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Constantius I Chlorus
293-305 (Caesar) 305-306 (Augustus)
Constantius I was born around 250 A.D. in Dardania, the son of a noble family which was alleged to have counted Claudius II as an ancestor (although this may have been a fabrication for propaganda reasons by his descendents). As with most late Roman Emperors, Constantius began his career in the army and became a general, and later a governor of his home province of Dalmatia. He married a Christian woman as his first wife, Helena (later Saint Helena) who bore him a son, Constantine, later known as Saint Constantine or Constantine the Great.
In 293 when Diocletian initiated the Tetrachic system, in which the Empire would be divided between two Augusti and their Caesar co-rulers, Constantius was made Caesar to the Augustus of the West, Maximian.
Constantius I spent most of his reign fighting against usurpers, barbarians and rebels in Gaul and Britannia with his son and heir by his side. In 305, Diocletian and Maximian stepped down as Emperors, and Constantius was raised to the rank of Augustus, but died the following year in York whilst campaigning in Britain, and his son Constantine was subsequently proclaimed Emperor by his fatherís troops.
Because of his connection with Britain, particularly the fact that as with Septimus Severus, he died at York, the coins of Constantius make an interesting addition to any collection of Roman coins with a British connection.
The coin featured is a -reform Antoninanus of Constantius I as Caesar. Sear #3665. Battered but scarce nevertheless.
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Roman Historical Notes
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