilities of his son and appointed Crispus as Commander of Gaul. Crispus was leader in victorious military operations against the Franks and the Alamanni in 318, 320 and 323. Thus he secured the continued Roman presence in the areas of Gaul and Germania. Crispus spent the following years assisting Constantine in the war against by then hostile Licinius. In 324, Constantine appointed Crispus as the commander of his fleet which left the port of Piraeus to confront the rival fleet of Licinius. The subsequent Battle of Hellespont was fought in at the straits of Bosporus. The 200 ships under the command of Crispus managed to utterly beat the enemy forces which were at least double in number. Thus Crispus achieved his most important and difficult victory which further established his reputation as a brilliant soldier and general. Following his navy activities, Crispus was assigned part of the legions loyal to his father. The other part was commanded by Constantine himself. Crispus led the legions assigned to him in another victorious battle outside Chrysopolis against the armies of Licinius. The two victories were his contribution to the final triumph of his father over Licinius. Constantine was the only Augustus left in the Empire. He honoured his son for his support and success by depicting his face in imperial coins, statues, mosaics, cameos, etc. Eusebius of Caesaria wrote for Crispus that he is "an Imperator most dear to God and in all regards comparable to his father." Crispus was the most likely choice for an heir to the throne at the time. His siblings Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans were far too young and inexperienced. In 326, Crispus life came to a sudden end: On his father's orders he was tried by a local court at Pola, Istria, condemned to death and executed.

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Crispus 'Globe on Altar' AE Follis 020185

Crispus 'Globe on Altar' AE Follis
Bronze, 3.30 grams, 19.12 mm. Lyons. 321 AD. Obverse: CRISPVS-NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust right. Reverse: BEATA TRANQVILLITAS (no legend break), globe on altar inscribed VO-TIS-XX in three lines, three stars above, C-R across fields, mintmark PLG in exergue. RIC VII Lyons 133; cf Sear 3915. Good extremely fine.
£70.00

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Crispus 'Globe on Altar' AE Follis 020185
Crispus 'Globe on Altar' AE Follis 020181

Crispus 'Globe on Altar' AE Follis
Bronze, 2.77 grams, 19.28 mm. Lyons. 321 AD. Obverse: CRISPVS-NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust right. Reverse: BEATA TRANQVILLITAS (no legend break), globe on altar inscribed VO-TIS-XX in three lines, three stars above, C-R across fields, mintmark PLG in exergue. RIC VII Lyons 133; cf Sear 3915. Good extremely fine.
£70.00

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Crispus 'Globe on Altar' AE Follis 020181
Crispus 'Votive' AE Follis 020190

Crispus 'Votive' AE Follis
Bronze, 3.59 grams, 20.70 mm. Trier. 323-324 AD. Obverse: IVL CRIS-PVS NOB C, laureate head right. Reverse: CAESARVM NOSTRORVM, around VOT X within wreath; mintmark STR crescent in exergue. RIC VII Trier 440; Sear 3918. Extremely fine.
£45.00

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Crispus 'Votive' AE Follis 020190
Crispus 'Victories and Shield' AE Follis 020158

Extremely Rare (R4) Crispus 'Victories and Shield' AE Follis
Bronze, 3.24 grams, 19.26 mm. London. 306-337 AD. Obverse: CRISPVS-NOB CAES, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right. Reverse: VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP, two Victories holding shield inscribed VOT PR over altar; altar decoration Helvetica 3d (cross within a wreath); mintmark PLN in exergue. Cae Bardd hoard 156-157; RIC VII London 179 var (obverse legend break); cf Sear 3926. Good very fine. A significant coin which has been published on wildwinds.com
£80.00

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Crispus 'Victories and Shield' AE Follis 020158
Crispus 'Votive' AE Follis 020163

Crispus 'Votive' AE Follis
Bronze, 3.27 grams, 20.61 mm. London. 323-324 AD. Obverse: IVL CRIS-PVS NOB C, laureate head right. Reverse: CAESARVM NOSTRORVM, around VOT X in two lines within wreath, mintmark PLON crescent in exergue. RIC VII London 291; cf Sear 3918. Extremely fine.
£60.00

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Crispus 'Votive' AE Follis 020163
Crispus 'Blessed Tranquility' AE Follis 020161

Crispus 'Blessed Tranquility' AE Follis
Bronze, 3.04 grams, 18.83 mm. Trier. 321 AD. Obverse: IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate and cuirassed bust left, holding spear pointing forwards, and shield. Reverse: BEATA TRAN-QVILLITAS, globe on altar inscribed VOT - IS - XX, three stars above; mintmark STR in exergue. RIC VII Trier 308; cf 3915. Reverse off-struck otherwise extremely fine.
£49.00

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Crispus 'Blessed Tranquility' AE Follis 020161
Crispus 'Campgate' Follis 015183

Crispus 'Campgate' AE Follis
Bronze, 2.57 grams, 20.75 mm. London. 324-325 AD. Obverse: FL IVL CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right. Reverse: PROVIDEN-TIAE CAESS, campgate, 6 layers, 2 turrets, star above, no doors, mintmark PLON in exergue. RIC VII London 295; Sear 3924. Extremely fine. A significant coin which has been published on wildwinds.com
£60.00

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Crispus 'Campgate' Follis 015183
Crispus 'Votive' AE19 016777

Crispus 'Votive' AE19
Bronze, 2.65 grams, 18.80mm. London. 323-324 AD. Obverse: IVL CRISP-VS NOB C, laureate head right. Reverse: CAESARVM NOSTRORVM, VOT dot X in three lines within wreath. Mintmark PLON (crescent) in exergue. RIC VII London 291; cf Sear (1988) 3918. Extremely fine.
£55.00

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Crispus 'Votive' AE19 016777
Crispus 'Globe on Altar' Follis 008818

Crispus 'Globe on Altar' Follis
Bronze; 2.62 grams; 19.70 mm. London. 322-323 A.D. Obverse: CRISPVS-NOBIL C, Laureate and cuirassed bust left, holding spear pointing forwards in right hand and shield on left arm. Reverse: BEAT TRA-NQLITAS, Large globe on an altar inscribed VOT / IS / XX in three lines, three stars above. F-B across fields. Mintmark PLON in exergue. RIC VII London, 250. Good very fine.
£35.00

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Crispus 'Globe on Altar' Follis 008818
Crispus 'Globe on Altar' Follis 008840

Crispus 'Globe on Altar' Follis
Bronze; 2.29 grams; 18.95 mm. London. 323-324 A.D. Obverse: CRISPV-S NOBIL C, Laureate and cuirassed bust right, holding spear pointing forwards in right hand and shield on left arm. Reverse: BEAT TRA-NQLITAS, Large globe on an altar inscribed VOT / IS / XX in three lines, three stars above; Mintmark PLON in exergue. RIC VII London, 279. Almost extremely fine/very fine.

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Crispus 'Globe on Altar' Follis 008840


Main Roman Coin Book and Other References:

RIC = Mattingly, Harold    The Roman Imperial Coinage
BMC = Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum
RSC = Seaby, H A    Roman Silver Coinage
RCV = Sear, David R    Roman Coins and Their Values
Cr = Crawford, Michael    The Roman Republican Coinage
SB = Sear, David R    Byzantine Coins and Their Values
S = Coins of England and the United Kingdom
WW = Wildwinds.com (reference & attribution site)



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