(127) Crispus - AV solidus, A.D. 325-326, 4.40 g. (inv. 91.242).
Obverse: Diademed head of Crispus r.
Reverse: Victoria advancing l., holding wreath in r. and palm branch in l.; CRISPVS CAESAR: Crispus Caesar; in exergue, N, symbol of the mint at Nicomedia.
Provenance: Münzen und Medaillen, 1987.
Bibliography: P.M. Bruun, The Roman Imperial Coinage VII: Constantine and Licinius A.D. 313-337 (London 1966) 618 no. 110.
Flavius Julius Crispus, the eldest son of Constantine the Great and his concubine, Minervina, was made Caesar in A.D. 316, together with his half-brother, Constantine II. He was made governor of Gaul, where he defeated the Germans, and he headed the successful naval campaign against Constantine's rival, Licinius. He was executed in A.D. 326, apparently amid accusations of adultery with his step-mother, Fausta.
The early coin portraits of Crispus emphasize his military successes by depicting him armed, and the Victory on the reverse of this coin probably also alludes to these achievements, but later a new portrait style, a diademed head with an upward gaze, appears on his coins. The head of this coin and the type of the reverse are almost identical to the types on contemporary coins of Constantine, and the similarities were probably meant to strengthen Crispus' position as an heir to the throne.
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