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Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.
BONONIA OCEANEN - A brass medallion of Constans bears this legend; and for its type presents a galley with rowers; the emperor, in a military dress, and with buckler and lance, stands on the deck in the attitude of hurling the lance downwards, as if at a figure swimming in the sea. On the prow of the galley is a Victory, with garland and palm branch; at the stern are two ensigns. On the shore is seen a lighthouse of some other ediface.

This extremely rare medallion relates to an expedition to Britain undertaken by Constans in the winter of AD 342-343 to repress the incursions of the Picts, who were desolating the Roman province. The meaning of the type is well elucidated by Ducange, from Julius Firmicus, who, in a style of flattery sufficiently bombastic, thus addresses Contans, "In the season of winter thou hast trodden the swelling and raging waves of the ocean -- a deed never before accomplished, nor ever again to happen: -- under your oars hath trembled the flood of a sea almost unknown to us; and the Briton has gazed, appalled, at the unexpected sight of an emperor." Libanius (in Basilico) has given a similar account.

Light is thrown on the date of this expedition from the subscription of the Lex V of the Codex Theodosius (lib xi lit 16), viz. "data viii Kal Febr Bononiae, Placido et Romulo Coss." These men having entered their consulship AD 343. [Most of the above remarks, cited by Eckhel, are in Ducange, Dissrt. de Num. inf. aevi sect 28]

Mionnet observes, that it is more remarkable, inasmuch as it appears to be the only ancient numismatic monument which has transmitted to us the memory of this historical event, and the name Bononia.

[The cast was taken from the original in the Cabinet de France.]

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