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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 8, Lot: 243. Estimate CHF15000. 
Closing Date: Monday, 21 October 2013. 
Sold For CHF43000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Licinius I. AD 308-324. Aureus (Gold, 20mm, 5.22 g 12), Nicomedia, 317-318. LICINIVS AVGVSTVS Laureate head of Licinius to right. Rev. IOVI CONS LICINI AVG / SMNΔ Jupiter standing left on platform, holding Victory in his right hand and long scepter in his left; at his feet to left, eagle standing left with wreath in its beak and its head turned back to right; on platform, SIC X / SIC XX. Depeyrot -. RIC 11 (obverse) /RIC 18 (reverse). Very rare. Attractive, well centered and well struck. Good extremely fine.

From the collection of a European specialist.

Licinius came from peasant stock and was born in Moesia Superior. As with many talented men of his background he made the army his career. Thanks to his ability and his friendship with the later emperor Galerius his rise was swift until he was given the rank of Augustus in 308. During the time of troubles in the first decades of the 4th century he finally emerged as co-emperor with Contantine I, all their other rivals having been eliminated. In the end they fought each other in two civil wars, in 316/317, and then in 323-324 when, after the final battle of Chrysopolis, Licinius was deposed and executed a year later. Whether Licinius deserves the relatively poor reputation he has is doubtful: virtually all our sources are partisans of Constantine and their main interest was in blackening the name of his rival.