Constantine I, 307/310-337. Solidus (Gold, 18 mm, 4.54 g, 6 h), Treveri, 312-313. CONSTAN-TINVS P F AVG Laureate head of Constantine I to right. Rev. GAVDIVM REI PVBLICAE / PTR Trophy between seated captives (personifications of Francia and Alemannia), both resting head on right hand in attitude of mourning. Cohen 163. Depeyrot 17/3. RIC 811. Very rare. A beautiful coin of great historical interest. Minor marks on the obverse, otherwise, about extremely fine.
This beautiful solidus commemorates Constantine’s victories over the Franks and Alemanni. Since his accession in 306, Constantine showed himself to be a formidable general, conducting numerous campaigns against the warring Germanic tribes from his capital of Trier on the Rhine frontier. In 310, he soundly defeated the Franks and Alemanni, managing to capture their kings who were displayed in the Treveran amphitheatre and then promptly executed by being fed to wild animals. In 313, another aggressive campaign followed. The emperor first routed the Franks, again capturing one of their kings, then turned around to subdue the Alemanni. It is in the context of these victories that we should place our coin. The reverse legend, which translates as ‘the joy of the state’, clearly reflects the Roman ideal that peace and prosperity could only be gained through the subjugation and destruction of Rome’s foes.