Roman Empire

Constantius II, Co-Emperor AD 337-361

RIC 234; Depeyrot 5/1, Superb Mint State

Arelate, AD 355-360. FL IVL CONSTAN-TIVS PERP AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust of Constantius II facing slightly right, holding spear over shoulder and shield decorated with horseman spearing fallen enemy motif. Reverse: GLORIA REI-PVBLICAE, Roma and Constantinopolis enthroned facing, supporting between them a shield inscribed VOT/XXX/MVLT/XXXX in four lines; Constantinopolis holding scepter and resting foot on prow, Roma holding spear; KONST(AN).

Ex NAC 92 (23 May 2016), 724; Künker 216 (8 October 2012), 1308

Upon the death of Constantine the Great in AD 337, his second son, Constantius II, assumed the title of Augustus along with his brothers and assumed authority over the Eastern Empire. Embroiled from the start in a major confrontation with the Sasanian Persian Empire, Constantius II had little time to deal with the deepening problems in the Western Empire. Only in AD 351 was he finally able to extricate himself to crush the usurper Magnentius and reunite the Roman Empire under a single ruler. However, realizing that the Empire was much too large and troubled to rule without support, he took to appointing Caesares to handle the problems of the West—first his cousin Gallus and then Gallus’ brother Julian. In AD 360, Constantius II seemed to be afflicted with the most dangerous kind of déjà vu when he found himself faced with another Persian War and Julian had declared himself Emperor. He again withdrew from the Persian theater and began the long march to confront Julian, but this time he fell ill and died while passing through Cilicia in AD 361.