Constantine I Roman Empire BI Nummus AE3/4 NGC AU. The holder is in excellent condition. Upon the death of Constantine the Great in AD 337, the Roman Empire was divided among his heirs. His three sons -- called Constantine II, Constatius II, and Constans -- each took a massive swath of the dominions. From the start, the arrangement was unsustainable.
The three brothers were unsatisfied with the size of their inheritance, with Constantine II, the eldest brother, vexed at having to give any land to his younger brother and ward, Constans. He raised an army and went to conquer the land of his younger brother -- and was slain in battle in 340. Constans inherited all of his territory -- what became known as the Western Roman Empire. For the next two years, Constans engaged in a war with the Franci, ancestors of the Franks, in the part of Gaul now known as Alsace. He was still subduing the Franci when a new threat broke out in Britannia.The Picts had mobilized forces and were threatening to invade the Roman Province there. So Constans and his generals beat a hasty retreat, to take on the Picts. Not wanting to be encumbered with treasure, one of these generals, or perhaps even Constans himself, buried a hoard of Roman coins in the ground, intending to retrieve it after the war with the Picts. The coins remained buried in the the Alsatian earth, near the village of Epfig, until the 21st century, when they were discovered by a crew digging a new sewage system.
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