Part 2 – The Era of The Heirs of Constantine (337 – 363)

After the death of Constantine his three remaining sons inherited the Empire.  The eldest (Constantine) died trying to increase his share at the expense of his youngest brother.  That brother (Constans) died in a revolt brought on by his religious and sexual eccentricities.  The remaining son Constantius reigned for a respectable 24 years.  His need for a co-ruler led him to elevate one of his few remaining relatives (Constantius Gallus) to the rank of Caesar.  When Gallus didn’t work out Constantius had him executed and replaced with his only remaining cousin, Julian.  Julian’s promotion worked out perhaps a little too well – Constantius died during a campaign to put down Julian’s rebellion.  Julian lasted only two years before dying while campaigning against the Persians, and this tedious series of Constantines came to an end. 

j

k

l

m

Posthumous commemorative for Constantine the Great

Constantine Jr as Augustus
(note - difficult to ID, legend often the same as Constantine 1st's was)

Constantius II as Augustus

Constans as Augustus

DV CONSTANTINVS PT AVGG

CONSTANTINVS P F
 AVG

D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG

D N CONSTANS P F AVG

 

n

o

p

Constantius Gallus

Julian (as Caesar)

Julian (as Augustus)

D N CONSTANTIVS IVN NOB C

D N FL CL IVLIANVS NOB C

D N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG

 It can be easy to confuse coins of Constantius II with those of Constantius Gallus.  Coins of Constantius Gallus and Julian (while Caesar) never have a diadem (the jewel headband later Roman Emperors wore as a sign of royalty).  With that as a guide one can often ID a coin with only a few letters showing. 

I haven’t discussed coin size so far.  Coins j, k, n and o are ae3’s (“officially”, bronze coins from 17mm to 21mm, but these will sometimes be found a bit smaller).  The coins you will usually find in uncleaned lots from the Constantine era will usually be of this size, although you will occasionally find some of the FEL TEMP series of the larger variety, up to 23mm. Coins l and m are of this larger FEL TEMP series, and the last coin (p) is a whopping 27mm.

Previous     Next