- The Collaborative Numismatics Project
  Welcome Guest. Please login or register. The column on the left includes the "Best of NumisWiki" menu. If you are new to collecting, start with Ancient Coin Collecting 101. All blue text is linked. Keep clicking to endlessly explore. Welcome Guest. Please login or register. The column on the left includes the "Best of NumisWiki" menu. All blue text is linked. Keep clicking to endlessly explore. If you have written a numismatic article, please add it to NumisWiki.

Resources Home
Home
New Articles
Most Popular
Recent Changes
Current Projects
Admin Discussions
Guidelines
How to

Index Of All Titles


BEST OF

AEQVITI
Aes Grave
Aes Rude
The Age of Gallienus
Alexander Tetradrachms
Ancient Coin Collecting 101
Ancient Coin Prices 101
Ancient Coin Dates
Ancient Coin Lesson Plans
Ancient Coins & Modern Fakes
Ancient Counterfeits
Ancient Glass
Ancient Oil Lamps
Ancient Weapons
Ancient Wages and Prices
Ancient Weights and Scales
Anonymous Folles
Anonymous Follis
Anonymous Class A Folles
Antioch Officinae
Aphlaston
Armenian Numismatics Page
Brockage
Byzantine
Byzantine Denominations
A Cabinet of Greek Coins
Caesarean and Actian Eras
Campgates of Constantine
Carausius
A Case of Counterfeits
Byzantine Christian Themes
Clashed Dies
Codewords
Coins of Pontius Pilate
Conditions of Manufacture
Corinth Coins and Cults
Countermarked in Late Antiquity
Danubian Celts
Damnatio Coinage
Damnatio Memoriae
Denomination
Denarii of Otho
Diameter 101
Die Alignment 101
Dictionary of Roman Coins
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Draco
Edict on Prices
ERIC
ERIC - Rarity Tables
Etruscan Alphabet
The Evolving Ancient Coin Market
EQVITI
Facing Portrait of Augustus
Fel Temp Reparatio
Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Fibula
Flavian
Fourree
Friend or Foe
The Gallic Empire
Gallienus Zoo
Greek Alphabet
Greek Coins
Greek Dates
Greek Coin Denominations
Greek Mythology Link
Greek Numismatic Dictionary
Hellenistic Names & their Meanings
Hasmoneans
Hasmonean Dynasty
Helvetica's ID Help Page
The Hexastyle Temple of Caligula
Historia Numorum
Horse Harnesses
Identifying Ancient Metal Arrowheads
Illustrated Ancient Coin Glossary
Important Collection Auctions
Islamic Rulers and Dynasties
Julian II: The Beard and the Bull
Koson
Kushan Coins
People in the Bible Who Issued Coins
Imperial Mints of Philip the Arab
Later Roman Coinage
Latin Plurals
Latin Pronunciation
Library of Ancient Coinage
Life in Ancient Rome
List of Kings of Judea
Malloy Weapons
Maps of the Ancient World
Military Belts
Mint Marks
Monogram
Museum Collections Available Online
Nabataean Alphabet
Nabataean Numerals
The [Not] Cuirassed Elephant
Not in RIC
Numismatic Bulgarian
Numismatic Excellence Award
Numismatic French
Numismatic German
Numismatic Italian
Numismatic Spanish
Parthian Coins
Patina 101
Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet
Phoenician Alphabet
Pi-Style Athens Tetradrachms
Pricing and Grading Roman Coins
Reading Judean Coins
Representations of Alexander the Great
Roman Coin Attribution 101
Roman Militaria
Roman Mints
Roman Names
romancoin.info
Rome and China
Satyrs and Nymphs
Scarabs
Serdi Celts
Serrated
Siglos
The Sign that Changed the World
Silver Content of Parthian Drachms
Star of Bethlehem Coins
Statuary Coins
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
Syracusian Folles
Taras Drachms with Owl Left
The Temple Tax
The Temple Tax Hoard
Test Cut
Travels of Paul
Tribute Penny
Tribute Penny Debate Continued (2015)
Tribute Penny Debate Revisited (2006)
Tyrian Shekels
Uncleaned Ancient Coins 101
Vabalathus
Venus Cloacina
What I Like About Ancient Coins
Who was Trajan Decius
Widow's Mite
XXI

   View Menu
 

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

Ancient Roman coins of Magnentius for sale in the Forum Ancient Coins consignment shop.

Flavius Magnus Magnentius was born in Samarobriva (Amiens), Gaul. Some sources state that Magnentius' father was a Briton and his mother a Frank and he may have once been a slave owned by Constantine the Great. He was a man of studious habits, powerful in conversation, with great military skill, but hard-hearted and cruel. When he was a captain of the guard, a group of his soldiers threatened to murder him; Constans threw his paludamentum over him as a protection and saved his life. Constans made Magnentius commander of the Herculians and Jovians, the Imperial guard units.

When the army grew dissatisfied with the Emperor Constans the soldiers elevated Magnentius to the purple at Augustodunum (Autun) on 18 January 350. Constans was hunting near the Pyrenees away from his forces when he heard the news, he took sanctuary in a temple at
Castrum Helenae in Hispania. Magnentius sent a few of his men who tracked him down, breached the temple, and murdered him. Magnentius quickly attracted the loyalty of the provinces in Britannia, Gaul, and Hispania, in part because he proved to be far more tolerant towards Pagans. His control of Italia and Africa was secured through the election of his men to the most important offices.

There were some that resisted Magnentius. Nepotian, a member of the Constantinian dynasty, rebelled and ruled the city of Rome for twenty-eight days. Vetranio, commander of the Pannonian army, was elected Augustus by his troops in Mursa on 1 March 350. Unlike Magnentius, Constantius II recognized Vetranio, sending him the imperial diadem. This resistance strained Magnentius' resources while Constantius' army approached.

Constantius II had been thousands of miles away embroiled in a difficult war with the Parthians in Syria and it took several months to hear of what happened out west. He had the difficult choice of following through with this war or deal with the dangerous usurpation of Magnentius. He decided to sign a hasty peace treaty with the Parthians which ceded vast sections of territory and marched west with 60,000 men to deal with Magnentius.

Magnentius tried in vain to seek a diplomatic solution to the problem with Constantius as he wanted to avoid an open armed conflict with his army at all costs. After electing his brother Decentius as Caesar and gathering as many troops as possible, Magnentius advanced his armies to meet those of Constantius. In the Battle of Mursa Major in 351, Magnentius led his troops into battle, while Constantius spent the day of battle praying in a nearby church. Despite Magnentius' heroism, his troops were defeated and forced to retreat back to Gaul. Magnentius made a final stand in 353 at the Battle of Mons Seleucus. Defeated again, he fled to Lugdunum (Lyons) where he committed suicide by falling on his sword.  

Following the suppression of Magnentius' rebellion, Constantius began to root out his followers. The most notorious agent he employed in this search was the primicerius notariorum Paulus Catena ("Paul the Chain"). Magnentius' wife, Justina, later married Valentinian I.

Also see: ERIC - Magnentius


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).


Obverse Legends

DNMAGMAGNENTIVSPFAVG
DNMAGNENTIOPERPETVOAVG
DNMAGNENTIVSAVG
DNMAGNENTIVSPFAG
DNMAGNENTIVSPFAVG
FLMAGNENTIVSPFAVG
IMCAEMAGNENTIVSAVG
IMPCAEMAGNENTIVSAVG
IMPCAESMAGNENTIVSAVG
MAGMAGNENTIVSAVG
MAGNENTIVSAVG


Mints

Ambianum
Aquileia
Arelate
Lugdunum
Roma
Siscia
Treveri


Dictionary of Roman Coins




Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.


MAGNENTIVS (FL. Magnus), born in Gaul, of obscure British or German parents, about A.D. 303 was brought up by Constans, with whom he was so great a favorite, on account of his skill in military affairs, that in a tumult when the soldiers were on te point of putting him as captain of the guard to death, his imperial master threw his paludamentum as a protection over him, and thus saved his life.  This kindness Magnentius most ungratefully requited with treachery, and the basest machinations, through which the Emperor fell a victim, and this usurper obtained the empire, after having assumed the purple at Autun (Augustodunum), A.D. 350.  He was a man of studious habits, powerful in conversation, but hard-hearted and cruel.  He named as Caesar his brother Decentius whom he sent with the army to defend Gaul beyond the Alps; and he himself marched against Constantius, brother of Constans, whose terms of peace he had rashly rejected, and by whom he was defeated in two engagements, one in Italy, the other in Gaul.  Fleeing to Lyons, and unable to retrieve his affairs, he then slew himself A.D. 353, at 50 years of age. 

The bronze coins of Magnentius are very common; his gold are rare; his silver rarer. 


View whole page from the Dictionary Of Roman Coins