Seaton Down Hoard coin, nummus of Constantine II

A nummus of the type that weighed 1/132 of a pound. It is one of 2 similar coins from the Seaton Down Hoard made around AD 330-335 in Arles, modern France, and issued by Constantine II.

This coin has the Chi-Rho (☧) symbol on the reverse inbetween the soldiers’ standard. This symbol is made using the Greek letters X (chi) and P (rho), which are the first two letters of ‘Christ’ in Greek (XPIΣTOΣ, Christos) and was, and still is, used as an emblem of Christianity. Constantine converted to Christianity after reportedly seeing a vision of the Chi-Rho before the Battle of Milvian Bridge in AD 312 along with the words ‘In this sign thou shalt conquer’. After his success, he went on to sign the Edict of Milan to ensure religious tolerance for Christians and adopted the Chi-Rho in his standards. The Chi-Rho continued to be used by his sons.

The inscription ‘GLORIA EXERCITVS’ means ‘the glory of the army’ and was seen as a celebration of the bravery and fortitude of the soldiers and their military successes. The image depicts two soldiers and their standards and was a common image on coinage.

RAMM acquired the Seaton Down hoard with help from a generous donation by Patrick and Sally Long, Clinton Devon Estates, Thomson Reuters, Devon County Council and many members of the public. Patrick and Sally Long were particularly keen that the coins are preserved for inspiration and wonder of children.
The conservation and display of the hoard and a project to engage with East Devon schools and communities was funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund with further public donations.
Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Devon archaeology
Common Name
Seaton Down Hoard coin, nummus of Constantine II
Simple Name
Full Name
coin, nummus (1/132 of a pound) of Constantine II
Period Classification
Roman (43-410)
Production Year Low
Production Year High
Family Group

copper alloy
Collector / Excavator
Alex Farnell, AC Archaeology
Collection Site Name
Seaton Down near Gatcombe Farm
Collection Parish
Collection Town
Collection County
Collection Country
United Kingdom: England
Collection Area Region
Northern Europe
Collection Continent
Issuer Person
Constantine II
Inscription / Transcription

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