- Museum number
- Object: Arras medallion
Electrotype of gold medallion known as 'The Arras Medallion' (whole)
London, represented by a kneeling woman (labelled LON), left, with arms outstretched in supplication as the emperor rides right towards the gates of the city; below, galley with four rowers. (reverse)
Laureate, draped bust representing Constantius I, with shoulder of cuirass visible showing the pteryges (protective leather shoulder-straps). (obverse)
Diameter: 42 millimetres
Weight: 36 grammes
- Curator's comments
- The reverse scene is visual shorthand to the events described in the panegyric (eulogy) for Constantius, performed during or not long after the celebrations of 1st March AD 297. (Nixon & Rodgers, 1994, 106) The invasion of Britain and defeat of Allectus is presented as the liberation of Britain (Panegyric of Constantius 9, 5-6). In the aftermath, Constantius's soldiers saved London from rampaging Barbarian mercenaries (Panegyric of Constantius 17, 1). They were the remnants of the rebel army who had become intent on looting the city (now that their paymaster Allectus was dead). Constantius arrives at London by a mixture of transportation (alighting on horseback from a ship). The legend proclaims Constantius as 'the restorer of the eternal light' [of Roman civilization to Britain] (see also Panegyric of Constantius 19, 2-3 for the idea of Constantius 'refreshing' Britain with the 'true light' of the empire).
- On display (G70/dc30/no1)
- Exhibition history
2016 16 Jul-10 Oct, York, Yorkshire Museum, Constantius: York's Forgotten Emperor
- Acquisition notes
- Electrotype made by E. Bourgey of Paris, 1927.
- Coins and Medals
- Registration number