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589963. Sold For $4250

Eugenius. AD 392-394. AR Siliqua (18mm, 2.11 g, 6h). Lugdunum (Lyon) mint, second officina. Pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Roma seated left on cuirass, holding Victory on globe and reversed spear; LVGPS. RIC IX 46; Lyon 230; RSC 18A. Attractively toned. EF. Rare. Attractive portrait.

The coinage of Eugenius marks a return to individualistic portraiture not seen since the reign of Julian II 30 years before. Like Julian, Eugenius appears on his coins with a long beard. Although nominally a Christian, Eugenius wore his beard in honor of the great philosophers of the past. This was taken as a visible sign of sympathy by the Pagan aristocracy of Rome, which had seen its position fade to that of a persecuted minority under the zealous Catholic Theodosius I, emperor of the East. To bolster support in Rome, Eugenius made overtures to followers of the old religion, who responded enthusiastically. Unfortunately for them, this provided exactly the casus belli sought by Theodosius, who invaded Italy and suppressed the rebel regime.