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Crispus Roman Caesar 'Prince' and son of Constantine the Great for Sale by Expert Coin Dealer
Buy certified authentic Crispus, Roman Caesar 317-326 A.D. general and son of Constantine I the Great online today. He was actually Constantine's Oldest son, however, Constantine's second wife Fausta accused him of trying to rape her, and he was executed, and when the plot was brought to Constantine, he had Fausta boiled in oil alive as punishment. Intriguing fate of the young Roman price who was set to take throne next. It is interesting to note that this similar drama had repeated itself many times throughout the various different emperors up to and even past that time. Explore a world of mystery, intrigue and wonder when you own authentic ancient coins, whether to give as a gift, make a coin collection, an investment or a to learn and preserve history for future generations, coins are certainly it! Enjoy incredible value as every coin purchased here comes with it's own, signed, custom-made certificate of authenticity, a $50-$100 value, absolutely free! Check it out today.
Crispus - Roman Caesar: 317-326 A.D. -
Crispus' year and place of birth are uncertain. He is considered likely to have been born between 299 and 305, somewhere in the Eastern Roman Empire. His mother Minervina was either a concubine or a first wife to Constantine. Nothing else is known about Minervina. His father served as a hostage in the court of Eastern Roman Emperor Diocletian in Nicomedia. Thus securing the loyalty of Caesar of the Western Roman Empire Constantius Chlorus, father of Constantine and grandfather of Crispus.
The marriage of Constantine to Fausta has caused modern historians to question the status of his relation to Minervina and Crispus. If Minervina was his legitimate wife, Constantine would have needed to secure a divorce before marrying Fausta. This would have required an official written order signed by Constantine himself, but no such order is mentioned by contemporary sources.
This silence in the sources has led many historians to conclude that the relationship between Constantine and Minervina was informal and to assume her to have been an unofficial lover. However, Minervina may have already been dead by 307. A widowed Constantine would need no divorce order.
Neither the true nature of the relationship between Constantine and Minervina nor the reason Crispus came under the protection of his father will ever probably be known. The offspring of an illegitimate affair could have caused dynastical problems and would likely be dismissed, but Crispus was raised by his father in Gaul. This can be seen as evidence of a loving and public relationship between Constantine and Minervina which gave him a reason to protect her son.
The story of Minervina is quite similar to that of Constantine's mother Helena. Constantine's father later had to divorce her for political reasons, specifically, to marry Flavia Maximiana Theodora, the daughter of Maximian, in order to secure his alliance with his new father-in-law. Constantine in turn may have had to put aside Minervina in order to secure an alliance with the same man. Constantius did not however dismiss Constantine as his son, and perhaps Constantine chose to follow the example of his father.
Whatever the reason, Constantine kept Crispus at his side. Surviving sources are unanimous in declaring him a loving, trusting and protective father to his first son. Constantine even entrusted his education to Lactantius, among the most important Christian teachers of that time, who probably started teaching Crispus before 317.
On 1 March 317, the two co-reigning Augusti jointly proclaimed three new Caesars. Crispus alongside his younger half-brother Constantine II and his first cousin Licinius iunior. Constantine II was the older son of Fausta but was probably about a month old at the time of his proclamation. Thus only Crispus assumed actual duties.
Constantine apparently believed in the abilities of his son and appointed Crispus as Commander of Gaul. The new Caesar soon held residence in Augusta Treverorum (modern Trier), regional capital of Germania.
In January 322, Crispus was married to a young woman called Helena. Helena bore him a son in October, 322. There is no surviving account of the name or later fate of the son. Eusebius of Caesarea reported that Constantine was proud of his son and very pleased to become a grandfather.
Crispus was leader in victorious military operations against the Franks and the Alamanni in 318, 320 and 323. Thus he secured the continued Roman presence in the areas of Gaul and Germania. Crispus joined his father in visiting Rome during 322, and received the warmest and most enthusiastic welcome by the crowds. The soldiers adored him thanks to his strategic abilities and the victories to which he had led the Roman legions.
Crispus spent the following years assisting Constantine in the war against by then hostile Licinius. In 324, Constantine appointed Crispus as the commander of his fleet which left the port of Piraeus to confront the rival fleet of Licinius. The subsequent Battle of Hellespont was fought in at the straits of Bosporus. The 200 ships under the command of Crispus managed to utterly beat the enemy forces which were at least double in number. Thus Crispus achieved his most important and difficult victory which further established his reputation as a brilliant soldier and general.
Following his navy activities, Crispus was assigned part of the legions loyal to his father. The other part was commanded by Constantine himself. Crispus led the legions assigned to him in another victorious battle outside Chrysopolis against the armies of Licinius.
The two victories were his contribution to the final triumph of his father over Licinius. Constantine was the only Augustus left in the Empire. He honoured his son for his support and success by depicting his face in imperial coins, statues, mosaics, cameos, etc. Eusebius of Caesaria wrote for Crispus that he is "an Imperator most dear to God and in all regards comparable to his father."
In 326, Crispus life came to a sudden end: on his father's orders, he was tried by a local court at Pola, Istria, condemned to death and executed. Soon afterwards, Constantine had his own wife, Fausta, killed; she was suffocated in an over-heated bath.
The reason for this act remains unclear and historians have long debated Constantine's motivation:
This version of events has become the most widely accepted, since all other reports are even less satisfactory.
So while the story of Zosimus and Zonaras seems the most believable one, there are also problems relating to their version of events:
It is beyond doubt that there was a connection between the deaths of Crispus and Fausta. Such agreement among different sources connecting two deaths is extremely rare in itself. A number of modern historians have suggested that Crispus and Fausta really did have an illegitimate affair. When Constantine found out, his reaction was to have both of them killed. What delayed the death of Fausta may have been a pregnancy. Since the years of birth for the two known daughters of Constantine and Fausta remain unknown, one of their births may have delayed their mother's execution.
The story of Zosimus and Zonaras listed above is suspiciously similar to both the legend of Hippolytus of Athens (casting Crispus in the role of the youth, Constantine in the role of Theseus and Fausta in the role of Phaedra) as well as the Biblical account of Joseph and Potiphar's wife.
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