Flavius Julius Constantius, 337-361 AD


ID Number: AC08-0301
Category: Ancient Coins
Description: Flavius Julius Constantius, 337-361 AD
Country or State: Roman Empire
Year: 354 AD
Head of State/Ruler: Constantius II (Full Name: Flavius Julius Constantius (from birth to accession); Flavius Julius Constantius Caesar (as Caesar); Flavius Julius Constantius Augustus (as Augustus)); (61st Emperor of the Roman Empire)
Reign: 13 November 32422 May 337: Caesar under his father, Constantine I
337 – 340: co-Augustus (Asian provinces & Egypt) with Constantine II and Constans
340 – 350: co-Augustus (Asian provinces & Egypt) with Constans
3503 November 361: Sole Augustus of the Roman Empire
Currency: Maiorina
Face Value:  
Obverse: Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right
Obverse Designer:  
Reverse: Soldier with shield on left arm spearing fallen beardless horseman with pointed cap turning to soldier and raising right arm, shield on ground to right
Reverse Legend: FEL TEMP REPARATIO // SMTS in ex (translates, "Happy days are here again")
Reverse Designer:  
Edge: Irregular
Note: Thessalonic mint
Mint Mark:  
Composition: Bronze
Diameter: ~18.5 mm (irregular)
Weight: 1.75 Grams
Krause & Mishler Number:  
Other Catalog Number: RIC.189; C.33; LRBC.1681
State of Conservation: Very Fine (VF), Natural green patina
Rarity: Rare

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Constantius II was Roman Emperor from 337 to 361. The second son of Constantine I and Fausta, he ascended to the throne with his brothers Constantine II and Constans upon their father's death.

In 340, Constantius' brothers clashed over the western provinces of the empire. The resulting conflict left Constantine II dead and Constans as ruler of the west until he was overthrown and assassinated in 350 by the usurper Magnentius. Unwilling to accept Magnentius as co-ruler, Constantius marched against him. Magnentius was defeated at the battles of Mursa Major and Mons Seleucus, committing suicide after the latter. This left Constantius as sole ruler of the empire.

His subsequent military campaigns against Germanic tribes were successful: he defeated the Alamanni in 354, and campaigned across the Danube against the Quadi and Sarmatians in 357. Contrastingly, in the east, the two decade old war against the Sassanids continued with mixed results.

As a consequence of the difficulty of managing the entire empire alone, Constantius elevated two of his cousins to the subordinate rank of Caesar. Constantius Gallus, the eldest surviving son of Constantius' half-uncle, Julius Constantius, was promoted in 351, but executed three years later for his supposedly violent and corrupt nature. Constantius then promoted Gallus' younger half-brother, Julian, who was Constantius' last surviving cousin and the man who would ultimately succeed him, in 355.

However, the actions of Julian in claiming the rank of Augustus in 360 led to war between the two. Ultimately, no battle ever took place as Constantius became ill and died late in 361, though not before naming his opponent as his successor.