AE2 - IMP CONSTANTIUS II
(RIC VIII 93) - Cyzicus Mint
Flavius Julius Constantius
Emperor: A.D. 337-361
Obverse: Portrait diademed head right - DN CONSTANTIVS PF AVG
Reverse: Soldier spearing fallen horseman - FEL TEMP REPARATIO - SMKE - G
Inscriptions: D(ominus) N(oster) CONSTANTIUS P(ius) F(elix) AUG(ustus) / FEL(ix) (Happy) TEMP(us) (TIME) REPARATIO (Restoration) SMKE (Cyzicus Mint)
Our Lord Constantius Pious and Happy Augustus / Restoration of Happy Times - Minted in Cyzicus
Constantius was the second of the three sons of Constantine I and his second wife Fausta. He was named Caesar by his father. He married three times.
When Constantine died in 337, Constantius II led the massacre of his relatives decended from the second marriage of his grandfather Constantius Chlorus leaving himself, his older brother Constantine II, his younger brother Constans and two cousins (Gallus and his half-brother Julian) as the only surviving adult males related to Constantine. The three brothers divided the Roman Empire among them, according to their father's will. Constantius ruled the East.
Constantine II died in 340 trying to overthrow Constans in Italy, and Constans become sole ruler in the Western half of the empire. The division changed once more in 350 when Constans was killed in battle by forces loyal to the usurper Magnentius. Until this time, Constantius was preoccupied with fighting the Sassanid Empire, and he was forced to elevate his cousin Gallus to Caesar of the East to assist him, while he turned his attention to this usurper.
Constantius eventually met and crushed Magnentius. Magnentius committed suicide in 353, and Constantius soon after put his cousin Gallus to death. However, he still could not handle the military affairs of both the Eastern and German frontiers by himself, so in 355 he elevated his last remaining relative, Julian, to Caesar. As Julian was hailed Augustus by the army in Gaul, Constantius saw no alternative but to face the usurper with violent force. As the two armies sought engagement, Constantius died from a fever near Tarsus on November 3, 361, and Julian was hailed Augustus throughout the Roman Empire.