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    Magnificent Constantius I Aureus, One Of Two Known

    Constantius I Chlorus (AD 305-306). AV aureus (22mm, 5.19 gm, 6h). Aquileia, May AD 305 - July AD 306. CONSTANT-IVS P F AVG, laureate head of Constantius right / IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG NN, Jupiter standing facing, head left, nude save for chlamys draped over arms and shoulder, holding thunderbolt in right hand and scepter in left, A Q in exergue. RIC 48 (R5). Calico 4849 (R5).  One of two known examples, the other in the Hunter Coin Cabinet in Glasgow! An simply incredible aureus, boldly struck on a broad flan from dies of wonderful style. NGC Choice MS? 5/5 - 5/5.

    RIC lists this coin as R5 (unique), citing an example in the Hunter Coin Cabinet in Glascow; Calico also rates it as unique. Our example is thus the second known specimen of this extremely beautiful type. All aurei of Constantius I as Augustus are rare to extremely rare, having been struck in the narrow 14-month period of his rule. 

    Flavius Valerius Constantius was a native of Naissus in modern Serbia. He found escape from his low social standing in the Roman army and rose steadily through the ranks. Along the way, he took a local barmaid named Helena as his common-law wife and she bore him a son, Constantine, probably in AD 273 or 274. He supported Diocletian's bid for power and was rewarded with a series of important posts in the new regime. In March of AD 293, Diocletian and Maximian appointed him Caesar of the West and charged him with restoring Britain and northern Gaul, then under the separatist rule of the usurper Carausius, to Roman control. Constantius spent three years in preparations and launched his invasion in mid-AD 296, achieving total victory. He won the reputation of a just and compassionate ruler during his years as Caesar. When Diocletian issued his edicts of persecution, Constantius, perhaps influenced by Helena, effectively ignored them and Christians found refuge in his realm. With Diocletian's retirement in AD 305, Constantius became Augustus of the West and technically the senior ruler, but his health was failing fast. Constantius implored his co-Augustus Galerius to release his son Constantine, serving in the eastern court as hostage to his father's loyalty. The two were reunited in early 306 and campaigned jointly against the Picts in Britain, winning Constantius the title "Britannicus Maximus." But Constantius fell seriously ill that summer and died on July 25. The army immediately acclaimed Constantine as Emperor, launching the career of one of Rome's greatest rulers. 

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2016
    3rd-4th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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