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    Description

    Constans, as Augustus (AD 337-350). AV solidus (22mm, 4.50 gm, 11h). NGC Choice AU★ 5/5 - 4/5. Nicomedia, AD 337-340. D N CONSTA-NS P F AVG, laureate-rosette diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Constans right, left shoulder raised, seen from front / VICTORIA CONSTANTIS AVG, Victory seated right on cuirass, shield behind, holding and supporting on her knee a shield which she inscribes VOT V; before her stands Cupid reaching up to support shield, SMNC in exergue. RIC VIII 2 (R4). Cohen -. Depeyrot -. An extremely rare variety, with only two specimens recorded! Artfully engraved, well struck, with much residual luster.

    Ex Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection (Heritage CICF 3032, 10 April 2014), lot 23662; Dreesmann Collection (Spink London, 13 April 2000), lot 168; Christie's (London 6 October 1987), lot 457.

    The youngest son of Constantine the Great, Flavius Julius Constans was born between AD 320 and 323. On Christmas Day in AD 333, his father proclaimed him Caesar, thus making him coequal with his elder brothers Constantine II and Constantius II. When Constantine died in May of AD 337, the three brothers executed most of their male relations and divided the Roman Empire. Constans at first received only Italy and Africa as his sphere, but at a conference late in AD 337, his realm was enlarged to include the Balkan territories and Thrace. These had been under the control of Constantius II, with whom Constans formed an alliance to thwart the dominance of their senior, Constantine II. Angered by their collusion, Constantine II invaded Italy in the spring of AD 340, but fell into an ambush and perished. In the territorial redistribution, Constans ended up controlling the entire Roman West, including Spain, Gaul, Germany and Britain. At first, he ruled with energy and ability, dealing the Franks a series of smashing defeats in AD 341-342 and conducting operations in Britain along Hadrian's Wall in AD 343. As time went on, Constans sank into indolence and depravity. In January of AD 350, a cabal of senior officers rebelled and hailed the half-barbarian general Magnentius as emperor. Constans attempted to flee toward Spain, but was overtaken and murdered by one of Magnentius's agents.


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    September, 2019
    5th-9th Thursday-Monday
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