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Home>Catalog>RomanCoins>ConstantinianEra>ConstantiusIIPAGE 1/212»»»
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.


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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.
RL71345. Bronze AE 2, RIC VIII Siscia 286, EF, centered on a tight flan, short open flan crack, weight 5.169 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right, A behind, star before; reverse HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, Constantius standing facing head left, holding labarum (Chi Rho Christogram standard) and spear, Victory right crowning him, A left, •BSIS• in ex; $225.00 (€195.75)


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Did you read the description and wonder, what is a vexillum and what is a staurogram? If so, note the terms are in blue text. Click on any blue text in our website catalog to open a page or website where you will find a definition, explanation or related information.This type was issued with various Christian symbols on the banner.
RL71441. Bronze centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 125, LRBC 2614, Voetter 22, Choice gVF, weight 4.209 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust left, globe in right hand; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), emperor standing left, vexillum with staurogram on flag in right, resting left on grounded shield behind, two kneeling bound captives at feet before him, star left, ANB in ex; $175.00 (€152.25)


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On 28 September 351, at Battle of Mursa Major, Constantius II defeated the usurper Magnentius. The battle was one of the bloodiest in Roman military history.
BB68066. Bronze centenionalis, RIC VIII Cyzicus 95, Choice VF, weight 5.512 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 351 - 354 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, Γ left, •SMK∆; large bronze for the period; $105.00 (€91.35)


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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.
RB73596. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Alexandria 72, Cohen VII 46, SRCV V 18175, Choice aEF, excellent strike and centering, weight 6.106 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 135o, 1st officina, Alexandria mint, 15 Mar 351 - 6 Nov 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 wearing a peaked Parthian cap and reaching toward the soldier, Γ (control letter) upper left, ALEA in exergue; $100.00 (€87.00)


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In 330, the Goths devastated the city of Tanais in the Don River delta.
RL71425. Bronze AE 3, RIC VII Antioch 88, weight 2.251 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 330 - 335 A.D.; obverse FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS, two soldiers standing facing, two standards in center between them, heads confronted, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, SMANZ in ex; $75.00 (€65.25)


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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.
RL90083. Bronze centenionalis, Failmezger pl. 41, 462cCS (this coin); RIC VII Constantinople 112; LRBC 2033; Voetter 31, gF, weight 4.858 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Mar 351 - 6 Nov 355 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right, ∆ behind; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier standing left, shield on left arm, spear in right hand, spearing bearded fallen horseman clutching horse, shield on ground right, B and pellet upper left divided by spear, CONS[A?] in ex; from the Susan Bradford Collection, ex Ancient Imports, ex Failmezger Collection (plate coin, 2002), ex Dr. D. Zauge Collection (2001); $65.00 (€56.55)


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In spite of the some of the edicts issued by Constantius banning sacrifices and closing some temples, he was not fanatically anti-pagan - he never made any attempt to disband the various Roman priestly colleges or the Vestal Virgins, he never acted against the various pagan schools, and, at times, he actually made some effort to protect paganism. He remained pontifex maximus and was deified by the Roman Senate after his death. His relative moderation toward paganism is reflected by the fact that it was over twenty years after his death, during the reign of Gratian, before any pagan senator protested his treatment of their religion.
RL60007. Bronze AE 3, RIC VIII Siscia 293/355/386 (all identical), VF, weight 2.521 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 210o, 4th officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 350 - 361 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM, emperor standing facing, head left, labarum (Chi-Rho standard) in right, spear in left, ∆SIS in ex; very scarce; $50.00 (€43.50)


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On 15 March 351, Constantius II elevated his 25-year-old cousin Constantius Gallus to Caesar at Sirmium in Pannonia. He arranged a marriage with his sister Constantina and put Constantius Gallus in charge of the Eastern Roman Empire. Constantius II marched West with a large army (60,000 men) to fight against Magnus Magnentius.
RL70711. Billon AE 2, RIC VIII Constantinople 82, LRBC 2026, gVF, weight 5.426 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, 7th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 348 - 15 Mar 351 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier standing left, shield on left arm, spear in right hand, spearing bearded fallen horseman who is raising his arm, shield on ground right, Γ upper left, CONSZ* in ex; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $35.00 (€30.45)


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In spite of the some of the edicts issued by Constantius banning sacrifices and closing some temples, he was not fanatically anti-pagan - he never made any attempt to disband the various Roman priestly colleges or the Vestal Virgins, he never acted against the various pagan schools, and, at times, he actually made some effort to protect paganism. He remained pontifex maximus and was deified by the Roman Senate after his death. His relative moderation toward paganism is reflected by the fact that it was over twenty years after his death, during the reign of Gratian, before any pagan senator protested his treatment of their religion.
BB70739. Bronze AE 3, RIC VIII Siscia 194, gVF, centered, weight 1.564 g, maximum diameter 15.99 mm, die axis 225o, 1st officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, 347 - 348 A.D.; obverse CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, rosette-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIAE DD AVGG Q NN, two victories facing one another, each holding a wreath and palm frond, palm in center, ASIS in ex; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $33.00 (€28.71)


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CIn 356, Constantius II published a decree ordering the closure of all pagan temples throughout the Empire.
RL70721. Bronze AE 3, RIC VIII Cyzicus 104/110, aEF, nice green patina, tight flan, weight 2.613 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, 4th 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, SMK∆ in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $32.00 (€27.84)




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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.M. 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).
Milchev, S. The Coins of Constantine the Great. (Sophia, 2007).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine: The Collapse of Paganism and the Triumph of Christianity, Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 211).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire: The Later Constantinian Dynasty and the Houses of Valentinian and Theodosius and Their Successors, Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Voetter, O. Die Miinzen der romischen Kaiser, Kaiserinnen und Caesaren von Diocletianus bis Romulus: Katalog der Sammlung Paul Gerin. (Vienna, 1921).

Catalog current as of Saturday, April 25, 2015.
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Roman Coins of Constantius II