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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Constantinian Era ▸ MagnentiusView 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 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.
RL84442. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Lyons 145, LRBC II 231, Bastien MM 194, SRCV V 18821, Cohen VII 69, Hunter V -, VF, green patina, sharp portrait, some legend unstruck, areas of porosity, weight 4.619 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, Aug - end 352 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 in four lines, Chi Rho (Christogram) above, SP below, RPLG in exergue; $150.00 (133.50)


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Strabo wrote, "The Romans possess Lugdunum, founded below a ridge at the confluence of the Arar and the Rhone. It is the most populous of all the other cities except Narbo; for it is a center of commerce, and the Roman emperors strike their silver and gold coinage there." (4.3.2). Dates of operation: 15 B.C. - c. 90 A.D., 195 - 196, and c. 254 - 423. Mintmarks: LG, LVG
RL84365. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Lyons 126, LRBC II 221, Bastien Lyon 174, SRCV V 18820, Hunter V 43 var. (pellet above SV), gVF, sharp portrait, nice green patina, small areas of corrosion, edge cracks, weight 3.400 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 18 Jan 350 - 351 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 holding wreath containing VOT V MVLT X, SV below, RPLG in exergue; $125.00 (111.25)


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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.
RL84368. Billon heavy maiorina, Hunter V 51 (also 2nd officina), RIC VIII Arles 150, LRBC II 421, SRCV V 18800, Cohen VIII 20, VF, rough surfaces from light corrosion, tight flan, weight 5.061 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Arletum (Arles, France) mint, 19 Jan 350 - 18 Aug 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 on horse galloping right, wearing military dress, not holding shield, spearing a barbarian on right before horse who is kneeling left with outstretched hands, shield and broken spear on the ground below horse, star upper right, SAR in exergue; $95.00 (84.55)


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In 351, the armies of Magnentius and Constantius met in the Battle of Mursa Major. Magnentius led his troops into battle, while Constantius II spent the day of battle praying in a nearby church. Despite Magnentius' heroism, his troops were defeated and forced to retreat back to Gaul. As a result of Magnentius' defeat, Italy ejected his garrisons and rejoined the loyalist cause.
RL90155. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIII Rome 216, LRBC II 652, Voetter 8, SRCV V 18807, gVF, nice green patina, weight 4.072 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 315o, 1st officina, Rome mint, 30 Jun 350 - 26 Sep 352 A.D.; obverse D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG, draped and cuirassed bust right, B behind; reverse VICT DD NN AVGG ET CAESS, two Victories holding shield inscribed VOT V MVLT X, star below, P R in exergue; ex Ancient Imports; $80.00 (71.20)







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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. 7: 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 Tuesday, June 27, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Magnentius