Constantius II 337-361 gold solidus
13th January 2015

Constantius II was the longest surviving of Constantine the Great’s four sons and the only one to die in his bed. He spent most of his reign fighting a protracted war against the Persians as well as very damaging civil wars against relatives and various usurpers.

This Constantius gold solidus is lot 661 in our 18th February 2015 coin auction

The reverse depicts Roma and Constantinopolis seated, holding an inscribed shield.

The Roman Empire was too large for one Emperor to easily rule and initially Constantius II ruled the east, his half brother Constantine II and brother Constans ruling the west. However in 340 a civil war erupted between Constantine II and Constans, resulting in Constantine II being killed in battle. 

For the next 10 years the two brothers ruled jointly until Constans was usurped and killed by the distinguished soldier Magentius.

A very damaging civil war between Constantius II and Magentius ensued with enormous losses on both sides, resulting in Magentius being defeated and taking his own life.

For the final part of his reign Constantius II ruled the east with Julian II the only other direct male descendant of the house of Constantine ruling the west.

By Richard Beale

 

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