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Licinius I
Augustus  AD 308 - 324

Gaius Valerius Licinianus Licinius (ca. AD 263 - 325):
Husband of Constantia;
Father of Licinius II;
Son-in-law of Theodora and Constantius I Chlorus;
Uncle of Delmatius, Hanniballianus, Constantius Gallus, Julian II and Nepotian;
Half-brother-in-law of Constantine the Great.

Licinius was born in 250 to a peasant family in Upper Moesia and survived his emperorship of the West with one year, dying in 325 after serving as joint emperor since 308. Friend and colleague of Galerius, he was also a gifted military commander and was adopted by Diocletian who took note of his qualities. As Augustus, his territory covered the Danubian provinces and the Balkans, and soon attracted the attention of Maximinus, but Licinius beat him off. To secure his hold he then married Constantine’s sister Constantia in 313 and accepted Constantine’s claim to be the senior Augustus. This did not prevent an inconclusive civil war between the two in 316, after which Licinius preserved his free hand in the east. The coldness between him and Constantine led to a new religious policy: whereas earlier Licinius supported Christianity, he now attempted to suppress the Church. Political matters of precedence soon complicated the relationship between the two Augusti and in 324 a new civil war broke out. Although in command of numerically superior forces, Licinius suffered two sound defeats and was forced to fall back on Chalcedon on the Anatolian coast opposite of Byzantium. Constantine pursued him across the straits and finished the war with a third battle at Chrysopolis. Licinius was captured and at the intervention of his wife, Constantine’s sister, exiled in Thessalonica. Before a year passed however, he was accused of plotting a come-back and executed on Constantine’s orders.

Mints: Alexandria, Antioch, Aquileia, Arelate, Cyzicus, Heraclea, Londinium, Lugdunum, Nicomedia, Ostia, Rome, Serdica, Siscia, Thessalonica, Ticinum, Treveri.

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