Magnentius, 350-353. Solidus (Gold, 21 mm, 4.39 g, 12 h), Aquileia, 351-352. D N MAGNEN-TIVS AVG Bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust of Magnentius to right. Rev. VICTORIA AVG LIB ROMANOR• / SMAQ Victory, on the left, holding palm frond over her left shoulder, and Libertas, on the right, holding scepter, both supporting trophy between them. Bastien 343 (this coin cited). Depeyrot 7/1. Paolucci & Zub 543. RIC 135. Rare. A splendid and well pedigreed coin, beautifully struck and in exceptional condition for the issue. Extremely fine.
From the collection of Dipl.-Ing. Adrian Lang and from the collection of a retired senior air force officer, Leu 7, 24-25 October 2020, 1775, ex Numismatica Ars Classica 84, 20 May 2015, 1241 and from the collection of E. von Schulthess-Rechberg ('ESR'), Hess-Leu 17, 23 March 1961, 435.
Magnentius, a comes of Franco-Britannic descent, rebelled on 18 January 350 in Augustodunum (Autun) against Constans, who was killed shortly thereafter following a failed escape to Spain. The revolt made a good start, as Britain, Spain, Africa and Northern Italy joined the cause in quick succession. However, resistance formed in the person of Vetranio, an elderly general in Sirmium, who at the instigation of Constantia, a sister of Constans and Constantius II, secured the loyalty of the Illyrian legions to the Constantinian dynasty.
Meanwhile, Nepotian stirred up a pro-Christian revolt in Rome against the pagan usurper, which, albeit quickly crushed by Magnentius' magister officiorum Marcellinus, bought Constantius II the time he needed to conclude peace with the Sasanids and march to the west. Magnentius was defeated for the first time in the fierce Battle of Mursa Major on 28 September 351, and once again two years later in the Battle of Mons Seleucus in south-eastern Gaul. The usurper fled to nearby Lugdunum, where he committed suicide on 10 August 353.