Object Record

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Collection Roman Collection
Catalog Number 2015.7.122
Object Name Coin
Description Roman Imperial coin, bronze, (AE) Billon heavy maiorina. Struck during the reign of Flavius Iulius Constans Augustus in Alexandria, 346-350 C.E. The draped and cuirassed bust of Constans I wears a diadem faces left in profile, on obverse and holds a globe in his right hand with the inscriptions "D N CONSTANS P F AVG" surrounding image. On reverse, the standing figure of Constans I faces left and holds a labarum in his left hand and a shield in his right with two bound captives at his feet and a star in left field with the inscriptions "FEL TEMP REPARATIO" left and right of image with "ALE" (followed by Delta symbol) in the exergum. Obverse and reverse of coin irregularly shaped rendering the inscriptions difficult to decipher.
Date range: 346-350 C.E.

Remarks: Flavius Julius Constans, the youngest son of Constantine I and Fausta, was born about 320 C.E. and was raised to the rank of Caesar in 333. On the division of the Empire he received Italy, Africa, and the Balkans, though he later surrendered Thrace and Constantinople to his brother Constantius in 339. In 340 his brother, Constantine, invaded his territories but was defeated and killed, thus leaving Constans master of the western half of the Empire. During the following decade he campaigned against the barbarians with considerable success, and in 343 he visited Britain, the last reigning monarch to do so, in order to repel the Picts and Scots. In 350, however, whilst on a hunting expedition in Gaul, he received word that Magnentius had rebelled at Augustodunum (Antun) and that the legions joined the revolt. Constans thereupon fled in the direction of Spain, but was overtaken and murdered near the fortress of Helene at the foot of the Pyrenees.

In 346 Constantius II and Constans carried out a reform of the bronze coinage. The AE 4 denomination was discontinued and a piece of AE 2 module (c. 23 mm.) was introduced. The name of this new denomination was probably contenionalis and at first it always bore the reverse legend "FEL TEMP REPARATIO". This coin was struck after bronze coinage reform in 346 C.E. Constans I's coins were were minted in Treveri, Lugdunum, Arelate, Aquileia, Rome, Siscia, Thessalonica, Heraclea, Constantinople, Nicomedia, Cyzicus, Antioch, and Alexandria.

Reference: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values", (Vol V, 2014), #18668, pg 227
Title Constans
Date 348-350 CE
Material Bronze
Dimensions Dia-0.75 inches
Credit line Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas
Place of Origin Africa/Egypt/Alexandria
Subjects Roman Empire
Ancient Rome