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Lot 112





Estimate: 350'000 CHF   |   Starting price: 300'000 CHF
CHF  
Constant Ier (337-350)
Médaillon de 3 solidi - Trèves (342-343)
Unique et d’une qualité hors norme.
Exemplaire de la vente Münzen & Medaillen 53 du 29 novembre 1977, N°300 et la collection du Perfectionniste (C. Vaudecrane) vente Leu 93 du 10 mai 2005, N°141 et de la vente NGSA VI du 30 novembre 2010, N°201
12.83g - Gnecchi manque - Bastien, Donativa, cf. p. 85, note 2.
FDC Exceptionnel - CHOICE MS *
Constans (born c. AD 323), who was the youngest son of Constantine I and Fausta, and had been created Caesar in AD 333, was still very young when this large medallion (which is missing from all the scholarly references: RIC 1981, Bastien 1988, De- peyrot 1996), was struck as a donative to celebrate the second consulate (vicennalia) of Constans in AD 342. Its martial reverse type, with the legend TRIVMFATOR OMNIVM GENTIVM - victor over all peoples, indicates that Constans had power over the barbarians: the medallion commemorates the emperor’s victories over the Franks, that and the previous year. This very rare legend, advertising military success and the ability of the emperor to protect the empire, had already been used by Constantine the Great on a solidus struck in Ticinum (Pavia) when he went to war against Licinius in AD 316 (ref. Depeyrot 16/7). The title is also found on Constantinian inscriptions (e.g. “triumfator omnium gentium ac domitor universarum [factionum] qui libertatem tenebris servitutis oppressam sua felice v[ictoria nova] luce inluminavit” CIL VIII 7006), after his victory against Maxentius in AD 312. As noticed by the authors of the M&M 53 catalogue, the iconography of this coin cannot but evoke Psalm 91, which tells the followers of Christ that his angels will guard them and that ‘Thou shalt tread upon the lion. The young lion and the dragon, shalt you trample’. “Le mépris de l’ennemi, qui commence à s’exprimer avec les reliefs de la colonne Antonine (et qui était absent de la colonne Trajane), s’accroît avec le renforcement du sens de l’autorité et de la puissance que confère aux empereurs chré- tiens le sentiment d’être les champions d’un Dieu unique, vrai et tout-puissant. L’ennemi prisonnier est traîné par les cheveux, piétiné, ver minuscule qui se tord en vain, comme se tordit le dragon sous les pieds de l’Archange » (R. Bianchi Bandinelli).
Constans, Constantine’s son, also struck a medallion with the legend TRIVMFATOR OMNIVM BARBARVM – vanquishers of the barbarian nations where the emperor sets foot on a propra that may refer to his journey to Britain. Interestingly, that legend was also used on silver medallions of Constans, struck in AD 338 in Siscia (Sisak), where the emperor is seen holding a standard with the Christogram – the symbol of Christ.
This coin was cited in F. Panvini Rosati, “Tre zecche imperiali : Treveri, Mediolanum, Ravenna; struttura e funzionamento”, XXV Corso di cultura sull’arte ravennate e bizantina”, Ravenna 1978, pp. 211-228; new ed.: Bolletino di numismatica 37.1 suppl.
(2004), pp. 251-261: p. 255.

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