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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Constantinian Era| ▸ |Magnentius||View Options:  |  |  |   

Magnentius, 18 January 350 - 10 August 353 A.D.

Flavius Magnus Magnentius may have once been a slave owned by Constantine the Great. He was a general of great skill, becoming one of the empire's foremost military leaders during the reign of Constans. However, in 350 A.D. he rebelled and took control of the Western provinces. Not content with official recognition by Constantius II, he invaded the latter's territory and after some initial success met with a great defeat at Mursa. After a retreat into Gaul, he was abandoned by his soldiers and committed suicide.


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On 3 June 350, Iulius Nepotianus proclaimed himself emperor and entered Rome with a group of gladiators. On 30 June, Marcellinus, a trusted general of Magnentius, defeated and killed Nepotian. Nepotian's head was put on a lance and paraded around Rome.
SH67105. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Lyons 116 (S), LRBC II 215, SRCV V 18799, Cohen VIII 20, FDC, weight 4.909 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 18 Jan 350 - spring 351 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Magnentius riding right, spearing enemy, shield and broken spear on the ground, RPLG in exergue; SOLD


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"I am the alpha and the omega" is an appellation of Jesus in the Book of Revelation (verses 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13). Alpha (A) and omega (Ω) are respectively the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. This would be similar to referring to someone in English as the "A and Z." Thus, twice when the title appears it is further clarified with the additional title "the beginning and the end" (Revelation 21:6, 22:13). The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet were used because the Book of Revelation was originally written in Greek.
SH34852. Bronze reduced double maiorina, RIC VIII Trier 320 (without pellet in ex) or 323 (with pellet in ex.), VF, weight 6.842 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 352 - 353 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS DD NN AVG ET CAES (the salvation of our noble emperor and caesar), large Christogram flanked by A ω, TRP(pellet?) in exergue; SOLD


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Constans' cruelty, misrule and homosexuality made himself extremely unpopular. On 18 January 350, the army in Gaul proclaimed Magnentius emperor and Constans was forced to flee to Spain where he was assassinated. Magnentius ruled the Western Roman Empire and was far more tolerant towards Pagans.
RL66892. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Arles 139, EF, flat strike areas on reverse, weight 4.039 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, 350 - 353 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FELICITAS REIPVBLICE, Magnentius standing left, Victory on globe in right hand, standard in left, F left, SAR in exergue; scarce; SOLD


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Magnus Magnentius was proclaimed emperor on 18 January 350 at Autun (Gaul) with support of the army on the Rhine frontier. Constans fled to Spain, where he was assassinated at Castrum Helenae. In the spring 351, Constans' brother Constantius marched West with 60,000 men to remove Magnus Magnentius but it would take more than two years to defeat him.
SH32711. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Amiens 11, LRBC II 8, SRCV V 18816, sharp EF, weight 4.351 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, Ambianum (Amiens, France) mint, 30 Jun 350 - spring 351 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, draped and cuirassed bust right, A behind; reverse VICTORIAE DD NN AVGG ET CAESS (victories of our lords, the two emperors and two caesars), two Victories holding shield inscribed VOT V MVLT X, AMB followed by a palm frond in exergue; SOLD


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On 3 June 350, Iulius Nepotianus proclaimed himself emperor and entered Rome with a group of gladiators. On 30 June, Marcellinus, a trusted general of Magnentius, defeated and killed Nepotian. Nepotian's head was put on a lance and paraded around Rome.
RT85636. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Trier 271, LRBC II 55, Bastien MM 32, SRCV V 18798, Cohen VIII 20, Hunter V 20, EF, well centered on a tight flan, attractive coppery surfaces, light marks, areas of slight porosity, weight 4.149 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 18 Jan 350 - spring 351 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, bare-headed, draped and cuirassed "heavy" bust right, A behind; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Magnentius in military dress galloping right, shield on left arm, spearing a barbarian before horse kneeling left with outstretched hands, shield and broken spear on the ground below horse, TRS followed by a crescent in exergue; SOLD


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This coin appears to have a dot between the R and the S in the mint mark. RS is not recorded in RIC for this type. RIC lists the RS (no dot) as common, however, market research indicates it is rare.
SH06890. Billon maiorina, RIC VIII Rome 177 var., EF, weight 5.21 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 19 Jan - 3 Jun 350 A.D.; obverse IMP CAE MAGNENTIVS AVG, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA AVG LIB ROMANOR (victory of the Emperor, liberator of the Romans), Magnentius in military dress, standing right, left foot on bound seated captive, holding standard with eagle on banner in right and olive branch in left, RS in exergue; slightly irregular flan, near black patina, from the Scott Collection; rare; SOLD


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RL21672. Billon heavy maiorina, Hunter V 36 (also 2nd officina), RIC VIII Lyons 112, LRBC II 211, Bastien 154, SRCV V 18792, Cohen VIII 7, gVF, a little grainy, weight 5.491 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 350 - 353 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse FELICITAS REIPVBLICE, Magnentius standing left holding Victory on globe in right and labarum (chi-rho Christogram standard) in left, RSLG in exergue; ex Tom Cederlind; SOLD


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On 3 June 350, Iulius Nepotianus proclaimed himself emperor and entered Rome with a group of gladiators. On 30 June, Marcellinus, a trusted general of Magnentius, defeated and killed Nepotian. Nepotian's head was put on a lance and paraded around Rome.
SH04515. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Trier 269, LRBC II 53, SRCV V 18798, Cohen VIII 20, Bastien MM -, superb EF+, sharp, bold, fine green patina, fantastic reverse, weight 4.06 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 350 - 351 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, bare-headed, draped and cuirassed "heavy" bust right, A behind; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Magnentius in military dress galloping right, shield on left arm, spearing a barbarian before horse kneeling left with outstretched hands, shield and broken spear on the ground below horse, TRP in exergue; from the Aiello Collection; rare (R2); SOLD


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On 28 September 351, at the Battle of Mursa Major, Constantius II defeated the usurper Magnentius. The battle was one of the bloodiest in Roman military history. During the fighting Marcellinus, a general of Magnentius was killed, but Magnentius himself survived.
RL76200. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Lyons 136, LRBC II 227, Bastien MM 176, SRCV V 18820, EF, nice portrait, green patina, centered on a tight flan, weight 4.223 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, spring 351 - 18 Aug 353 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind; reverse VICTORIAE DD NN AVG ET CAE (victories of our lords, Emperor and Caesar), two Victories standing confronted, together holding wreath containing VOT V MVLT X, SP below, RPLG in exergue; SOLD


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Magnentius may have once been a slave owned by Constantine the Great. He was a general under Constans but rebelled and took control of the West. Although recognized by Constantius II, he invaded the latter's territory. He was defeated and after a retreat into Gaul, he was abandoned by his soldiers and committed suicide.
SH76387. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Rome 197, Bastien MM 460 (14 spec.), LRBC II 638, SRCV V 18801, Cohen VIII 20 (3 fr.), Choice VF, nice chocolate tone, perfect centering, well struck with slight double strike on reverse, weight 5.364 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 135o, 6th officina, Rome mint, c. May - 3 Jun 350 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, draped and cuirassed bust right, A behind head; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Emperor in military dress galloping right, chlamys flying behind, not carrying shield, spearing a barbarian before horse wearing a pointed cap and kneeling left with arms extended, shield and broken spear on the ground below the horse, star above horse's head, RS in exergue; ex Harlan J. Berk; SOLD




  




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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DNMAGNENTIVSAVG
DNMAGNENTIVSPFAVG
FLMAGNENTIVSPFAVG
IMPCAEMAGNENTIVSAVG
MAGNENTIVSAVG


REFERENCES|

Bastien, P. Le Monnayage de Magnence (350-353). (Wetteren, 1983).
Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage, Part II: Bronze Roman Imperial Coinage of the Later Empire, A.D. 346-498. (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 frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 8: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Constantin II 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).
Paolucci, R. & A. Zub. La monetazione di Aquileia Romana. (Padova, 2000).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
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 Mnzen der romischen Kaiser, Kaiserinnen und Caesaren von Diocletianus bis Romulus: Katalog der Sammlung Paul Gerin. (Vienna, 1921).

Catalog current as of Thursday, August 22, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Magnentius