HANNIBALLIANUS, as Rex Regum
AE4. 1.49g, 16.5mm
MINTED: Constantinople mint, AD 336-337
REF: RIC VII 147; LRBC 1034, Cohen 2
OBVERSE: FL HANNIBALLIANO REGI, bare-headed, draped, cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE: SE-CVRITAS PVBLICA, Euphrates seated right on ground, holding sceptre, overturned urn at his side, from which waters flow, reed in background; CONSS in exergue.
Ex Classic Numismatic Group E-208 (8 April 2009), lot 404, where it realized a price of US$265 (before buyer's fees)
Very Fine. Attractive dark green patina with earthen deposits highlighting devices.
A rare ruler and historically interesting type, amongst the most distinctive issues of the Late Roman Period.
Flavius Hanniballianus was the nephew of Constantine the Great. He was apparently held in high regard by the emperor, as not only was he given the hand in marriage of Constantine's eldest daughter Constantina, he also granted nominal rule over Armenia and Pontus, along with the remarkable title of Rex Regum et Ponticarum Gentium ('King of Kings and of the Pontic Peoples') and rule over Armenia and Pontus.
The title may have been designed to provoke the Sasanian king Shapur II (who bore the traditional title of the Persian emperors, shahanshah, or 'King of Kings'), as did the reverse of coins bearing Hanniballianus's name, the reverse of which depicted the personification of Euphrates, the river which flowed along the borders of the Sasanian Empire. Whatever Constantine's plans for Hanniballianus were, they came to nothing as Shapur II would soon break a forty year peace with the Romans and proceed to invade and eventually capture Armenia. Soon after Constantine died in 337, his three bloodthirsty sons had Hanniballianus, his brother Delmatius, and other potentially troublesome relatives murdered.
HANNIBALLIANUS, as Rex Regum . AD 335-337 . AE4 . Rare ruler, interesting type
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