Getting Started with Roman Coins - Monetary Reform of Constantine I after 310 AD

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Constantine I (The Great) made major monetary reforms around 310 AD when he introduced three gold coins (the Solidus (technically reintroduced), the Semissis and the 1 ½ Scripulum), and two silver coins (the Miliarense and the Siliqua).

MetalDenominationValue (Solidus)WeightNotes
GoldAureus1 ⅛5.4gThe Aureus continued to be struck in the East of the empire until 324 AD, and then occasionally until the end of the 4th century
1 ½ Scripulum3/81.68gAlso known as the 9 Silliqua. See the notes below.

Referred to as a “Fraction” in the OCRE website (see link).

SilverMiliarense1/184.5gIntroduced around 325 AD

Referred to as “Uncertain Value” in the OCRE website

Siliqua1/243.37gIntroduced around 325 AD.

This was the same weight as Diocletian’s failed Argenteus.

The Siliqua appears on the OCRE website as a Constantine II coin from 337 AD onwards (Constantine I died in 337 AD). It’s possible that the Constantine I Siliqua are listed as “Uncertain Value”.

BronzeFollis5.4g (310 AD)

4.6g (313 AD)

3.2g (315 AD)

The bronze Follis continually reduced in size and weight. Rather than assign names, they are classified as follows:

AE1 from 25 millimetres

AE2 from 21 millimetres

AE3 from 17 millimetres

AE4 under 17 millimetres

By 325 AD the only billon coin left was a lightweight billon Follis called a Centenionalis, which was an attempt to reintroduce a large bronze coin.


  1. The 1 ½ Scripulum under Constantine I is awkward to find because it is rare and isn’t explicitly named in RIC VI or RIC VII, which are the volumes for Constantine I. Examples are:
    • RIC VI 796 (variant) Trier This site actually lists the coin as RIC 769 for the Treveri mint, but that’s a bronze As.
    • RIC VI 797: Trier Around 309 AD
    • RIC VII 185: Nicomedia Around 335 AD 1.74g
    • RIC VII 365: Trier Around 322-323 AD 1.57g
    • RIC unlisted: Nicomedia Around 335 AD 1.73g.
  2. Some sources [1, 2, 3] use the 1 ½ Scripulum name for a 5.3g coin from Constantine I, and value it as 1 ½ of a Solidus. [4] uses the 1 ½ Scripulum name for a 6.5g from Constantius II. As a scripulum is a measure of weight (1.137g), a 1 ½ Scripulum coin should be around 1.7g, so it’s unclear why these attributions have been made. Gold Aurei struck at the same time had a weight of 5.3g.

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