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Roman Empire

Ruler: Magnentius
Reigned: 350 - 353 AD
Denomination: Billon heavy Maiorina
Date of Issue: 350 AD
Obverse: Bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust right. "IM. MAGN-ENTIVS AVG."
Reverse: Magnentius standing left, holding Victory and labarum. "FELICITAS REIPVBLICE"
Mint marks:
Reference: RIC VIII 264, RCVM 18791
Weight: 5.4 gms
Nominal Weight: declining from 5.2 gms
Diameter: 21.5 mm

MAGNENTIUS (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.
  • Magnentius 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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