AD 337-361

AE2. 4.74g, 22.7mm

MINTED: Siscia mint, AD 19 Jan – 25 Dec 350
REF: RIC VIII Siscia 282 (scarce)
OBVERSE: DN CONSTAN-TIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; A behind.

REVERSE: HOC SIG-NO VICTOR ERIS, Emperor in military dress standing facing, head left, holding labarum with Chi-Rho on banner, and spear, Victory standing right crowning him with wreath and holding palm branch; A in left field •ЄSIS* in exergue


Very Fine. Even, dark gray patina. Well-centered and struck.  
The reverse legend HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS ('By this sign you will be victorious'), echoes the words heard by Constantius's father, Constantine the Great, in a vision he had on the eve of the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312. The sign he saw was the christogram, or Chi-Rho, formed by the superimposition of the first two letters of the Greek name for Christ (ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ). After Constantine had the shields of his soldiers inscribed with the Chi-Rho, he went on to defeat his rival Maxentius and take the city of Rome. He would thereafter become the first Christian emperor of the Roman Empire.   


Historical Notes:

Constantius II was the longest reigning of the three sons of Constantine the Great who had divided the Roman empire amongst themselves after his death in 337.  By 340, only Constantius and Constans remained.  In 350, the usurper Magnentius revolted against Constans and had been him assassinated.  Constantius went to war with Magnentius, defeated him in 353, and was left the sole ruler of the Roman empire.  With his cousins Gallus and Julian serving as Caesars, Constantius spent much of the next few years contending with raiding Alamanni, more usurpers, and an invasion by the Sassanian Empire.  His final challenge came when the legions under Julian revolted and declared him emperor, forcing Constantius to prepare for war against his own heir apparent.  Before their forces were able to meet, Constantius fell seriously ill and died of fever in Cilicia, after acknowledging Julian his successor.

CONSTANTIUS II . AD 337-361 . AE2 . "By this sign you will be victorious"

SKU: 2227
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