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Coin of Note

Knowledge, one coin at a time.

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Inverted anchor cross. A cross with slightly widened ends, with two anchor flukes coming out of the top and curving left and right, also with slightly widened ends.

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FEL TEMP REPARATIO / (Phoenix on rocky mound) / TRS in exergue

Constans Phoenix (Trier) 348-350 AD

A tiny happy bird

DN CONSTANS PFAVG / (Bust right)

Constantine the Great had four sons and two daughters. All four sons were “Caesar“, that is, prince, or heir apparent, and three became “Augustus” (Emperor) on his death (Crispus didn’t fare so well, being executed by his father in 326). Both terms Caesar and August are much more nuanced and complex. The brothers divided the empire with Constans taking administration of the praetorian prefectures of Italy, Illyricum, and Africa.

FEL TEMP REPARATIO / (Phoenix on rocky mound)

In 348 AD, Constans and his brother Constantius II reformed the coinage. The new series of coins bore the legend FEL TEMP REPARATIO (‘Restoration of Happy Times’). There were several main designs, the smallest of which featured the phoenix on either a globe, or a rocky mound. The Phoenix coins were issued by ten mints in two major varieties. Six mints show the phoenix standing on a globe while five used a pile of stones or pyre (Thessalonica issued both). There were at least three styles of each issued. Doug Smith has some great information on these. With the letters TRS in exergue (under the mount), this piece was minted in Treveri (Trier, Germany)

Symbol of rebirth, the Phoenix type seems particularly appropriate for a series of coins issued on the 1100th anniversary of the founding of Rome.

FEL TEMP REPARATIO / (Long legged Phoenix on a globe)

Here is one of the other variants with a longer-legged Phoenix standing on a globe.


These coins were issued under several rules. This piece was issued in 351 under Constantius Gallus, as Caesar and cousin to Constantius II

FEL TEMP REPARATIO / (Phoenix on rocky mound) / TRS in exergue






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