After the death of Valentinian II followed one of the most embarrassing low-points in Roman history. Italy and what was left of the Roman empire was left leaderless. The barbarian warlord Arbogast wielded power but was unable to call himself the emperor because to do so would have been an outrage so scandalous that it would likely throw the entire empire into complete turmoil. Thus evaluating his response over what to do next, a period that lasted over a year, he decided to name Eugenius the emperor. Needless to say, Eugenius served merely as a figurehead for Arbogast's desires. To the end of making it all seem legitimate, he sent a series of diplomats to the court of Theodosius in hopes of gaining Eugenius the East's blessing. Theodosius prepared an army instead and eventually the two met in battle. When the dust settled, Eugenius was dead and Arbogast fled the scene, reportedly committing suicide. This left Theodosius himself as emperor of the entire empire; this being the last such time this would happen.
Eugenius himself was apparently a scholar and respected former government administrator. He might have found favor with Theodosius had his pedigree not been tainted with Arbogast's role and had he not shown inclinations to favor paganism instead of Christianity. He is reported to have meant to turn the church in Mediolanum (Milan) into a stable for Arbogast's horses! This anecdote, however, might be but propaganda from the enemies of Eugenius.
RIC 32c (Mediolanum), RSC 14b Siliqua Obv: DNEVGENIVSPFAVG, pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right.
Rev: VIRTVSROMANORVM Exe: MDP(officina), Roma seated left on cuirass, holding Victory on globe and reversed spear. Lot sold fpr $750 4/1/01.
RIC 59 (Aquileia), LRBC 1108 AE4 Obv: DNEVGENIVSPFAVG; Diademed, draped, cuirassed and bearded bust right.
Rev: SPESROMANORVM Exe: AQ(officina); Victory advancing left, holding wreath and palm. Lot sold for $358 9/19/01.