Magnentius

Nepotian 350 A.D.

On hearing of the murder of Constans and the usurpation of the title by his former general Magnentius, the citizens of Rome named Nepotian emperor instead. He was a nephew of Constantius II who, because of his very young age, escaped the massacre of his family some 12 years before. By holding out on Magnentius the city hoped to cut off key supplies while Constantius and his armies hurried from Persia to meet the threat of Magnentius. Unfortunately for Nepotian and his fellow rebels, Magnentius quickly set out to plug this loophole and was able to enter Rome with his own army and then find and execute...

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Magnentius 350 – 353 A.D.

Magnentius was one of the generals under the command of Constans. Early in the year 350 he gathered that the tide of wars was turning against the dominion of the Constantines and declared himself emperor. On hearing of the news Constans was dispossessed and took flight. He found temporary shelter in a temple he hoped would be his sanctuary. Magnentius sent a few of his men for him, tracked him down then breached the temple and murdered him. The rule of the whole western empire was now under his control. Constantius II was thousands of miles away embroiled in a difficult war with the Parthians in Syria...

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Decentius 351 – 353 A.D.

Brother of Magnentius, the ill-fated usurper who almost upset the Constantine dynasty. Decentius was made Caesar shortly after Magnentius had gained control of Italy in a clear signal that he meant to start an imperial dynasty of his own. Unfortunately, the war did not go well for Magnentius and, following a devastating defeat in battle, committed suicide rather than test the mercy of Constantius II. On hearing of Magnentius' suicide Decentius followed suit and hanged himself.   AU Solidus RIC 294 (Trier), C 31 Solidus Obv: DNDECENTIVSFORTCAES - Bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust...

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Constans I 337 – 350 A.D.

The middle child of Constantine's three surviving sons, Constans inherited the domains of Italy and the Roman provinces in Africa after the death of his father in 337. No sooner than this happened Constans and Constantine II began squabbling over who got what and the latter meant to settle the issue with his army. However, luck remained with Constans who easily appropriated all of Constantine II's former territories when Constantine died in battle; thus becoming the de facto ruler of the West. He held on to power for another ten years until the embattled Constantius II raised eyebrows within his own army...

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