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Constantius II


Valentinian

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Vast numbers of coins were issued in the name of Constantius II (324-337 as Caesar and 337-361 as Augustus). I have liked his AE for many years because they are relatively inexpensive, often even in pleasing grades. If you aim for a type set, the "soldier spearing fallen horseman" type is easy to find. It is so common and attractive that some collectors seek a mint set too; they want (at least) one from each mint. 

I have gone a different way, collecting (not very seriously) (at least) one of each his AE types. Failmezger's book "Roman Bronze Coins" makes it easy to extract a type-set list. (Of course, you can make the list yourself from RIC, but Failmezger did it for you.) 

Here is one of his scarcer types, recently acquired. This coin is not in very pleasing condition, but I was happy to find the type.

image.jpeg.4f4abef61f7c749e2ad6cd3c40580a9b.jpeg
AE3. 18.4-17 mm. 2.58 grams.
VICTORIA CAESARIS, Victory advancing left with wreath and palm.
Mintmark: ЄSIS

RIC VIII Siscia 315 "Rare, 25 Dec. 350 - August 351".
The early end, 25 Dec. 350, is the date Vetranio abdicated and the late end, August 351, is the date when Magnentius took over the mint. The issue is short, unique to Siscia, and shared with Constantius Gallus, for whom this reverse is proper. In this issue there is the same design with the legend VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM, proper for Constantius II.

Please show us some coins of Constantius II. 

 

Edited by Valentinian
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One of my favorites that’s not easy to find: 

ConstantiusIIThessalonicaRICVIII-172.JPG.1463f6e54ec47da0623b45401df99ad9.JPG
Constantius II AE3 "Spurned Captive" Constantius II AD 324-361 AE3 

Obv: D N CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG - Diademed bust right, draped and cuirassed. Rev: FEL TEMP RE-PARATIO - Emperor in military dress advancing left, holding Victory on a globe and a standard with chi-rho in the banner; with his right foot he spurns a captive. Exe: (gamma) \ (star) TSA (star) / (star) Thessalonica mint: AD 348-351 = RIC VIII, 172, page 418 - LRBC #1671

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The Phoenix on globe type is not as well-known as the falling horseman type but bears the same legend. FEL TEMP REPARATIO. In this case the radiate Phoenix represents a new golden age, and sort of the sentiment of making Rome great again. Here I present an example from Antioch. And as @Valentinian has remarked, vast numbers of the varied FEL TEMP REPARATIO types were struck, even being found as far afield as Ceylon.

constantius_Phoenix.jpg.4663a9cb395a5b2585dd232edaa96e49.jpg

 

Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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Here's one of my favorites:

Constantius II Ae Follis, Rome mint : struck ca. 350 AD

Obv: D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG: Draped bust right wearing pearl-diadem and holding globe, A behind

Rev: GLORIA ROMANORVM; Emperor on horseback right spearing enemy whose shield and broken spear lie beneath horse; star above, R T in exergue

Ref: RIC 198

ConstantiusIIGLORIAROMANORVM1.jpg.692acbf99af75644c8a9a06f286d57c8.jpg

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His London coins seem a little scarcer than other mints. There were only two issues, both campgates. He became Caesar in late 324 and the London mint closed in 325.

Constantius II Follis, 324-325
image.png.582089d5d03464e466257cee0a6ab3b5.png
Londinium. Bronze, 20mm. 2.99g. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C. Campgate with two turrets; star above; PROVIDENTIAE CAESS; mintmark PLON (RIC VII, 298).

Edited by John Conduitt
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38 minutes ago, O-Towner said:

Here's one of my favorites:

Constantius II Ae Follis, Rome mint : struck ca. 350 AD

Obv: D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG: Draped bust right wearing pearl-diadem and holding globe, A behind

Rev: GLORIA ROMANORVM; Emperor on horseback right spearing enemy whose shield and broken spear lie beneath horse; star above, R T in exergue

Ref: RIC 198

ConstantiusIIGLORIAROMANORVM1.jpg.692acbf99af75644c8a9a06f286d57c8.jpg

 

That was one of Magnentius' reverses, I believe he inverted the Fallen Horseman intentionally. I imagine these were produced after the Battle of Mursa when Italy changed sides to Constantius, but before the mint prepared new reverses. Also possibly made during the revolt of Nepotianus? Very cool coin either way!

Edited by Steppenfool
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Nicest style for a reverse for the Fel Temp fallen horseman type you will probably find. IMG_0041.JPG.80aaa10b03bc2579e0a042fc46db801f.JPG

Constantius II AE 2

Mint: Antioch, 2nd Officina

Obv: DN CONSTANTIVS PF AVG

Rev: FEL TEMP REPARATIO; Γ in left field, ANB in exergue 

 

24 mm

4.94 grams

RIC VII 135

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I only have an unremarkable Constantius II - it was one of the first ancient coins I ever purchased, so I keep it around for sentimental reasons.
330_to_334_ConstantiusII_AE3_01.png.777f62aaa31844001cdd250006627751.png330_to_334_ConstantiusII_AE3_02.png.c46bf1ba1fe41c4dc1888ad781b342f0.png
Cyzicus RIC VII 69 Constantius II AE3. 330-334 AD. FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, laureate, draped & cuirassed bust right / GLORIA EXERCITVS, two soldiers, helmeted, standing with spears & shields, facing two standards between them, dot on banners. Mintmark SMKΓ dot.

Edited by ewomack
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Sometimes I like nice examples of usually scrappy, poorly preserved and under appreciated coins. Here’s one in better shape than most of the type. Still scrappy but I’d challenge anyone to show a nicer one! I got it for $3.25 total in 2017.
ConstantiusIITrierRICVIII-74.JPG.de2a2be473444859797dc9565ca40157.JPG

Constantius II
A.D. 337- 340
FL IVL CONSTANTIVS AVG; laureate, cuirassed bust right
VIRTVS AVGG NN; Soldier standing holding spear and resting hand on shield.
In ex. TRP
RIC VIII Trier 74

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4 hours ago, Humilau said:

Nicest style for a reverse for the Fel Temp fallen horseman type you will probably find. IMG_0041.JPG.80aaa10b03bc2579e0a042fc46db801f.JPG

Constantius II AE 2

Mint: Antioch, 2nd Officina

Obv: DN CONSTANTIVS PF AVG

Rev: FEL TEMP REPARATIO; Γ in left field, ANB in exergue 

 

24 mm

4.94 grams

RIC VII 135

Exquisite reverse on that coin 🤩!

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Smyrna - Bronze coin (AE 3) minted at Cyzicus during the reign of CONSTANTIUS II, as Caesar, between 326 - 327 A.D. Obv. FL.IVL.CONSTANTIVS.NOB. C. Laureate, draped & cuirassed bust l. Rev. PROVIDENTIAE.CAESS. Camp-gate with 6 rows, two turrets, no doors, star above, top & bottom rows empty blocks. RCS #3984. RICVII #48 pg. 650. DVM #70. LRBC #1175.

image.png.d4b24fa6f3be1e8d5296de8d3540333e.pngimage.png.abd30c332c0d5e21974084b908f32370.png

Smyrna - Bronze coin (AE 3/4) minted at RSIS = Siscia, Yugoslavia during the reign of CONSTANTIUS II, as Caesar, between 334 - 335 A.D. Obv. FL.IVL.CONSTANTIVS.NOB. C. Laureate, draped & cuirassed bust r. Rev. GLOR-IA.EXERC-ITVS. Two soldiers helmeted, draped, cuirassed, standing facing each other, each holding spear in outer hand and resting inner hand on shield; between them, two standards. Mintmark dot rSIS dot RCS #3986. RICVII #237 pg.456. DVM #72. LRBC #744.

image.png.5ce5d05adb3224cf37c5ec84605fc7de.pngimage.png.77c613ff0479d650bc84ba6afefc2433.png

Bronze coin (AE 3) minted at Siscia during the reign of CONSTANTIUS II between 355 - 361 A.D. Obv. D.N.CONSTAN-TIVS.P.F.AVG. Rev. FEL.TEMP.-REPARATIO. Helmeted soldier advancing l., shield on l. arm, spearing fallen horseman; shield on ground at r., horseman is beardless & wears cap, he falls forward on neck of horse. RCS #4010. DVM #100. LRBC #1231.

image.png.411768d0f0dac00394f6c09abb200837.pngimage.png.ffd0f52bf59d02ba57e25a43983f5613.png

Silver Coin (AR Siliqua) minted at Constantinople during the reign of CONSTANTANTIUS II between 341 – 346 A.D. Obv. D.N.CONSTANTIVS.AVG. diad. dr. & cuir. bust r. Rev. FELICITVS.REIPVBLICE.VOT.XX.MVLT.XXX. wreath enclosing VOT XX MVLT XXXX. RSCV #70b. RICVIII #59 pg.451. DVM #43.

image.png.39293d01a71334aee8e21fea83af1267.pngimage.png.5bcc47ff134c0631ebcec3a4770e7b64.png

Bronze Coin (AE 4) minted at Antioch (SMANT) during the reign of CONSTANTANTIUS II between 347 – 348 A.D. Pre reform bronze coinage Obv. D.N.CONSTAN-TIVS.P.F.AVG. Pearl diad. bust r. Rev. VOT XX MVLT XXX. in four lines within wreath with jewel at apex. RCS #4000. RICVIII #113 pg.451. DVM #83 pg. 299. LRBC #1397.

image.png.d45ac948fe3b786d419ccfbf773a3158.pngimage.png.336e0b4170c001f8d0d70e0b15bb7c97.png

Bronze coin (AE Centenionalis) minted at SMNr=Nicomedia during the reign of CONSTANTIUS II after 348 A.D. Obv. D.N.CONSTANTIVS.P.F.AVG. Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust left, holding labarum. Rev. Emperor in military dress stg. l., holding standard with Chi-Rho on banner & resting l. hand on shield; in front of Emperor are two captives kneeling (var. b). RCS #4004. RICVIII #71 pg. 476. DVM #87 pg. 300. Dark chocolate brown patina

image.png.0cbe5d8c99929acfbcf53e3624e271d9.pngimage.png.9276311f78b0857c5de4a3278db4be4a.png

I have a total of 18, these are my best!

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ri207.jpg.ef9c8f589c8846ffad136cf9ba085dc1.jpg

Constantius II
Mint: Siscia
347 AD
AE 4
Obvs: CONSTANTIVS PF AVG, rosette-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Revs: VICTORIA AVGG, Victory with wreath in each hand. Chi-rho right, *ΔSIS*
15x17mm, 1.40g
Ref: RIC VIII 180

ri255.jpg.71d41ea56f5cc2bcf24f5adf6e4e2dec.jpg

Constantius II
Mint: Antioch
324 to 325 AD
AE Follis
Obvs: Laureate, draped, and cuirass bust left.
Revs: CONSTAN TI•VS CAESAR SMANTS in four lines. Star above, dot below.
16x18mm, 2.32g
Ref: RIC VII 60; LRBC 1327

ri209.jpg.acb87d32fe30972a1efbbfb005fd4a00.jpg

Constantius II
350 AD
AE Centenionalis
Mint: Siscia
Obvs: DN CONSTANTIVS PF AVG. Diademed, draped, and cuirass bust right. * behind, H before
Revs: HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, H to left. Emperor standing left with labarum inscribed with Chi-Rho, being crowned by Victory.
20x21mm, 5.04g
Ref: RIC VIII.291

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3 hours ago, seth77 said:

I'm one of the apparently few who think Constantius II was actually a good emperor.

sil11.jpg.ab00ee0cfc51d836c105938043115c70.jpg

That’s a cool coin! I’d love to get some late Roman silver but it’s so expensive! I get that later Roman silver is rarer than say… 2nd century denari but it’s crazy how expensive nice siliquae can be. I want some! …and some Trier fallen horseman!! 

Here’s a few that types that haven’t been posted yet:

ConstantiusIIRIC117.jpg.969bc1246a43c4632ed23a40a7c360b7.jpg

Constantius II
DN CONSTANTIVS PF AVG, pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right / SPES REI-PVBLICE, emperor standing left, holding globe and inverted spear. Mintmark SMKS
RIC VIII 117

ConstantiusIIRIC284.jpg.21a5d9a3f50ec8d4c56a87a88e94114c.jpg

Constantius II 337-361. Bronze 23 mm 350 Siscia. Diademed bust r.; A in left, star in right field DN CONSTANTIVS PF AVG / CONCORDIA MILITVM Emperor holding two standards with Christogram, star above; mintmark A/°ASIS°. RIC 284

IMG_8227.JPG.26b87d9c4216f3eb7a324f94ebd75068.JPG
Above is the sole bareheaded campgate type. Very rare and unlisted in RIC.

Constantius II, AE3, c.328-329 (?), Nicomedia, Officina 2
FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C
Bare-headed, draped, cuirassed bust left
PROVIDEN_TIAE CAES .
Campgate with seven rows, two turrets, no doors, star above, top and bottom rows empty blocks
SMNB in exergue
18mm x 20mm, 3.20g
RIC VII, -- (cf. RIC 158, but bare-headed bust type)
https://www.forumancientcoins.com/notInRic/7nic-158_d.html

Edited by Orange Julius
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Too many Constantius II came my way from a time when I was shooting photos for Tory's book.  It is hard to pick a favorite and I am certain that my pick would not be in the top ten of most people.  

rx6510bb1196.jpg.6fa2500762d04e4ce9a9f708ed606945.jpg

As Caesar with open doors

rx6258bb3038.jpg.584e109a21b6ff518d10bc9a7a8a7cd5.jpg

Amiens has distinctive style and a mullet with three bands.

rx6328bb2807.jpg.915edb92e312ec91a48977011116d04f.jpg

When I was trying to get a Falling Horseman from each of the mints, Trier was the last I found.  I paid too much.  ex Bridgnorth Hoard

rx6336bb3006.jpg.19ce8feffc8c69e421a2a30e4df98a64.jpg

The big Chi-Rho is particularly interesting since Constantius II was Arian and would have found the Alpha and Omega offensive.  Thes come with pearl and rosette diadems.  

rx6350bb2230.jpg.ef9f9df83451ba7785ab125f9db821ed.jpg

rx6340bb0878.jpg.1a51ddc5f1bccf9e2d3d5d1b5199e264.jpg

AR siliqua

rx6360bb2249.jpg.bb22239581c1a30dde0e89c233984f04.jpg

Not a type seen every day:

rx6410bb2219.jpg.18b5e1d57714077eead052ab28617def.jpg

Rome mint has always been a favorite due to style. 

rx6413fd3317.jpg.c60b7a63d41eec869d138120c14964fe.jpg

Each 'Hut' issuing mint used a different style tree.  This is Rome. 

rx6405bb3231.jpg.3c5d896a687b978f53f415a75d1ae1af.jpg

HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS

rx6500bb1032.jpg.01c7c1e6c4ed7528afc5eb9d0e092d09.jpg

 

My other silver is higher grade  but Thessalonika has particularly regal style.rx6550bb2241.jpg.32f318e453bc2f703d1bf92c402b3780.jpg

Virtus Augustorum is neither common or popular.

rx6460bb1434.jpg.5f094312d51dfae89565e1aa17f717ec.jpg

 

rx6550bb2241.jpg.32f318e453bc2f703d1bf92c402b3780.jpg

One captive

rx6605bb2787.jpg.f2cfef9c628963b1cbf29552762f95cb.jpg

Phoenix

rx6780b02159lg.jpg.d967686c82b7212ecda15d6bc99c948c.jpg

The last issue that followed the end of FTR coins is not easy to find well struck and full legend.  

rx6855bb2682.jpg.c3db94eb6c35c7369964a40047894c70.jpg

VICT AVG

rx6860bb2371.jpg.9c5d2ccdbcc09df2749cc46b9faa306b.jpg

This is the only example I have seen of an 'over-officina' .  Is it ANH over ANZ or ANZ over ANH?

rx6890bb2207.jpg.c232217a824c1947681b8f4d67a33698.jpg

This Alexandria mint portrait has a particularly long portrait.

rx7020b00720lg.jpg.ea8fb063d9dc46eedd96d4dce919721c.jpg

In addition to the 15 regular mints there are quite a few unofficial or barbarous coins.  This coin forsaw the computer age with legends in binary I and O.

rx7050bb2229.jpg.cb67eadf11e4ad415639b1e0380892e6.jpg

 Here Constantius is spelled IIIIIIIIIIIIII with no O's.

rx7060bb2472.jpg.c0decd6ee291327d87ac2a5fdfc87649.jpg

 

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14 hours ago, dougsmit said:

Too many Constantius II came my way from a time when I was shooting photos for Tory's book.  It is hard to pick a favorite and I am certain that my pick would not be in the top ten of most people.  

But, you have a group which illuminates why collecting Constantius II can be so much fun. There are many interesting types and many mints with their own interest. 

 

14 hours ago, dougsmit said:

This is the only example I have seen of an 'over-officina' .

And, the coin has an early Christian symbol, the cross-rho, on the standard. 

 

14 hours ago, dougsmit said:

One captive

That coin is especially nice. It is very hard to get one better. I know, I've been trying for many years. It is only from Thessalonica. Mine has a good reverse, but the obverse is not so nice.
 

image.jpeg.54780ecf3739ad583e8cf5229d47f8e0.jpeg

24 mm. 5.78 grams. 
RIC VIII Thessalonica 178.
ex Praetorian Numismatics (Matt Geary) Oct. 8, 1997. 

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I have only one bronze of Constantius II, depicting him as a child:

Constantius II Caesar (son of Constantine I), silvered billon centenionalis, Trier Mint (2nd Officina) 326 AD. Obv. laureate, draped and cuirassed bust left, FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C / Rev. Campgate with six rows, two turrets, no door, and star between turrets; PROVIDEN-TIAE CAESS. In exergue: STR followed by pellet in crescent. RIC VII Trier 480S (p. 209), Sear RCV V 17618. 19 mm., 3.09 g.

image.png.92b0de06c1d190b6fcce5b87c3745762.png

Plus this:

Constantius II (son of Constantine I), AR reduced Siliqua, Lugdunum (Lyon) Mint, 360-361 AD. Obv. Rosette-diademed [despite description by all dealers as pearl-diademed], draped, and cuirassed bust right, D N CONSTAN-TIVS PF AVG / Rev. Victory advancing left, holding wreath in right hand and palm frond in left, both wings visible [despite description by all dealers as one wing visible], VICTORIA DD NN AVG; in exergue, mint mark LVG (Lugdunum). 17 mm., 2.06 g. RIC VIII 211 at p. 193 [both wings visible]; RSC V 259b (ill. p. 131) [rosette-diademed; both wings visible, = RIC VIII 211]; Sear RCV V 17948 (ill. p. 165) [applicable to RIC 210-211 & 214]. Purchased from Herakles Numismatics, July 2022; ex. Triskeles Auction 31, 27.03.2020, Lot 344; ex Spink Auction 16006, 26-27 Sep 2016, East Harptree Hoard Sale, Part of Lot 2929 (see https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=lot&sid=1689&lot=2929); from 1887 East Harptree hoard (one of 49 coins of this type in hoard; see article with inventory, “On a Hoard of Roman Coins Found at East Harptree, Near Bristol,” The Numismatic Chronicle (Vol. VIII, London 1888), pp. 22-46 at pp. 39-40; available at  https://archive.org/details/thirdnumismatic08royauoft/page/40/mode/1up).*

 image.png.83da2bdade7e58273e933823a8f1894a.png

image.png.37ea152af3d32997eaff2e5ccfe15bb3.png

* The East Harptree hoard was discovered in 1887 on the land of Mr. W. Kettlewell of Harptree Court, while a search for a new spring was being conducted. Mr. Kettlewell kindly made them available for study at the British Museum, and they were written up by John Evans for the Numismatic Chronicle of 1888, pages 22-46. The British Museum was given a few of the most interesting coins, and the rest were returned to the owner. Many years later they were given to the father of the consignor by Mr. Kettlewell's son, and they have remained in their packing ever since. Evans noted \The coins when found were to some extent coated in dirt, and with what was probably a little chloride of silver. When carefully washed and brushed their remarkably good preservation became apparent, and there were none but what could be attributed to the emperor under whom they were struck\\. The coins offered here are as they were when returned from the BM in 1887/1888. Many exhibit light deposit, which could be easily removed by a competent conservator, but at the expense of the mint bloom that is apparent on many. The overall quality is remarkable, and few, if any, are clipped. Large numbers look ordinary to the naked eye, but when tilted towards the light, or examined under magnification, reveal extraordinary quality. (See https://www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=lot&sid=1689&lot=2858 .)

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@seth77 - he was a good emperor, or capable rather than "good" and reigned for 24 years before giving up the ghost. About the only really negative thing about him that might be said was that he was a sympathizer of the Arian Heresy. Of course, Ammianus didn't like him because he was an obstacle in the path of Julian his hero.

Edited by Ancient Coin Hunter
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37 minutes ago, Ancient Coin Hunter said:

@seth77 - he was a good emperor, or capable rather than "good" and reigned for 24 years before giving up the ghost. About the only really negative thing about him that might be said was that he was a sympathizer of the Arian Heresy. Of course, Ammianus didn't like him because he was an obstacle in the path of Julian his hero.

Constantius wasn't an Arian, , he championed various theological alternatives that were less rigorous than the homoousian creed in an attempt to unite the Christian Church. These theologies weren't Arian (although they were closer to Arianism than the Nicene theology), but the charge of Arianism was used by his theological opponents as slander.

Maybe that's what you mean by qualifying it with "sympathised" I suppose, but I think it's important to clarify as to not fall into a common error about Constantius. 

I think his attempt was a positive initiative even if it wasn't successful in the end. This rivalry within the Christian church nearly brought him to war with his brother Constans, it's no wonder he tried to find a middle ground between the East/West theological divide.

 

In my opinion, the only way it can be construed as a negative is if the view is taken that the Nicene view is correct and that Constantius was theologically incorrect, but I don't think that's a good way to make historical judgements.

 

Personally, I rate Constantius II very highly. I think he barely made an error despite his complicated reign.

Edited by Steppenfool
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@seth77 @Ancient Coin Hunter@Steppenfool
My personal religious bias aside, I’d rank Constantius II very high. The fact he was able to hold Shapur II( one of the greatest Persian Shah’s) at bay for 23 years, all while defeating a usurper in the west, and holding down the “middle empire”, easily puts him in the “great” category for me. Pity that his successor was wholly inferior to him. 

Some of my favorite Siliquae of Constantius II:

47219ABF-4F34-4FA9-9CA8-3943D86C6A31.jpeg.7dca6a789b1274dafc81df766104b6c6.jpeg
542BC7F7-BB4C-4761-8ADF-4EAA3FAEBFCE.jpeg.270d6210600f791ab79d32966f9eb1fa.jpeg

 

Edited by Magnus Maximus
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An emperor with a long reign (and a long period as Caesar) and many interesting designs to collect. 

I did not concentrate on LRBs too much but this didn't stop me having a few Constantius II coins. 

image.png.13b2b62109162855a51e2d89567b507a.png

16,4 mm, 2,28 g. Constantius II, as Caesar, Æ Nummus. Treveri, AD 332-333.
FL IVL CONSTANTIVS NOB C, laureate and cuirassed bust right / GLORIA EXERCITVS, two soldiers standing next to one another, each holding spear and resting on grounded shield, two standards between them; TR•P in exergue.
RIC VII Treveri 540.

 

image.png.e1a2911ea5104ab34de4358e9bc58e03.png

17,5 mm, 3,54 g. Constantine I (306-337 AD) for Constantine II, as Caesar. Ӕ Nummus. Treveri, c. 322. CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate bust to left, wearing ornate trabea, holding Victory on globe in right hand and parazonium in left / BEATA TRANQVILLITAS, large globe on an altar inscribed VO/TIS/XX; three stars above, •STR• dot in exergue. RIC VII Treveri 382

 

image.png.7dbedd95a8ea4ca2626fcb86e7462108.png

Constantius II. AD 347 - AD 348. Cyzicus. Ӕ Follis.
D N CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG, head of Constantius II, rosette-diademed, right / VOT/XX/MVLT/XXX within a wreath. MintMark: -/-//SMKA.
RIC VIII Cyzicus 49

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