Constantius I, as Caesar, 293-305. Aureus (Gold, 21 mm, 6.56 g, 7 h), Cyzicus (?), circa 293. CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES Laureate head of Constantius I to right. Rev. VIRTVTI HERCVLIS Hercules standing right, right hand at his side and leaning left on club set on rock; lion skin draped over club. Calicó -. Cohen -. RIC -. Unique, and unpublished save for its earlier auction appearance. A magnificent and exceptional coin, sharply struck from fresh dies and very well centered on a broad flan. Virtually as struck.
From 'An Important Collection of Roman Gold Coins. Property of an American Collector', Numismatica Ars Classica 31, 26 October 2005, 132.
Long before the First Tetrarchy, emperors such as Domitian, Commodus, Septimius Severus or Postumus had had favorite divine companions, but it was Diocletian, along with his co-ruler Maximian, who brought the concept to a completely new level. While Diocletian, as the senior Augustus, associated himself with Jupiter, his co-ruler and loyal supporter Maximian chose Hercules as his personal companion. A broadly conceived iconographic program followed, with numerous series of coins showing the two Augusti together with, or in the guise of, their divine comites. In addition, the two newly appointed Caesars were also incorporated into the imperial self-representation: Galerius, as the designated successor of Diocletian, was called Jovius after his patron, while Constantius I, the Caesar of Maximian, naturally also adapted the cognomen Herculius. The unity of the four tetrarchs was further emphasized by the fact that all imperial mints were ordered to strike coins in the name of all rulers, regardless of who currently operated a particular workshop. This explains why our coin, struck in an eastern mint under Diocletian's control (perhaps Cyzicus), features Constantius I on the obverse, who was given command over Gaul and Britain, far away from Asia Minor. In fact, a recently emerged aureus of Maximian (Nomos 18, 5 May 2019, 334) showed that this particular mint used one and the same reverse die for both the Augustus and his Caesar: imperial concord even at the lowest technical level!