Roman Imperial Magnentius coins

Flavius Magnus Magnentius as Augustus (350-353)

Magnentius was born about 303 in Ambiana (Amiens). Under Constantine I, Magnentius served in barbarian units, but later became a commander under the emperor's sons.

January 18, 350. Marcellinus, the treasurer of Emperor Constantus arranged a plot against him, part of which was the proclamation of Magnentius as Augustus. Constantus fled, but was killed. Magnentius was recognized by the entire West, as Constantus was cruelly unpopular, while Magnentius was widely believed to "rule according to the laws" and to be tolerant of both pagans and Christians.
However, other challengers, Nepocianus and Vetranion, immediately emerged. Magnentius, trying to consolidate power, appointed his relative (possibly brother) Decentius as Caesar.

Nepocianus was disposed of fairly quickly through the efforts of Marcellinus. Vetranion, after unsuccessful negotiations with Constantius II, took the side of Magnentius and was even going to fight with the emperor, but the army betrayed him and went to the side of Constantius. Magnentius tried to agree with Constantius II about division of empire, but the latter has decided that the murderer of his brother cannot be the legitimate governor.

In 351 at Mursa one of the bloodiest battles of the century took place, in which more than 50 thousand people were killed. Constantius II won a convincing victory thanks to the successful actions of the cavalry, which seems to be the first documented case of legionnaires being defeated by mounted units. Magnentius hastily retreated to Lugdun (Lyon).

352 passed in unsuccessful negotiations. Magnentius gradually came to the point that he offered Constantius himself as a soldier in the imperial army, but even this did not help. In July 353 the last battle took place, Magnentius fled to Lugdum and committed suicide.

 

 

coin Roman Empire Magnentius
D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG
VICTORIAE D D N N AVG ET CAES / VOT V MVLT X

350-352
copper
Arles
23 mm.
Bust right in draped armor / Our Lord Magnentius Pious Happy Augustus
Two Victories holds wreath with inscription "5 years, promise 10" / Victories Lords Our of August and Caesar
Value - $50-70