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531936
531936. Sold For $3950

Constans. AD 337-350. AV Solidus (21mm, 4.43 g, 6h). Treveri (Trier) mint. Struck AD 342-343. FL IVL CONS TANS P F AVG, laurel and rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / OB VICTORIAM TRIVMFALEM, two Victories standing facing one another, holding between them a wreath enclosing VOT/ X/ MVLT/ XV; TR. RIC VIII 124; Depeyrot 4/4 var. (spelling of rev. legend); Biaggi –; Jameson 370 (without spelling var. on rev.); Mazzini –. Lustrous, a few light marks. Choice EF.


Ex Provence Collection.

The youngest son of Constantine the Great, Flavius Julius Constans was born between AD 320 and 323. After the death of Constantine, Constans at first received only Italy and Africa as his sphere of command, but at a conference late in AD 337, his realm was enlarged to include the Balkan territories and Thrace,. These had been under the control of Constantius II, with whom Constans formed an alliance to thwart the dominance of their senior, Constantine II. Angered by their collusion, Constantine II invaded Italy in the spring of AD 340, but fell into an ambush and perished. In the territorial redistribution, Constans ended up controlling the entire Roman West, including Spain, Gaul, Germany and Britain. At first, he ruled with energy and ability, dealing the Franks a series of defeats in AD 341-342 and conducting operations in Britain along Hadrian’s Wall in AD 343. This gold solidus of Trier, struck in AD 342-343, with the legend OB VICTORIAM TRIVMFALEM (”to the triumphal victor”), records these campaigns against the Franks and Caledonians.
Alas, as time went on, Constans sank into indolence and depravity, becoming known as a despoiler of young boys. Worse for his own security, he showed open contempt for the soldiery, upon whom his power rested. In January of AD 350, a cabal of senior officers rebelled and hailed the half-barbarian general Magnentius as emperor. Constans attempted to flee toward Spain, but was overtaken and murdered by one of Magnentius’s agents.