ROMAN EMPIRE, Constantius II, 337-361 AD, light maiorina, Constantinople mint


ROMAN EMPIRE, Constantius II, 337-361 AD, light maiorina, no date (348-51 AD), Constantinople mint, officina 5, Obverse: diademed bust L, D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, Reverse: Emperor holding banner with christogram above 2 captives, FEL TEMP REPARATIO, CONS Z, Γ in right field, billon, 21mm, 3.92g, RIC VIII-89, 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.