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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; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


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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; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


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Siscia, a chief town and colony of Pannonia, was located at the confluence of the Colapis and the Savus, and is now called Sisak, Croatia. The Roman imperial mint operated from 260 to c. 390 A.D. The mint master was called procurator monetae Siscianae.
RL89949. Billon maiorina, RIC VIII Thessalonica 133, LRBC II 1660, SRCV V 18197, Cohen VIII 32, Hunter V -, Choice VF, excellent centering, well struck with slight weakness in center, light marks, porous, weight 5.029 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 28 Sep 351 - winter 354 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Emperor standing left on boat, holding Victory and labarum (Christogram standard), Victory steering at helm with star above, B left, •TSB• in exergue; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


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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; $85.00 (€74.80)
 


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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.
RL89685. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 304, SRCV V 18204, Cohen VII 142, LRBC II 1190, Hunter V 54, VF, green patina, light earthen deposits, light marks, slightly off center, weight 4.981 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 350 - 351 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind (A's often appear as H in this period); reverse HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, Constantius standing facing head left, holding labarum (Chi Rho Christogram standard) and spear, Victory right crowning him, palm in left hand, III left field, ASIS crescent in exergue; ex Beast Coins; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


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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; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


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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 (€48.40)
 


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Heraclea, the Greek city of Perinthos, later known as Heraclea Thraciae to distinguish it from Heraclea Pontica, is now Marmara Ereglisi in the European part of Turkey. The Roman mint was established by Diocletian shortly before his reform and was in use until the times of Theodosius II. Dates of operation: 291 - 450 A.D. Mintmarks: H, HERAC, HERACL, HT, MHT, SMH, SMHT.
RL92032. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Heraclea 108 (R3), SRCV V 17644, LRBC 1 896, Cohen VII 167, Hunter V -, Choice VF, well centered, dark patina, traces of silvering, weight 2.728 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 135o, 5th officina, Heraclea (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 328 - 329 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE CAESS (to the foresight of the Prince), camp gate with two turrets, star above, star left, SMHE in exergue; ex Roma Numismatics; very rare; $38.00 (€33.44)
 


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In 352, Constantius II invaded northern Italy in pursuit of usurper Magnus Magnentius, who retreated with his army to Gaul. Constantius declared an amnesty for Magnentius' soldiers, many of whom deserted to him. By the end of the year Constantius entered Milan. In 353, Constantius II defeated Magnentius at the Battle of Mons Seleucus. Magnentius committed suicide to avoid capture. Constantius became the sole emperor and reunified the Roman Empire.
RL88673. Bronze reduced maiorina, RIC VIII Constantinople 121, LRBC II 2043, Cohen VII 45, SRCV V 18277, Hunter V 84 var. (6th officina), F, dark patina, tight flan, light marks, light earthen deposits, weight 2.349 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) 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 spearing fallen horseman, pellet in center left, shield on ground, CONSΓ in exergue; $18.00 (€15.84)
 


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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.
RL92357. Bronze reduced maiorina, RIC VIII Cyzicus 115, LRBC II 2502, SRCV V 18303, Cohen VII 47 Hunter V 106 var. (2nd officina), aVF, porous, earthen deposits, weight 2.023 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd 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, •M• left field with the right dot on the soldier's spear, SMKΓ in exergue; $18.00 (€15.84)
 




  



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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, December 7, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Constantius II