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Roman Empire

Ruler: Magnentius
Reigned: 350 - 353 AD
Denomination: Billon heavy Maiorina
Mint: Trier
Date of Issue: 351 - 352 AD
Obverse: Bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust right. "DN. MAGNENTIVS P.F. AVG." "A" in left field.
Reverse: Two victories facing, holding shield on cippus, inscribed "VOT. V. MVLT. X." "VICTORIAE DD. NN. AVG. ET CAES."
Mint marks:
Reference: RIC VIII 312, RCVM 18825
Weight: 2.3 gms
Nominal Weight: declining from 5.2 gms
Diameter: 17.2 mm

MAGNETIUS (Flavus Magnus Magnentius)

  • Magnentius was of barbarian origin.
  • He was a senior commander under Constans.
  • Early in 350 AD, while Constans was on a hunting trip to Gaul, he received word that Magnentius had revolted at Augustodunum (Autun).
  • Constans fled towards Spain but was overtaken and murdered near the fortress of Helene in the foothills of the Pyrenees.
  • Magnentius was recognized in Gaul, Britain, Spain, Africa, and Italy.
  • He lost Illyricum to Vetranio who was acting on behalf of Constantius II.
  • In Italy, he had to quell a revolt by Nepotian in 350.
  • In late 350 or 351, he gave his brother, Decentius, the rank of Caesar, with responibility for the defence of Gaul.
  • Magnetius then tried to re-take Illyricum but was soundly defeated at the battle of Mursa in September 351.
  • Italy and Sicily fell in to Constantius in 352.
  • In 353 Magnentius was defeated in Gaul and besieged in Lugdunum (Lyons).
  • Accepting defeat, Magnentius killed his mother and younger brother and then committed suicide.

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