ROMAN EMPIRE Constantine II Caesar 317-337 AD centenionalis of Aquileia


ROMAN EMPIRE, Constantine II, Caesar, 317-337 AD, centenionalis, no date (320-321 AD), Aquileia mint, officina 3, Obverse: diademed bust L, CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, Reverse: CAESARVM NOSTRORVM, VOT V, AQT, billon, 17mm, 2.25g, SR17169, F

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Constantine Junior, second son of Constantine the Great, by an unknown woman not his wife, was raised to Caesar within months of his birth. When his half-brother, Crispus, was executed he became the senior heir at nine years of age. Sear wrote of a “curious three month interregnum” following the death of Constantine I. During that time the three Caesars became Augusti, and then commenced a general massacre of the other side of the family, which was the children of Constantius I and Theodora. He felt he’d gotten the short end of the stick in the division of the empire, invaded Italy, which “belonged” to his half-brother, Constans. His army was ambushed and he died in the general massacre.

In the Imperial Period Roman coinage became an engine for governmental propaganda. All of the themes of the coins are celebratory of some aspect of govermental authority or achievement.

The Roman Republic was founded in response to tyrannical kings. It functioned for several centuries in a kind of balance of rich and poor people (slaves didn’t count). The general idea was that laws would constrain personal power. During the days of Julius Caesar, et al, powerful people became too powerful, and a new system of slightly constrained autocracy, the Empire, developed. The main catalog we use on this web site for Roman coins is Roman Coins and their Values, by David Sear.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.