AE3 - IMP CONSTANTINE II
(RIC VII 87) - Antioch Mint
Flavius Claudius Constantinus
Emperor: A.D. 337-340
Obverse: Portrait laureate head right - CONSTANTINVS IVN NOB C
Reverse: Two standard bearers with dot in standards - GLORIA EXERCITVS - SMANE
Inscriptions: CONSTANTINUS IUN(ior) NOB(ilis) C(aesar) / GLORIA (Glory) EXERCITUS (Army) SMANE (Antioch Mint)
Constantine Junior Noble Caesar / Glory to the Army - Minted in Antioch
These coins were minted in tribute to the most important asset the emperor had, the army. This was always true but even more in the later empire.
Constantine II was the eldest son of Constantine I. On March 1, 317 Constantine II was made Caesar. At the age of seven, in 323, he took part in his father's campaign against the Sarmatians.
At the age of ten he became commander of Gaul after the death of his half-brother Crispus. An inscription dating to 330 records the title of Alamannicus, so it is probable that his generals won a victory over Alamanni. His military career continued when Constantine I elected his son field commander during the 332 campaign against the Goths.
Following the death of his father in 337, Constantine II became Emperor jointly with his brothers Constantius II and Constans. His section of the Empire was Gaul, Britannia and Hispania.
At first, he was the guardian of his younger brother Constans, whose portion was Italia, Africa and Illyricum. As Constans came of age, Constantine would not relinquish the guardianship and in 340 he marched against Constans in Italy. He was defeated at Aquileia and died in battle. Constans came to control his deceased brother's realm.