ROMAN EMPIRE Constantius II 337-361 AD centenionalis of Sirmium


ROMAN EMPIRE, Constantius II, 337-361 AD, centenionalis, no date (353-56 AD), Sirmium mint, officina 1, Obverse: bust R, D N CONSTANTIUS P F AVG, Reverse: emperor spearing fallen horseman, FEL TEMP REPARATIO, ASIRM., bronze, 17mm, 1.97g, SR18274, minor planchet flaw, VF

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Constantius II is a real shaggy dog story of an imperial career. He spent all of his time dealing with stuff that came up: war with Persia, usurpers within the empire, succession problems. He put through administrative reforms too, pointing the government toward the form it would take in Byzantine times. The camp gate type came into use in the time of his father, Constantine the Great.

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.