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CNG Feature Auction 114

Lot nuber 1032

Constantius III. AD 421. AV Tremissis (11mm, 1.31 g, 6h). Ravenna mint.

CNG Feature Auction 114
Lot: 1032.
 Estimated: $ 10 000

Roman Imperial, Gold

Sold For $ 13 000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Go to Live

Constantius III. AD 421. AV Tremissis (11mm, 1.31 g, 6h). Ravenna mint. D N CONSTAN TIVS P F AVC, rosette-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right / VICTORIA AVGVSTORVM, Victory advancing right, holding wreath in raised right hand and globus cruciger in left; R|V//COMOB. RIC X 1341; Ranieri 50; Depeyrot 11/3; Biaggi –. Slightly clipped, surfaces lightly brushed. Good VF. Extremely rare.

Ex Phil Peck (Morris) Collection (Heritage 3071, 6 January 2019), lot 32296; UBS 78 (9 September 2008), lot 2022; Franz Trau Collection (Gilhofer & Ranschburg-A. Hess, 22 May 1935), lot 4652; Hyman Montagu Collection (Rollin & Feuardent, 20 April 1896), lot 977.

Constantius III was one the last great generals of the Western Roman Empire. Nothing is known of his origins, save that he was born in Naissus and was a career soldier of full Roman bloodlines, unusual in an era of Germanic or Frankish senior officers. He rose to the rank of Magister Militum in AD 411, and his early career was mostly spent covering for the military ineptitude of the Emperor Honorius, whom he served loyally despite the many disasters of his reign. On behalf of Honorius, he defeated and captured several usurpers in turn, including Constantine III and Priscus Attalus. His campaigns against the Visigoths in AD 416 forced them into a favorable peace with the Western Empire and gained the release of Galla Placidia, the emperor’s sister, who had been held in captivity since AD 412. Honorius rewarded Constantius by marrying Placidia to him, despite her evident dislike for the lowborn soldier. Throughout this period he was working with severely depleted resources, as much of the Western Empire lay under barbarian rule and the Roman army was but a pale shadow of its former strength. Yet through ingenuity, frenetic energy, and a keen understanding of his enemies, he managed to stave off the final collapse that had long seemed imminent. In February AD 421, Honorius recognized his de-facto rule by raising Constantius to the rank of co-Augustus. His reign had great potential, as Rome desperately needed a soldier of his caliber in overall command. But he succumbed to illness (or poison?) only seven months later. His and Placidia’s son, Valentinian III, would eventually inherit the Western throne. The coinage of Constantius III is extremely rare, due to the brevity of his rule and the limited number of mints employed, his reign never having been recognized by the Eastern Empire.

The final winners of all CNG Feature Auction 114 lots will be determined during the live online sale that will be held on 13-14 May 2020. This lot is in Session 3, which begins 14 May 2020 at 9 AM ET.

UPDATE: As the CNG staff and many of our clients remain under social distancing and other restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CNG 114 will be held as an internet only auction. The sale will take place as scheduled on 13-14 May 2020.

Winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee for bids placed on this website and 22.50% for all others.

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