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FIL AVGG Filius or Filii Augustorum. - As, according to constantusuage, the double G signifies twp emperors or Augsti, so Maximinus and Contantius I are thus called on certain coins. They are denominated neither Caesars, nor Imperators, nor Augusti; but Filii Augustorum. The new title was impressed on the mintages of those two princes AD 307, under the following circumstances: Maximianus, indignant at finding the title Augustus conferred by Galerius on Licinius I, his junior in rank, while he himself was denied the honour, endevoured to obtain the same distinction by some compact or other, avowing himself tired of the name of Caesar, andcomplaining of being wronged in having only the third rank in the empire assigned to him. Galerius in vain urged him to aquiesce in the arrangments he had made. At length Galerius, yielding to the obstinant importunities of Maximinus, but at the same time unwilling to retract what he had done in favour of Licinius I, suspended the title of Caesar, and , reserving that of Augustus exclusively for himself and Licinius I, gave to Maximinus and to Constantius I the name of Sous of the Emperors (Augustorum).
The concluding words of Laetantius in relating the event are: "Victus contumacia tollit Caesarum nomen se Liciniumque Augustos appellat, Maximinum et Constantinum Filios Augustorum." By supplying as the nominative to tollit the word Galerius (as has been done by Baluze, whose reaing is supported by Bimard and Eckhel), all difficulty in interpreting the pasage is removed, and the meaning, thus rendered clear, is fully sonfirmed by coins that have come to light.
- A second brass, which bears on one side the legend MAXIMINVS FIL AVGG exhibits on its reverse the standing figure of the emperor's genius, holding in one hand a patera, and in the other a cornucopiae; round it is read GENIO AVGVSTI; on another middle brass of Maximinus it is CAESARIS
- There is also with the same type a coin of Constantine's, around whose head, crowned with laurel, is CONSTANTINVS FIL AVG and on the reverse DENIO CAESARIS, with other similarities, so as to leave no doubt byt that these coins were struck at the same time and place.
"Now (says Bimard, in his annotations on Jobert), since, on the reverses of the coins whereon Maximin and Constantine are called Sons of the Augusti, we find indifferently Genio Caesaris and Genio Augusti, it is natural thence to conclude that the new title created by Galerius Maximianus, partook equally of the title Caesar and that of Augustus, the only ones which up to that period had been known in the empire."
There was indeed a time when the appelation of Filii Augusti was inferior to the appellation of Caesar. Augustus took on his coins the name Son of Julius. Caius and Lucius, sons of Agrippa had by their grandfather Augustus the title conferred upon them of Filii Augsti, in order that his adoption of them might be made known to the whole of the world.
- Tiberius called himself "Augusti Filius."
- Titus and Domitian were allowed the appellation of "Sons of Vespasianus Augustus."
- Lucius Verus, during the life of Antoninus Pius, had no other distinction than to be called Augusti Filius.
- Faustina Junior and Lucilla were called Filiae Augustorum.
But (as Bimard observes) "in all these cases the name of Son of Augustus marks simply the birth or adoption of those princes. It was not a title of dignity; it gave the rank of Caesar neither to Lucius Verus nor to Annius Verus. In the case of Maximin and Constantine, on the contrary, the title of FIL AVGVSTORVM was a new dignity, and a rank superior to that of the Caesars."
To complete the proofs on which this opinion is founded, the same acute and profound numismatist has annexed to his remarks the engraving of a medal, which certainly throws a great light upon the subject in question. It is a middle brass, on which Constantine unites the name of Son of Augustus, which he derived from his birth alone, to the title Son of the Augusti, which Galerius had conferred upon him. Around the head of Constantine, crowned with laurel, we read FL VAL CONSTANTINVS FIL AVG. On the reverse, which exhibits the ordinary type of the genius of an emperor, are the words GENIO FIL AVGG (To the Genius of the Son of the Augusti): a title not inappropriately given to, and accepted by Constantine )Afterwards emperor, and called the Great), whose father was Constantius I, and whose grandfather by adoption Maximianus Herculeus, had been Augusti; and the emperor Claudius II, surnamed Gothicus, wasone of his ancestors. (Bimard ad Jobert, T ii 366 to 382, No. v Nouvelles Deconvertes.