RIC VIII Treveri 50

Title

RIC VIII Treveri 50

Date

337-340 C.E.

Description

An AE3 of Emperor Constantius II by Constantine II

Subject

Coin, Constantius II , two soldiers, standard, spear

Publisher

Bethel University

Contributor

Mikalah Pruss

Coverage

POINT(739316.041537135 6404241.01143284)

Relation

Render unto Caesar Roman Coin Project

Type

Coin

Format

image/jpeg

Language

Latin

Mint

Treveri (Trier)

Denomination

AE3

Authority

Constantine II (337-340 A.D.)

Portrait

Constantius II

Region

Gallia

Material

Bronze

Obverse Legend

FL IVL CONSTANTIVS AVG

Obverse Type

Bust of Constantius II, laureate, cuirassed, right

Reverse Legend

GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS

Reverse Type

Two soldiers, helmeted, draped, cuirassed, facing front, heads toward each other, each holding inverted spear in outer hand and resting inner hand on shield; between them, a standard

Obverse Analysis

Constantius II was the third born in 317 CE by Constantine and his wife Fausta. His original name was Flavius Julius Constantius. He served under his father before his rise from 324 to 337 C.E. He rose to power like his father before him after the death of his father on 22 May 337 C.E. He ascended the throne with two of his brothers, Constantine II and Constans. He was given control over Asia Minor, Egypt, and Syria, while his brothers took care of other portions of the empire. In order to secure power relatives of the brothers were killed including Delmatius and Hannibalianus. Constantine wanted his powers to be divided among his sons however that quickly dissolved. The brothers began to clash over the western provinces of the empire. This clash happened in 340 and it left Constantine II dead and Constans became the ruler of the west. However, he was overthrown and assassinated by Magnentius in 350. Constantius was unwilling to share his power with his brothers let alone Magnentius. He then defeated him in the battles of Mursa Major and Mons Seleucus. After that he became sole ruler from 353-361 C.E. He granted his cousin Gallus the power of Caesar to help manage the empire, however this was short lived and he was executed after hearing he was a corrupt and violent ruler. After that he granted the power to his other cousin Julian who claimed himself as Augustus. This clearly did not go over well with Constantius but, before any battles could be fought between the cousins Constantius died from an illness in late 361 C.E. Julian then became Constantius’ successor.
Like his father, Constantius was a Christian Roman emperor. He desired a religiously unified empire under Arian Christianity and passed laws against paganism to try and make this happen. Paganism had always been common and recognized in Rome thus, it was strange that he promoted Christianity so much that it compromised pagan religion. He went as far as passing legislation that stopped pagan practices. He banned sacrifices and closed pagan temples. In 357 C.E. he even removed the Altar of Victory from the Senate house. This alter was installed during Augustus in 29 BCE and was used for pagan sacrifices. Persecution among people who practices paganism increased and the Christians of the time were pleased with Constantius decision to push back against paganism. He also promoted Christianity with edicts. These edicts included things like tax exemptions and exemption from public service. Paganism was not the only religion being persecuted. He also pushed back against Judaism. Laws became established that banned the marriage between Christians and Jews and if one would converted from Christianity to Judaism their land could be taken away from them by the state. However, like his father his devoutness is questioned since he wasn’t baptized until he was on his deathbed.

The obverse depicts Constantius II with a Laureate on his head. The crown of laurel must be depicting victory. Commanders would wear these in celebration of a triumph . The coin is symbolizing Constantius’ military success. His body is draped and is cuirassed he is facing right. The cuirass is a piece of military armor . This detail is further showing that Constantius II is a military man. On the other hand, the drapery is depicting his piety. This portrait of Constantius shows his military power, success and his piety. The coin also reads FL IVL CONSTANTIVS AVG around the border. This translates into Flavius Julius Constantius the emperor .

Reverse Analysis

The Reverse shows two soldiers who are helmeted and draped with cloth. They are facing front looking toward one another and have a cuirass on. They are both holding an inverted spear in their outer hand and they are resting their inner hand on their shields. Between them there is a standard. The standard was very important to each military unit. Each had a distinctive emblem and it represented the luck or power of their military unit. It was used in the same way as flags were used later on in Rome. The inscription around the border reads, GLOR-RIA EXERC-ITVS. This translates into Army of Glory.
This coin is clearly depicting military success. The reverse of the coin states that Constantius II’s army has glory. He is depicted on the front as a successful military commander. This coin is celebrating the military success and honor of Constantius II.

Mintmark

P, S

Diameter

14mm

Weight

1.38

Files

Roman coin.jpg
Roman coin2.jpg

Citation

“RIC VIII Treveri 50,” Render Unto Caesar, accessed May 22, 2024, https://renderuntocaesar.betheldigitalscholarship.org/items/show/14.

Output Formats