Constantius Gallus







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CONSTANTIUS GALLUS--- It is after this appellation that one of the nephews of Constantius II, and the eldest brother of Julianus, afterwards empire, is commonly called by historians, although on coins he is named simply Constantius.----- Gallus, born A.D. 325, was the son of Julius Constantius, youngest son of Constantius Chlorus, and of Galla. At the age of 12 years, he was, with Julian, spared from the sweeping massacre which their ambitious uncle Constantius perfidiously connived at, and which deprived their father of life. In 351, that very kinsman created him Caesar; associated him in the imperial government; and caused him to add to his own the name of Constantius. Having also given him for wife his sister Constantina, the widow of Hanniballianus, the artful emperor assigned to Gallus the defence of the eastern provinces against the Persians, and sent him to reside at Antioch. The young prince was gifted with a well-formed person, and a prepossessing countenance: he had also an imposing air of grandeur in his deportment. His brother Julian and himself passed their youth together, in a kind of exile, and their education had been confined to the study of ecclesiastical literature, and to the practices of ascetic piety. This course of instruction had attached Gallus to the Christian Church, but it had not taught him to repress his passions, which were of such a haughty, insolent, and savage description, as to render him an object of dread and hatred during the whole period of his residence in Syria. It was there that he showed himself in the undisguised violence and brutality of his natural character. He perpetrated, both out of his own vicious disposition, and at the instigation of his wife who was not less guilty than himself, acts of the most flagrant injustice, and of the most revolting cruelty. At once the spy upon, and the accuser of, his subjects, he caused all, of whose wealth he was covetous, to be put to death without any form of legal procedure. The death of Theophilus, governor of Syria, whom he abandoned to the merciless fury of an Antiochian populace; and the atrocious barbarity with which he delivered numerous ot her personages of distinguished rank, into the hands of the public executioner, roused a general spirit of resistance to his tyranny; and he was denounced to the emperor.--- Constantius II sent Domitianus praetorian prefect of the East, and Montius questor of the palace, to his residence at Antioch, for the purpose of inquiring into his conduct. Justly charged with mal-administration, disobedience, and cruelty, in his government of the East, he enormously increased his guilt by putting the above-named imperial commissioners to death. It appears that these servants of Constantius, instead of ensnaring him with gentle persuasions, in conformity with their instructions, had the imprudence to adopt towards Gallus the language of menace and defiance; and the consequence was, they were torn to pieces by an infuriated multitude, whom Gallus had excited to destroy them. The emperor fearing that, after this, his nephew would, in desperation, be led to add open rebellion to his other offences, had recourse to new promises, with the view of drawing him away from Antioch; fully resolved to punish him afterwards. Accordingly he wrote to him letters full of professed affection, deceived by which Gallus set out to meet his uncle at Milan.----- At Petovio (Pettan) in Pannonia, however, he was arrested, and sent to Pola, in Istria.

   Gallus there underwent a sort of trial for the crimes he had committed, and was convicted of them all. His judges, after receiving orders from Constantius, condemned him to death; and having been conducted to the place of execution, with his hands tied behind him, like a culprit of the lowest class, he was beheaded, at the close of the year 354, when he was in his second consulate. He was then only 29 years old, and had reigned, as Caesar, but three years and eight months.---- Most of those who had participated in his crimes were doomed by Constantius to share the same fate with him.

MINTAGES of CONSTANTIUS GALLUS

    On his coins, which are all very rare, in each metal, except second and third brass, he is styled CONSTANTIVS CAES----- FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES----- DN CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES----- DN CONSTANTIVS IVN NOB C

    GOLD MEDALLIONS.----- GLORIA ROMANORVM Two types (Valued by Mionnet at 200 fr. each.)

    SILVER MEDALLIONS.----- FELICITAS ROMANORVM---- GLORIA EXERCITVS----- VIRTVS EXERCITVS----- (200 francs each.)

    GOLD.---- FELICITAS ROMANORVM (100 fr.) GLORIA REIPVBLICAE (80 fr.)---- VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM (50 fr.)

    SILVER.---- PRINCIPIA IVVENTVTIS. The Caesar stands between two military ensigns, to one of which he extends his left hand, whilst he holds a scepter or baton in his right.----Obv.----FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES. Diademed head of Gallus.---- Engraved in preceding page, from a finely preserved silver specimen in the British Museum.

    BRASS MEDALLIONS.---- GLORIA ROMANORVM----- VRBS ROMA----- VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM (Mionnet, 40 fr. each).---- VIRTVS AVG---- VIRTVS AVGVSTORVM (48 fr. each).

 
THIRD BRASS.---- FELix TEMPorum REPARATIO. Military figure pierces with his spear a prostrate horse and its rider.----Obv.---- DN CONSTANTIVS
NOB. CAES. Diademed head of Constantius Gallus; as is seen in the picture above.

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