Coins of Constantius II

Roman Emperor (AD 337-361)

Flavius Iulius Constantius, commonly called Constantius II, was born in AD 317 to Fausta and Constantine the Great. He was their third son. When he was seven years of age, Constantine appointed him as Caesar. Constantine died in 337, when Constantius was twenty years old. Constantine’s will mandated that his three sons split the Empire into three parts. Constantius took control of the East, his elder brother Constantine II controlled the West, and their younger brother Constans took Italy and its neighbouring provinces.

Constantius was occupied for much of his early reign fighting back Persian invaders. But in the West, his brothers had antagonized each other almost immediately, and Constantine II was killed in 340. Constans controlled the West for ten years, until he was killed by the usurper Magnentius. Constantius, eager to gain total control of the empire, moved west to confront Magnentius. Magnentius was soundly defeated at the Battle of Mursa Major in 351 and he committed suicide in 353.

Constantius spent the rest of his reign putting down usurpers--including his relatives Gallus and Julian. During the march to war against Julian, Constantius became seriously ill and decided to sanction Julian as his heir instead. Constantius was baptized a Semi-Arian Christian and died in 361.

AE Follis, Rome
AD 326-337 (Mint of Trier)

Small bust of Constantius, facing l. laureate and cuirassed, encircled by <FL IVL> CONSTANTIVS NOB C

Two cloaked soldiers standing facing each other; each holding spear, other hand on shield; between, two standards; encircled by GLOR IA EXERC ITVS. Mint mark TR S