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    Rare Constantine II Solidus

    Constantine II as Caesar (AD 317-337). AV solidus (19.5mm, 4.44 gm, 6h).  Constantinople, AD 330. CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Constantine II right, seen from front / CONSTANTI-NVS CAESAR, Victory advancing left, holding wreath and branch, CONS* in exergue. RIC 47 variant (mintmark). Depeyrot -. Exceptionally rare variety, possibly unique. Small scuff behind portrait on obverse, otherwise Choice Extremely Fine.

    Flavius Claudius Constantinus, second son of Constantine I the Great, was probably less than a year old when he was first proclaimed Caesar in AD 316, along with his adolescent half-brother, Crispus. The younger Constanine was one of three sons from his father's marriage to Fausta, whose intrigues on behalf of her boys eventually led to the execution of Crispus in AD 326, followed by her own death a few months later. Thus at the age of 10, Constantine II found himself both motherless and senior heir to the Roman Empire. His brothers Constans and Constantius II were soon also raised to the rank of Caesar, though as eldest Constantine retained preeminence. He underwent years of military and governmental training, primarily at the Western provincial capital of Trier on the German frontier, and accompanied his father on several campaigns. In AD 335, the elder Constantine redrafted the succession, bringing in his nephews Delmatius and Haniballianus to create an unwieldy five-way split of the empire. But when Constantine died in AD 337, the three brothers arranged for the execution of the two nephews and divided the empire between them. Despite his seniority, Constantine II emerged with only Britain, Gaul, Germany and Spain under under his control, perhaps the poorest and least populous regions of the Empire. Incensed at this treatment, Constantine insisted on his own seniority and demanded more territory from his brothers, leading Constans and Constantius to form an alliance against him. A three-way conference in June of AD 338 failed to resolve their differences. In April of AD 340, Constantine launched an invasion of Italy while Constans was away in the Balkans. Expecting little or no resistance, Constantine must have been shocked when his army was ambushed by a strong force near Aquileia. During the skirmish, a chance arrow struck Constantine, killing the 24-year-old emperor. Constans' soldiers threw his body into a nearby river, but it was later retrieved and given an honorable burial.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2013
    6th-7th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 327

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