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    Constantine: Agent of Change

    Constantine I the Great (AD 307-337). AV solidus (22mm, 4.60 gm, 12h).  Thessalonica, AD 332-333. CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, rosette-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Constantine I right, seen from front / VICTORIA CO-ONSTANTINI AVG, Victory advancing left, grasping trophy set on jeweled staff in right hand and holding palm frond over left shoulder, T S in exergue. RIC VII 189. Depeyrot 15/2. An impressive portrait, well struck in detailed low relief on a broad, round flan. NGC (photo-certificate) Choice XF 5/5 - 4/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Spink (London, 14 November 1989), lot 47. 

    Like Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, Constantine the Great profoundly transformed the world during his 31 years of rule. By embracing Christianity, he gave the Roman world a new faith which provided the foundations for the medieval and modern worlds. By moving the capital of the Empire from Rome to Constantinople, he established the groundwork for the Byzantine millennium that followed. His abilities as a military leader and administrator solidified the fourth century Roman revival. Among his many reforms was an overhaul of Roman gold coinage, undertaken circa AD 312-313. The venerable gold aureus, which had seen its weight fluctuate wildly over the past century, was replaced by a new coin called the solidus, fixed at 1/72nd of a Roman pound. This impressive gold solidus exemplifies the return to more realistic portraiture that began during Constantius I's reign. Although in lower relief, the diademed bust of Constantine (another innovation, the diadem was once worn by Hellenistic monarchs as an expression of divine kingship) is very much in the style of Trajan's coinage of 200 years before. Even the striding figure of Victory on the reverse is carefully and realistically proportioned.

    All Roman gold coins from the Dimitriadis Collection have been issued a photo-certificate by NGC. These may be sent in for encapsulation after the auction at the request of the buyer, free of charge. Please e-mail SamS@HA.com if you would like to utilize this option.




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    10th-16th Thursday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
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