Roman Empire

Constantine III, Western Roman Emperor AD 407-411

RIC 1515; Depeyrot 57/2, Superb Extremely Fine

Treveri, AD 408-411. D N CONSTAN-TINVS P F AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Constantine III right. Reverse: VICTORI-AA sic AVGGG, emperor standing facing, head right, holding vexillum and victory on globe, foot on bound captive; TROBS.

Ex NAC 100 (29 May 2017), 711; Künker 193 (26 September 2011), 1039

The unpaid Roman army in Britannia revolted in AD 407 and proclaimed a common soldier named Constantine as emperor in opposition to Honorius. Taking the diadem as Constantine III, he raised both Gaul and Hispania to his cause and compelled Honorius to recognize him as co-emperor in AD 409. From this point the reign of Constantine III began to deteriorate rapidly. Gerontius, his general in Hispania, turned against him with an army of Vandal and Alan allies while Gaul and Britannia revolted in response to Constantine’s failure to protect them from marauding Vandals and Saxons. At last, in AD 411, Constantine III found himself defeated and besieged by Gerontius at Arles. Gerontius was soon driven out by Honorius’ new magister militum, the future Constantius III, who took over the siege. Constantine III surrendered to Constantius with a promise of safe passage, but he was imprisoned and executed on the way to Ravenna.