Obverse: CONSTANTIVS NOB CAES; Laureate and Draped Bust of Constantius I Chlorus Facing Right
Reverse: GENIO POPVLI ROMANI; Genius Standing to the Left, Holding a Patera and a Cornucopiae
Although Constantius I, full name FLAVIUS VALERIUS CONSTANTIUS, led a celebrated life, we will eternal be remembered foremost for fathering Constantine I, better known as Constantine the Great. Constantius I was a general and administrator under Emperor Maximian and achieved the rank of Caesar in 293. On the establishment of the tetrarchy (comprising two senior Augusti and two junior Cersars), Emperor Diocletian appointed him Emperor of the West and lands including Gaul. Following a long series of battles with barbarian invaders, Constantius arrived in Britain where he continued his policy of showing mercy and restoring defenses. While engaged in a campaign against the Picts (an ancient Scottish tribe), he died at Eboracum (modern York, England). His son, Constantine the Great, would become the first Emperor to convert to Christianity and the founder of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. However, Constantine the Great’s historical accomplishments were a reflection of his father’s ability as a general and generosity as a ruler.
How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who might have touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after it leaves our hands. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and location, whether contemporary currencies or artifacts of a long forgotten empire. This stunning hand-struck coin reveals an expertise of craftsmanship and intricate sculptural detail that is often lacking in contemporary machine-made currencies. This ancient coin is a memorial to the Emperor Constantius I Chlorus, passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation that still appears as vibrant today as the day it was struck.