Roman Empire

Magnentius, Usurper AD 350-353

RIC 247; Bastien 7; Depeyrot 8/1, Mint State

Treveri, AD 350. IM CAE MAGN-ENTIVS AVG, bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust of Magnentius right. Reverse: VICTORIA AVG LIB ROMANOR, Victory, holding palm branch, standing right, facing Libertas, holding transverse scepter, standing left, supporting between them trophy on shaft; TR.

Ex NAC 46 (2 April 2008), 721

In early AD 350, the guard commander Flavius Magnus Magnentius was proclaimed Emperor in opposition to the unpopular Constans. After hunting down and killing he hapless son of Constantine, he quickly gained support in Britannia, Gaul, and Hispania, in part due to his tolerant attitude towards individual religious belief. He made concessions to the pagan-dominated Senate in Rome, but still found it necessary to crush a short-lived rebellion in the city led by Nepotian, a minor scion of the House of Constantine. Magnentius failed to gain recognition from Constantius II, who finally turned back from his war against the Sasanian Persians in order to deal with him. He was defeated in battle against Constantius II at Mursa in AD 351, but escaped to Gaul where he made a last stand two years later. Defeated again, he finally gave up hope and committed suicide.