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HOME : Roman Coins : Emperor Licinius : Bronze Coin of Licinius
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Bronze Coin of Licinius - LC.325
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 317 AD to 324 AD

Collection: Roman Coins
Medium: Bronze

Additional Information: 2.5g.
Location: Great Britain
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Obverse: VAL LICINIVS NOB CAES; Laureate, Draped and Cuirassed Bust of Licinius Facing Right

Reverse: IOVI CONSERVATORI, Jupiter Holding a Thunderbolt and Sceptre

Licinius, born Valerius Licinianus Licinius, ruled from 308 to 324 AD. Born in 250, he was a close friend of Emperor Galerius and accompanied him on a military expedition against the Persians. Galerius appointed him to Augustus of the western half of the Empire (Italy, Africa, Spain and Pannonia) in 308, following the death of Valerius Severus. This appointment was highly unorthodox, and ignored other, stronger claims from Constantine and Daia Maximinus. Licinius was concerned at his weak position, and so sided with Constantine against Maximinus, and even married his sister. His power was increased when he seized the Balkan states in 311 with the death of Galerius, but could not move fast enough to also seize Asia Minor, which was taken by Maximinus. Their territories ended at the Bosporus.

By 312, Maximinus and Licinius realised that each must defeat the other in order to equal Constantine’s strength. Maximinus was defeated by Licinius in Thrace in early 313, due to a combination of bad luck and bad weather. This left Constantine and Licinius as related emperors. Despite their fraternity, friction concerning Constantine’s appointment of a much-hated rival named Bassianus led to all-out war in 316. Temporarily suspended, naval war broke out in 323, which Constantine prolonged to the point of shutting his enemy up within the walls of Byzantium. Kept alive due to the pleas of his wife, Constantine's sister, he was murdered in 324, accused of conspiring to raise troops among the barbarians. His son was executed two years later; his illegitimate son ended his days as a slave in a Carthaginian mill.

Licinius is generally seen as something of a rogue. His stellar rise to power started when he was already quite advanced in years, and his wiliness seems to have paid off in defeating younger and stronger foes. His attitudes towards Christianity are emblematic; he supported the famous Edict of Milan, which promoted toleration of Christians, yet hounded them when he knew it would annoy Constantine to do so. He illegally appointed himself and his two sons as consuls in order to provoke Constantine. He died in his mid-70s still plotting rebellions. - (LC.325)


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