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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Constantinian Era| ▸ |Constantius II||View Options:  |  |  |   

Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

The longest lived of Constantine the Great's sons and successors, he ruled until 361 A.D. Upon Constantine's death, Constantius received the entire eastern empire as his inheritance. Soon after he added Thrace to his empire and as his brothers were killed, he annexed their territories. When he defeated the Western usurper Magnentius he was master of the entire empire. Although he started campaigning along the Danube, war with Persia forced his return to the East. Shortly after, he received news that Julian II had been proclaimed Augustus against him. Constantius died on his way to fight this new usurper and Julian II became ruler of the Roman Empire.


Lot of 6 Nice EF AE4, Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.

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The longest lived of Constantine the Great's sons and successors, he ruled until 361 A.D. Upon Constantine's death, Constantius received the entire eastern empire as his inheritance. Soon after he added Thrace to his empire and as his brothers were killed, he annexed their territories. When he defeated the Western usurper Magnentius he was master of the entire empire. Although he started campaigning along the Danube, war with Persia forced his return to the East. Shortly after, he received news that Julian II had been proclaimed Augustus against him. Constantius died on his way to fight this new usurper and Julian II became ruler of the Roman Empire.
LT88494. Bronze Lot, Lot of 6 AE4 bronze coins, 14.5mm - 16.3mm, EF, well centered, attractive desert patina, no additional identification, no tags or flips, the lot is the actual coins in the photograph; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00
 


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In 312 A.D., Constantine dreamed he saw a Christogram in the sky and heard the words IN HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, meaning in Latin "In this sign, you will be the victor." He ordered the sign of Christ on his legions standards and shields. He won a great victory and later became the first Christian Roman Emperor.
RL90728. Billon maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 284 (S), LRBC II 1171, Voetter 48, SRCV V 18903, Cohen VII 3, gVF, oval flan, encrustation, flan split, weight 5.040 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, issued by Vetranio, 1 Mar - 25 Dec 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind, star in front; reverse CONCORDIA MILITVM (harmony with the soldiers), Constantius standing half-left, in military dress, labarum (Chi-Rho standard) in each hand, A left, star above, •ΓSIS• in exergue; scarce; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
 


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The cross was rarely used in early Christian iconography, perhaps because it symbolized a purposely painful and gruesome method of public execution that most early Christians would have personally witnessed. In 315, Constantine abolished crucifixion as punishment in the Roman Empire. The Ichthys, or fish symbol, was used by early Christians. Constantine adopted the Chi-Rho Christ monogram (Christogram) as his banner (labarum). The use of a cross as the most prevalent symbol of Christianity probably gained momentum after Saint Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, traveled to the Holy Land, c. 326 - 328, and recovered the True Cross.
RL89481. Billon light maiorina, RIC VIII Cyzicus 75, LRBC II 2478, Voetter 34, SRCV V 18233, Cohen VII 41, Hunter V -, Choice aEF, excellent centering, dark patina, scratches, earthen deposits, weight 3.168 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 348 - 351 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust left, holding globe in right hand; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), emperor standing left, labarum in right hand, resting left on grounded shield behind, two kneeling bound captives at feet before him, *SMK∆ exergue; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73, part of lot 970; $95.00 SALE |PRICE| $85.50
 


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In 359, Shapur II the Great of the Persian Empire invaded southern Armenia. The Romans implemented a scorched earth policy and placed strong guards at the Euphrates crossings. Shapur II besieged the Roman fortress of Amida (modern Diyarbakir). After seventy-three days the city was conquered and the population massacred. In the winter of 359, Shapur II halted his campaign, due to heavy casualties. In 360, Shapur II continued his campaign against the Roman fortresses; capturing Singara, Bezabde and Nisibis.
RL88062. Bronze reduced maiorina, RIC VIII Cyzicus 117, LRBC II 2504, Voetter 47, SRCV V 18320, Cohen VII 188, Choice VF, nice green patina, well centered, light earthen deposits, edge a little ragged, weight 1.298 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 358 - 3 Nov 361; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SPES REIPVBLICE (the hope of the Republic), emperor standing left, wearing helmet and military dress, globe in right hand, spear in left hand, SMKA exergue; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


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In 326, Constantine traveled to Rome to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his accession to power.
RL91647. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Cyzicus 38, LRBC II 1193, SRCV V 17652, Cohen VII 167, Choice aEF, well centered and struck, flow lines, die wear, scattered porosity, weight 2.532 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 325 - 326 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse PROVIDENTIAE CAESS (to the foresight of the two princes), campgate with two turrets, star above, SMKA• in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $55.00 SALE |PRICE| $49.50
 


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The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the Phoenix: 'Most beings spring from other individuals; but there is a certain kind which reproduces itself. The Assyrians call it the Phoenix. It does not live on fruit or flowers, but on frankincense and odoriferous gums. When it has lived five hundred years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or on the top of a palm tree. In this it collects cinnamon and spikenard, and myrrh, and of these materials builds a pile on which it deposits itself, and dying, breathes out its last breath amidst odors. From the body of the parent bird, a young Phoenix issues forth, destined to live as long a life as its predecessor. When this has grown up and gained sufficient strength, it lifts its nest from the tree (its own cradle and its parent's sepulcher), and carries it to the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun.'
RL88740. Bronze quarter maiorina, RIC VIII Constantinople 93 (S), LRBC II 2019, Voetter 36, SRCV V 18253, Cohen VII 57, Hunter V -, F, ragged flan, bumps and marks, earthen deposits, some legend weak, weight 2.498 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 348 - 351 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), radiate Phoenix standing right on globe, CONS[...] in exergue; $19.00 SALE |PRICE| $17.10
 


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In 331 A.D., Constantine I vigorously promoted Christianity, confiscating the property and valuables of a number of pagan temples throughout the Empire.
RL88757. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Constantinople 139 (R3), SRCV V 17321, LRBC I 353, Cohen VII 127, VF, green patina, light earthen deposits, spots of corrosion, weight 1.798 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 330 - 331 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from front; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, heads turned inward confronted, two standards in center between them, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, star above center, CONSΓ in exergue; $19.00 SALE |PRICE| $17.10
 


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At the end of the 4th century, Sirmium was brought under the sway of the Goths, and later, was again annexed to the Eastern Roman Empire. In 441, Sirmium was conquered by the Huns, and after this conquest, it remained for more than a century in the hands of various other tribes, including the Eastern Goths and Gepids. For a short time, Sirmium was the center of the Gepid State and King Cunimund minted gold coins there. After 567, Roman rule was restored again at Sirmium. The city was finally conquered and destroyed by the Avars in 582.
RL88751. Bronze reduced maiorina, RIC VIII Sirmium 48, LRBC II 1603, SRCV V 18274, Cohen VII 47, Hunter V -, F, dark green patina with coppery high spots, weight 2.079 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) mint, 353 - 355 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier standing left spearing fallen horseman, BSIRM in exergue; $14.00 SALE |PRICE| $12.60
 


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Constantius II, unlike his father, allowed Christians to persecute pagans and Jews. Christian clergy inspired angry crowds, which attacked and destroyed synagogues and temples. On 7 May 351, a Jewish revolt broke out in Palestine. The rebels destroyed the Roman garrison in a surprise night attack and acquired the garrison's weapons. The rebels destroyed Diopolis and Tiberias and killed the people of different ethnicities, including Greeks and Samaritans. In 352, Constantius Gallus sent his general (magister equitum) Ursicinus to put down the revolt. Diocesarea, the epicenter of the revolt, was razed to the ground. Ursicinus ordered the execution of thousands of Jews, even children. After the revolt, a permanent garrison was stationed in Galilee.
RL88752. Bronze reduced maiorina, RIC VIII Cyzicus 104 & 110, LRBC II 2496, SRCV V 18285, Cohen VII 47, F, porous, a little rough, weight 3.049 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 28 Sep 351 - 3 Nov 361 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier advancing left, spearing fallen horseman wearing a pointed cap and raising hand, oval shield at feet, SMKA in exergue; $14.00 SALE |PRICE| $12.60
 


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On 7 May 351, after Constantius Gallus arrived at Antioch, a Jewish revolt broke out in Palestine. In 352, Gallus sent his general (magister equitum) Ursicinus to put down the revolt. The rebels destroyed Diopolis and Tiberias. Diocesarea was razed to the ground. Ursicinus gave the order to kill thousands of Jews, even children. After the revolt, a permanent garrison was stationed in Galilee.
RL88758. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Constantinople 109, LRBC II 2030, SRCV V 18150, Cohen VII 44, aVF, dark green patina, oval flan, light scratches, earthen deposits, weight 3.906 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Mar 351 - 6 Nov 355 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, ∆ behind; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier advancing left, spearing fallen horseman wearing a Parthian cap, shield at feet, Γ• left, CONS[...] in exergue; $14.00 SALE |PRICE| $12.60
 




  



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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

CONSTANTIVSAVG
CONSTANTIVSAVGVSTVS
CONSTANTIVSMAXAVG
CONSTANTIVSNOBC
CONSTANTIVSNOBCAES
CONSTANTIVSPFAVG DNCONSTANTIAVGVSTI
DNCONSTANTIVSAVG
DNCONSTANTIVSMAXAVG
DNCONSTANTIVSNOBCAES
DNCONSTANTIVSPERPAVG
DNCONSTANTIVSPFAVG
FLACONSTANTIVSNOBC
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSAVG
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSNOBC
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSNOBCAES
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSPERPAVG
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSPFAVG
FLIVLCONSTANTIVSPIVSFELIXAVG


REFERENCES|

Bastien, P. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon. De la réouverture de l'atelier en 318 à la mort de Constantin (318-337). Numismatique Romaine XIII. (Wetteren, 1982).
Bruun, P. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VII, Constantine and Licinius A.D. 313 - 337. (London, 1966).
Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Carson, R., H. Sutherland & J. Kent. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VIII, The Family of Constantine I, A.D. 337 - 364. (London, 1981).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Constantin II à Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
Failmezger, V. Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity, 294 - 364 A.D. (Washington D.C., 2002).
King, C & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Milchev, S. The Coins of Constantine the Great. (Sophia, 2007).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine...Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 211).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire: The Later Constantinian Dynasty...Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
Voetter, O. Die Münzen der romischen Kaiser, Kaiserinnen und Caesaren von Diocletianus bis Romulus: Katalog der Sammlung Paul Gerin. (Vienna, 1921).

Catalog current as of Saturday, August 24, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Constantius II