CONSTANTINE II, as Caesar
AE3. 2.81g, 21.3mm
MINTED: Thessalonica mint, AD 317-318
REF: RIC VII Thessalonica 23 (R2)
OBVERSE: CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE: CLARITAS-REIPVBLICAE, Sol standing left, chlamys across left shoulder, holding globe and raising right hand; •TS•B• in exergue.
Dark blackish-green patina; light smoothing in fields.
Claritas ("radiance") in the context of the legend here suggests the shining beauty of the republic.
Raised to be a soldier, the Constantine Junior was accompanying his father on military campaigns when he was just seven years old, and by the time he was fifteen, he was named magister militum (commander of the army) on the battle field while Constantine was fighting the Goths. When Constantine the Great died in AD 337, his three surviving sons divided the empire amongst themselves. Constantine Junior, the eldest, received the provinces of Spain, Britain, and Gaul. He was, however, not pleased with his own share of the inheritance and was soon invading the territories of his youngest brother, Constans. In AD 340, near Aquileia, an advance party of Constan's troops caught Constantine by surprise and he was killed in the fighting.
CONSTANTINE II, as Caesar . AD 316-337 . AE3 . CLARITAS ("Radiance")
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