Gold medallion of Constantius I Chlorus

Roman, AD 296
Minted at Trier, Germany

Britain rejoins the Roman Empire!

In AD 296 Britain was again annexed to the Roman Empire after the ten-year rule of the usurpers Carausius and Allectus. They had governed Britain as self-styled emperors, but were not recognized as legitimate by the emperor Diocletian and his allies on the Continent.

The leader of the expedition to Britain was Constantius I Chlorus, who was deputy emperor, or Caesar, in the western half of the empire (AD 293-306). This presentation medallion was struck to commemorate the reconquest. On the obverse (front) we see Constantius wearing the conqueror's laurel wreath. On the reverse it shows him raising the personification of Britain from her knees, as her saviour from the supposedly unjust domination of the rebel emperors. A winged figure of the goddess Victory crowns him from behind. Constantius died in York while on campaign in Scotland in AD 306, where his son, Constantine I, 'the Great' (reigned AD 306-37), was proclaimed emperor.

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Gold medallion of Constantius I Chlorus

Obverse (front) and reverse

 

More information

Bibliography

P.J. Casey, Carausius and Allectus, the Br (Yale, 1995)

S. Corcoran, The empire of the tetrarchs: i (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 2000)

Dimensions

Weight: 26.790 g
Diameter: 34.000 mm

Museum number

CM 1928-2-8-1-2

NOT ON

Gift of the National Art Collections Fund, the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths (www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/), C.S. Gulbenkian and H. Van den Bergh

Location

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