Roman Imperial coin, bronze, (AE 4) Billon reduced centenionalis. Struck during the reign of Flavius Claudius Constantinus Augustus in Arelate (Arles), 337-346 C.E. The draped and cuirassed bust of Constantius II wears a diadem and faces right in profile, on obverse with the inscriptions "CONSTANTIVS AVG" surrounding image. On reverse, two standing figures of Victoria, the goddess and personification of victory, face each other and hold laurel wreaths with the inscriptions "VICTORIAE DD AVGG Q NN" surrounding image and "PARL" in the exergum. Obverse and reverse images and inscriptions based on Sear reference; reverse off struck, coin damaged and faded rendering the images and inscriptions difficult to decipher.
Date range: 337-346 C.E.
Remarks: The second son of Constantine I and Fausta, Constantius II was born in 317 C.E. and was given the rank of Caesar in 324, soon after the defeat of Licinius. On the division of the Empire he received all the eastern territories from Asia Minor to Cyrenaica, and two years later (339) he also acquired Thrace. Following the death of Constans in 350, he marched against Magnentius, who was now recognized by most of the western provinces, and despite some initial reverses he gained a decisive victory over the usurper in September 351. Magnentius was finally destroyed in 353, and Constantius spent the next few years campaigning on the Danube frontier. War with Persia, however, necessitated his return to the East in 359, but early in the following year he received news that his cousin Julian had been proclaimed Augustus at Paris by his troops. After some delay, due to the Persian War, Constantius set out for the West, but whilst advancing through Cilicia he was attacked by fever and died at Mopsucrene on November 3rd, 361, thus leaving Julian master of the Roman world. This coin was struck before bronze coinage reform in 346 C.E. Constantius II's coins were minted in Ambianum, Treveri, Lugdunum, Arelate, Rome, Siscia, Sirmium, Thessalonica, Heraclea, Constantinople, Nicomedia, Cyzicus, Antioch, and Alexandria.
Reference: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values", (Vol V, 2014), #s18038-18043, pgs 172-173. (Because the reverse of the coin is so worn and faded, it is difficult to identify which particular Sear # this coin is. But since the coin is from Arles, it shrinks the candidates to the six listed.)
|Credit line||Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas|
|Place of Origin||Europe/France/Arles|