Jul 7 2018

Constantine I the Great Ancient Roman Coin Victory Over Licinius I i31356

Constantine I the Great Ancient Roman Coin Victory Over Licinius I i31356

Constantine I the Great Ancient Roman Coin Victory Over Licinius I i31356

Item: i31356 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Constantine I’The Great’- Roman Emperor: 307-337 A. Victory Over Licinius Commemorative Bronze AE3 20mm (2.51 grams) Constantinople mint: 327 A. Reference: RIC VII 30 CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, diademed head right. CONSTANTINIANA DAFNE, Victory seated left on cippus holding palm in each hand, looking right; before her, trophy at foot of which kneeling captive turning head, spurned by Victory; B/CONS in exergue. Numismatic Note: Rare victory over Licinius issue. Often thought to commemorate the Constantinian Fort of Daphne, Melville Jones suggests that the legend comes from the Greek word for laurel (daphne) and therefore may be a symbol of victory over Licinius I at Chrysopolis. The same obverse type gazing upward, was also used for gold and silver coins and some other bronze coins. The ancient author Eusebius mentioned these types of coins. The Battle of Chrysopolis was fought on 18 September 324 at Chrysopolis (Üsküdar), near Chalcedon (Kadköy), between the two Roman emperors Constantine I and Licinius. The battle was the final encounter between the two emperors. After his navy’s defeat in the Battle of the Hellespont , Licinius withdrew his forces from the city of Byzantium across the Bosporus to Chalcedon in Bithynia. Constantine followed, and won the subsequent battle. This left Constantine as the sole emperor, ending the period of the Tetrarchy. In the Battle of the Hellespont Licinius’ navy had suffered a catastrophic defeat. His admiral, Abantus, had been outfought by Constantine’s son the caesar Crispus , despite the latter’s distinctly smaller fleet. Following this naval victory, Constantine crossed over to Asia Minor. He used a flotilla of light transports in order to avoid the enemy army, which, under the command of Licinius’ newly appointed co-emperor Martinian , was guarding the coast at Lampsacus. Following the destruction of his naval forces Licinius evacuated his garrison from Byzantium which joined his main army in Chalcedon on the Asiatic shore of the Bosporus. From there he also summoned Martinian’s forces and a band of Visigothic auxiliaries, under their leader Aliquaca (or Alica), to reinforce his principal army which had been depleted by its earlier defeat at the Battle of Adrianople. Constantine’s army landed on the Asiatic shore of the Bosphoros at a place called the Sacred Promontory and marched southward towards Chalcedon. Licinius moved his army a few miles north towards Chysopolis. Constantine’s army reached the environs of Chrysopolis before the forces of Licinius. Following a retreat to his tent to seek divine guidance, Constantine decided to take the initiative. The religious aspect of the conflict was reflected in Licinius drawing up his battle lines with images of the pagan gods of Rome prominently displayed, whilst Constantine’s army fought under his talismanic Christian standard, the labarum. Licinius had developed a superstitious dread of the labarum and forbade his troops from attacking it, or even looking directly at it. Constantine seemingly eschewed any subtlety of manoeuvre, he launched a single massive frontal assault on Licinius’ troops and routed them. He won a decisive victory in what was a very large-scale battle. According to the historian Zosimus , There was great slaughter at Chrysopolis. Licinius was reported to have lost 25,000 to 30,000 dead, with thousands more breaking and running in flight. Licinius managed to escape and gathered around 30,000 of his surviving troops at the city of Nicomedia. Licinius and his son, depicted with haloes, on a gold coin. Licinius, recognising that his surviving forces in Nicomedia could not stand against Constantine’s victorious army, was persuaded to throw himself on the mercy of his enemy. Constantia, Constantine’s half-sister and Licinius’ wife, acted as intermediary. Initially, yielding to the pleas of his sister, Constantine spared the life of his brother-in-law, but some months later he ordered his execution, thereby breaking his solemn oath. A year later, Constantine’s nephew the younger Licinius also fell victim to the emperor’s anger or suspicions. In defeating his last foe, Licinius, Constantine became the sole emperor of the Roman empire ; the first since the elevation of Maximian to the status of augustus by Diocletian in April 286. After his conquest of the eastern portion of the Roman Empire Constantine made the momentous decision to give the east its own capital, and the empire as a whole its second. He chose the city of Byzantium renamed Constantinopolis as the site of this new foundation. Caesar Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus 27 February c. 272 22 May 337, commonly known in English as Constantine I , Constantine the Great , or (among Eastern Orthodox , Coptic Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Christians) Saint Constantine , was Roman emperor from 306, and the undisputed holder of that office from 324 until his death in 337. Best known for being the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine reversed the persecutions of his predecessor, Diocletian , and issued (with his co-emperor Licinius) the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious toleration throughout the empire. The Byzantine liturgical calendar, observed by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches of Byzantine rite , lists both Constantine and his mother Helena as saints. Although he is not included in the Latin Church’s list of saints, which does recognize several other Constantines as saints, he is revered under the title “The Great” for his contributions to Christianity. Constantine also transformed the ancient Greek colony of Byzantium into a new imperial residence, Constantinople , which would remain the capital of the Byzantine Empire for over one thousand years. One of the great Roman emperors, Constantine rose to power when his father Constantius Chlorus died in the year 306 while campaigning against Scottish tribes. He later went on to defeat the rival emperor Maxentius in the decisive battle of Milvian Bridge in 312. He is credited for several great landmarks in history and is probably best memorialized by the city that bore his name for hundreds of years: Constantinople. Although now renamed Istanbul, this city was to be the seat of power for all Byzantine emperors for the next 1100 years. Constantine is also remembered as the first Roman emperor who embraced Christianity and instituted the buildings and papal dynasty that eventually grew into what is today the Vatican and the Pope. The latter part of his life saw his commitment to the church rise in step with the increasing repression against old-school paganism. He left behind several sons who would, after his death, turn on each other and generally undo much of the stability that Constantine had fought so hard to bring about. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. The item “Constantine I the Great Ancient Roman Coin Victory Over Licinius I i31356″ is in sale since Sunday, January 20, 2013. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Ruler: Constantine I

Jun 29 2018

CONSTANTINE II son of Constantine the Great Ancient Roman Coin Standards i47033

CONSTANTINE II son of Constantine the Great Ancient Roman Coin Standards i47033

Item: i47033 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Constantine II’Junior’ – Roman Emperor : 337-340 A. Bronze AE3 19mm (2.58 grams) Heraclea mint: 330-336 A. Reference: RIC 112 (VII, Heraclea) CONSTANTINVSIVNNOBC – Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right. GLORIAEXERCITVS Exe: SMH – Two soldiers standing either side of two standards. The standards with discs, or signa (first three on left) belong to centuriae of the legion (the image does not show the heads of the standards – whether spear-head or wreathed-palm). Note (second from right) the legion’s aquila. The standard on the extreme right probably portrays the She-wolf (lupa) which fed Romulus , the legendary founder of Rome. (This was the emblem of Legio VI Ferrata , a legion then based in Judaea , a detachment of which is known to have fought in Dacia). Detail from Trajan’s Column, Rome. Modern reenactors parade with replicas of various legionary standards. From left to right: signum (spear-head type), with four discs; signum (wreathed-palm type), with six discs; imago of ruling emperor; legionary aquila ; vexillum of commander (legatus) of Legio XXX Ulpia Victrix , with embroidered name and emblem (Capricorn) of legion. Each tactical unit in the imperial army, from centuria upwards, had its own standard. This consisted of a pole with a variety of adornments that was borne by dedicated standard-bearers who normally held the rank of duplicarius. Military standards had the practical use of communicating to unit members where the main body of the unit was situated, so that they would not be separated, in the same way that modern tour-group guides use umbrellas or flags. But military standards were also invested with a mystical quality, representing the divine spirit (genius) of the unit and were revered as such (soldiers frequently prayed before their standards). The loss of a unit’s standard to the enemy was considered a terrible stain on the unit’s honour, which could only be fully expunged by its recovery. The standard of a centuria was known as a signum , which was borne by the unit’s signifer. It consisted of a pole topped by either an open palm of a human hand or by a spear-head. The open palm, it has been suggested, originated as a symbol of the maniple (manipulus = “handful”), the smallest tactical unit in the Roman army of the mid-Republic. The poles were adorned with two to six silver discs (the significance of which is uncertain). In addition, the pole would be adorned by a variety of cross-pieces (including, at bottom, a crescent-moon symbol and a tassel). The standard would also normally sport a cross-bar with tassels. The standard of a Praetorian cohort or an auxiliary cohort or ala was known as a vexillum or banner. This was a square flag, normally red in colour, hanging from a crossbar on the top of the pole. Stitched on the flag would be the name of the unit and/or an image of a god. An exemplar found in Egypt bears an image of the goddess Victory on a red background. The vexillum was borne by a vexillarius. A legionary detachment (vexillatio) would also have its own vexillum. Finally, a vexillum traditionally marked the commander’s position on the battlefield. The exception to the red colour appears to have been the Praetorian Guard, whose vexilla , similar to their clothing, favoured a blue background. From the time of Marius (consul 107 BC), the standard of all legions was the aquila (“eagle”). The pole was surmounted by a sculpted eagle of solid gold, or at least gold-plated silver, carrying thunderbolts in its claws representing Jupiter , the highest Roman god. Otherwise the pole was unadorned. No exemplar of a legionary eagle has ever been found (doubtless because any found in later centuries were melted down for their gold content). The eagle was borne by the aquilifer , the legion’s most senior standard-bearer. So important were legionary eagles as symbols of Roman military prestige and power, that the imperial government would go to extraordinary lengths to recover those captured by the enemy. This would include launching full-scale invasions of the enemy’s territory, sometimes decades after the eagles had been lost e. The expedition in 28 BC by Marcus Licinius Crassus against Genucla Isaccea, near modern Tulcea , Rom. In the Danube delta region, a fortress of the Getae , to recover standards lost 33 years earlier by Gaius Antonius , an earlier proconsul of Macedonia. Or the campaigns of AD 14-17 to recover the three eagles lost by Varus in AD 6 in the Teutoburg Forest. Under Augustus, it became the practice for legions to carry portraits (imagines) of the ruling emperor and his immediate family members. An imago was usually a bronze bust carried on top of a pole like a standard by an imaginifer. From around the time of Hadrian r. 117-38, some auxiliary alae adopted the dragon-standard (draco) commonly carried by Sarmatian cavalry squadrons. This was a long cloth wind-sock attached to an ornate sculpture of an open dragon’s mouth. When the bearer (draconarius) was galloping, it would make a strong hissing-sound. The Roman army awarded a variety of individual decorations (dona) for valour to its legionaries. Hasta pura was a miniature spear; phalerae were large medal-like bronze or silver discs worn on the cuirass; armillae were bracelets worn on the wrist; and torques were worn round the neck, or on the cuirass. The highest awards were the coronae (“crowns”), of which the most prestigious was the corona civica , a crown made oak-leaves awarded for saving the life of a fellow Roman citizen in battle. The most valuable award was the corona muralis , a crown made of gold awarded to the first man to scale an enemy rampart. This was awarded rarely, as such a man hardly ever survived. There is no evidence that auxiliary common soldiers received individual decorations like legionaries, although auxiliary officers did. Instead, the whole regiment was honoured by a title reflecting the type of award e. Torquata (“awarded a torque”) or armillata (“awarded bracelets”). Some regiments would, in the course of time, accumulate a long list of titles and decorations e. Cohors I Brittonum Ulpia torquata pia fidelis c. Flavius Claudius Constantinus , known in English as Constantine II , (316-340) was Roman Emperor from 337 to 340. The eldest son of Constantine the Great and Fausta , he was born at Arles , and was raised as a Christian. Constantine was made Caesar , and at the age of seven in 323, took part in his father’s campaign against the Sarmatians. At the age of ten he became commander of Gaul , after the death of his half-brother Crispus. An inscription dating to 330 records the title of Alamannicus , so it is probable that his generals won a victory over the Alamanni. His military career continued when Constantine I elected his son field commander during the 332 campaign against the Goths. Following the death of his father in 337, Constantine II became emperor jointly with his brothers Constantius II and Constans. After the division of the empire, made by the three brothers in September of the same year in Pannonia, he ruled over Gaul , Britannia and Hispania. He was involved in the struggle between the different Christian streams. The Western portion of the empire leaned towards Catholicism and against Arianism , and Constantine freed Athanasius and allowed him to return to Alexandria. This action also put some burden on Constantius II, who was a supporter of Arianism. At first, he was the guardian of his younger brother Constans, whose portion was Italia , Africa and Illyricum. As Constans came of age, Constantine would not relinquish the guardianship and in 340 he marched against Constans in Italy, but was defeated at Aquileia and he was killed in an ambush in Cervignano del Friuli. Constans came to control his deceased brother’s realm. Division of the Roman Empire among the Caesars appointed by Constantine I : from left to right, the territories of Constantine II, Constans I , Dalmatius and Constantius II. After the death of Constantine I (May 337), this was the formal division of the Empire, until Dalmatius was killed and his territory divided between Constans and Constantius. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. The item “CONSTANTINE II son of Constantine the Great Ancient Roman Coin Standards i47033″ is in sale since Monday, February 9, 2015. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Ruler: Constantine II

Jun 22 2018

Ancient Roman She Wolf & Twins Constantine the Great Coin 925 Silver Ring Sz 11

Ancient Roman She Wolf & Twins Constantine the Great Coin 925 Silver Ring Sz 11

Ancient Roman She Wolf & Twins Constantine the Great Coin 925 Silver Ring Sz 11

Ancient Roman She Wolf & Twins Constantine the Great Coin 925 Silver Ring Sz 11

Ancient Roman She Wolf & Twins Constantine the Great Coin 925 Silver Ring Sz 11

Ancient Roman She Wolf & Twins Constantine the Great Coin 925 Silver Ring Sz 11

Ancient Roman She Wolf & Twins Constantine the Great Coin 925 Silver Ring Sz 11

Ancient Roman She Wolf & Twins Constantine the Great Coin 925 Silver Ring Sz 11

Ancient Roman She Wolf & Twins Constantine the Great Coin 925 Silver Ring Sz 11

Ancient Roman She Wolf & Twins Constantine the Great Coin 925 Silver Ring Sz 11

Ancient Roman She Wolf & Twins Constantine the Great Coin 925 Silver Ring Sz 11

Authentic Ancient 4th Century AD, about 1700 years Old! Coin of the First Christian Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, Set in a 925 Solid Sterling Silver Ring. The Ring’s Size is US 11. The coin minted in Cyzicus (modern Kapu Dagh, Turkey) during the lifetime of Constantine the Great. Please take a look at the photos the actual ring pictured. Thank you for looking. To celebrate the establishment of the new capital, Constantinople, Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman Emperor, issued a bronze coin to honor Rome, the old capital. The coin`s obverse legend reads URBS ROMA (city of Rome), while its reverse shows the she-wolf and twins which recalls Rome`s founding story. Constantine the Great Latin: Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus; Greek: ; 27 February c. 272 AD 22 May 337 AD, also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine (in the Orthodox Church as Saint Constantine the Great, Equal-to-the-Apostles), was a Roman Emperor from 306 to 337 AD. Constantine was the son of Flavius Valerius Constantius, a Roman army officer, and his consort Helena. His father became Caesar, the deputy emperor in the west in 293 AD. Constantine was sent east, where he rose through the ranks to become a military tribune under the emperors Diocletian and Galerius. In 305, Constantius was raised to the rank of Augustus, senior western emperor, and Constantine was recalled west to campaign under his father in Britannia (Britain). Acclaimed as emperor by the army at Eboracum (modern-day York) after his father’s death in 306 AD, Constantine emerged victorious in a series of civil wars against the emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of both west and east by 324 AD. As emperor, Constantine enacted many administrative, financial, social, and military reforms to strengthen the empire. The government was restructured and civil and military authority separated. A new gold coin, the solidus, was introduced to combat inflation. It would become the standard for Byzantine and European currencies for more than a thousand years. The first Roman emperor to claim conversion to Christianity, Constantine played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which decreed tolerance for Christianity in the empire. He called the First Council of Nicaea in 325, at which the Nicene Creed was professed by Christians. In military matters, the Roman army was reorganised to consist of mobile field units and garrison soldiers capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiersthe Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths, and the Sarmatianseven resettling territories abandoned by his predecessors during the Crisis of the Third Century. The age of Constantine marked a distinct epoch in the history of the Roman Empire. He built a new imperial residence at Byzantium and renamed the city Constantinople after himself (the laudatory epithet of “New Rome” came later, and was never an official title). It would later become the capital of the Empire for over one thousand years; for which reason the later Eastern Empire would come to be known as the Byzantine Empire. His more immediate political legacy was that, in leaving the empire to his sons, he replaced Diocletian’s tetrarchy with the principle of dynastic succession. His reputation flourished during the lifetime of his children and centuries after his reign. The medieval church upheld him as a paragon of virtue while secular rulers invoked him as a prototype, a point of reference, and the symbol of imperial legitimacy and identity. Beginning with the Renaissance, there were more critical appraisals of his reign due to the rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources. Critics portrayed him as a tyrant. Trends in modern and recent scholarship attempted to balance the extremes of previous scholarship. Constantine is a significant figure in the history of Christianity. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on his orders at the purported site of Jesus’ tomb in Jerusalem, became the holiest place in Christendom. The Papal claim to temporal power in the High Middle Ages was based on the supposed Donation of Constantine. He is venerated as a saint by Eastern Orthodox, Byzantine Catholics, and Anglicans. The item “Ancient Roman She Wolf & Twins Constantine the Great Coin 925 Silver Ring Sz 11″ is in sale since Sunday, April 22, 2018. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “sport_authority” and is located in Orlando, Florida. This item can be shipped worldwide.

Jun 21 2018

CONSTANTINE I the GREAT 330AD Romulus Remus WOLF Ancient Roman Coin NGC i69155

CONSTANTINE I the GREAT 330AD Romulus Remus WOLF Ancient Roman Coin NGC i69155

CONSTANTINE I the GREAT 330AD Romulus Remus WOLF Ancient Roman Coin NGC i69155

CONSTANTINE I the GREAT 330AD Romulus Remus WOLF Ancient Roman Coin NGC i69155

CONSTANTINE I the GREAT 330AD Romulus Remus WOLF Ancient Roman Coin NGC i69155

Item: i69155 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Constantine I’The Great. Rome’s Founding by Romulus & Remus Commemorative. Bronze AE3 17mm (2.52 grams) Struck circa 330-335 A. Ch VF 4680703-014 VRBS ROMA, helmeted, mantled bust of Roma left. She-Wolf ” Lupa Romana” standing left, suckling Rome’s founders, the twins Romulus and Remus; two stars above. By circa 330 A. Constantine the Great completed his new capital for the Roman empire and called it Constantinople after himself, originally the ancient Greek city named Byzantium. Constantinople lay in a strategically imporant location and could be considered the continuation of the Roman empire in the east until about 1453 A. When it fell to the Ottoman Turks. For this momentous occasion, he issued two coin types commemorating this event, with one celebrating Rome and the other Constantinople. The type that commemorated Rome. Had the personification of Rome, Roma with the inscription VRBS ROMA and the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus on the reverse suckling the mythical she-wolf. The type that commemorated Constantinople. Had the personification of Constantinople on the obverse and Victory on a galley sailing with a shield. This was a great way for Constantine the Great to pay homage to both Rome and Constantinople as now the Roman empire had two official capitals. Read the Constantine the Great Ancient Roman Coins Guide. To learn more about his coins. Romulus and Remus are Rome’s twin founders in its traditional foundation myth. They are descendants of the Trojan prince and refugee Aeneas, and are fathered by the god Mars or the demi-god Hercules on a royal Vestal Virgin, Rhea Silvia, whose uncle exposes them to die in the wild. They are found by a she-wolf who suckles and cares for them. The twins are eventually restored to their regal birthright, acquire many followers and decide to found a new city. Romulus wishes to build the new city on the Palatine Hill; Remus prefers the Aventine Hill. They agree to determine the site through augury. Romulus appears to receive the more favourable signs but each claims the results in his favour. In the disputes that follow, Remus is killed. Ovid has Romulus invent the festival of Lemuria to appease Remus’ resentful ghost. Romulus names the new city Rome, after himself, and goes on to create the Roman Legions and the Roman Senate. He adds citizens to his new city by abducting the women of the neighboring Sabine tribes, which results in the combination of Sabines and Romans as one Roman people. Rome rapidly expands to become a dominant force, due to divine favour and the inspired administrative, military and political leadership of Romulus. In later life Romulus becomes increasingly autocratic, disappears in mysterious circumstances and is deified as the god Quirinus, the divine persona of the Roman people. The legend of Romulus and Remus encapsulates Rome’s ideas of itself, its origins, moral values and purpose: it has also been described as one of the most problematic of all foundation myths. Romulus’ name is thought to be a back-formation from the name Rome; Remus’ is a matter for ancient and modern speculation. The main sources for the legend approach it as history and offer an implausibly exact chronology: Roman historians dated the city’s foundation variously from 758 to 728 BC. Plutarch says Romulus was fifty-three at his death; which reckoning gives the twins’ birth year as c. Possible historical bases for the broad mythological narrative remain unclear and much disputed. Romulus and Remus are eminent among the feral children of ancient mythography. Caesar (Recognized): 306-309 A. Constantina wife of Hanniballianus. And Helena the Younger wife of Julian II. Constantine the Great Latin: Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus ; 27 February c. 272 AD – 22 May 337 AD, also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine (in the Orthodox Church as Saint Constantine the Great, Equal-to-the-Apostles), was a Roman Emperor from 306 to 337 AD. Constantine was the son of Flavius Valerius Constantius, a Roman army officer, and his consort Helena. His father became Caesar , the deputy emperor in the west in 293 AD. Constantine was sent east, where he rose through the ranks to become a military tribune under the emperors Diocletian and Galerius. In 305, Constantius was raised to the rank of Augustus , senior western emperor, and Constantine was recalled west to campaign under his father in Britannia (Britain). Acclaimed as emperor by the army at Eboracum (modern-day York) after his father’s death in 306 AD, Constantine emerged victorious in a series of civil wars against the emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of both west and east by 324 AD. As emperor, Constantine enacted many administrative, financial, social, and military reforms to strengthen the empire. The government was restructured and civil and military authority separated. A new gold coin, the solidus, was introduced to combat inflation. It would become the standard for Byzantine and European currencies for more than a thousand years. The first Roman emperor to claim conversion to Christianity, Constantine played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which decreed tolerance for Christianity in the empire. He called the First Council of Nicaea in 325, at which the Nicene Creed was professed by Christians. In military matters, the Roman army was reorganised to consist of mobile field units and garrison soldiers capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers-the Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths, and the Sarmatians-even resettling territories abandoned by his predecessors during the Crisis of the Third Century. The age of Constantine marked a distinct epoch in the history of the Roman Empire. He built a new imperial residence at Byzantium and renamed the city Constantinople after himself (the laudatory epithet of “New Rome” came later, and was never an official title). It would later become the capital of the Empire for over one thousand years; for which reason the later Eastern Empire would come to be known as the Byzantine Empire. His more immediate political legacy was that, in leaving the empire to his sons, he replaced Diocletian’s tetrarchy with the principle of dynastic succession. His reputation flourished during the lifetime of his children and centuries after his reign. The medieval church upheld him as a paragon of virtue while secular rulers invoked him as a prototype, a point of reference, and the symbol of imperial legitimacy and identity. Beginning with the Renaissance, there were more critical appraisals of his reign due to the rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources. Critics portrayed him as a tyrant. Trends in modern and recent scholarship attempted to balance the extremes of previous scholarship. Constantine is a significant figure in the history of Christianity. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on his orders at the purported site of Jesus’ tomb in Jerusalem, became the holiest place in Christendom. The Papal claim to temporal power in the High Middle Ages was based on the supposed Donation of Constantine. He is venerated as a saint by Eastern Orthodox, Byzantine Catholics, and Anglicans. Constantine was a ruler of major historical importance, and he has always been a controversial figure. The fluctuations in Constantine’s reputation reflect the nature of the ancient sources for his reign. These are abundant and detailed, but have been strongly influenced by the official propaganda of the period, and are often one-sided. There are no surviving histories or biographies dealing with Constantine’s life and rule. The nearest replacement is Eusebius of Caesarea’s Vita Constantini , a work that is a mixture of eulogy and hagiography. Written between 335 AD and circa 339 AD, the Vita extols Constantine’s moral and religious virtues. The Vita creates a contentiously positive image of Constantine, and modern historians have frequently challenged its reliability. The fullest secular life of Constantine is the anonymous Origo Constantini. A work of uncertain date, the Origo focuses on military and political events, to the neglect of cultural and religious matters. Lactantius’ De Mortibus Persecutorum , a political Christian pamphlet on the reigns of Diocletian and the Tetrarchy, provides valuable but tendentious detail on Constantine’s predecessors and early life. The ecclesiastical histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret describe the ecclesiastic disputes of Constantine’s later reign. Written during the reign of Theodosius II (408-50 AD), a century after Constantine’s reign, these ecclesiastic historians obscure the events and theologies of the Constantinian period through misdirection, misrepresentation and deliberate obscurity. The contemporary writings of the orthodox Christian Athanasius and the ecclesiastical history of the Arian Philostorgius also survive, though their biases are no less firm. The epitomes of Aurelius Victor (De Caesaribus), Eutropius (Breviarium), Festus (Breviarium), and the anonymous author of the Epitome de Caesaribus offer compressed secular political and military histories of the period. Although not Christian, the epitomes paint a favorable image of Constantine, but omit reference to Constantine’s religious policies. The Panegyrici Latini , a collection of panegyrics from the late third and early fourth centuries, provide valuable information on the politics and ideology of the tetrarchic period and the early life of Constantine. Contemporary architecture, such as the Arch of Constantine in Rome and palaces in Gamzigrad and Córdoba, epigraphic remains, and the coinage of the era complement the literary sources. Remains of the luxurious residence palace of Mediana, erected by Constantine I near his birth town of Naissus. Flavius Valerius Constantinus, as he was originally named, was born in the city of Naissus, (today Ni, Serbia) part of the Dardania province of Moesia on 27 February, probably c. His father was Flavius Constantius, an Illyrian, and a native of Dardania province of Moesia (later Dacia Ripensis). Constantine probably spent little time with his father who was an officer in the Roman army, part of the Emperor Aurelian’s imperial bodyguard. Being described as a tolerant and politically skilled man, Constantius advanced through the ranks, earning the governorship of Dalmatia from Emperor Diocletian, another of Aurelian’s companions from Illyricum, in 284 or 285. Constantine’s mother was Helena, possibly a Bithynian woman of low social standing. It is uncertain whether she was legally married to Constantius or merely his concubine. It is unclear if Constantine could speak Thracian, his main language being Latin, and during his public speeches he needed Greek translators. Constantine’s parents and siblings, the dates in square brackets indicate the possession of minor titles. In July 285 AD, Diocletian declared Maximian, another colleague from Illyricum, his co-emperor. Each emperor would have his own court, his own military and administrative faculties, and each would rule with a separate praetorian prefect as chief lieutenant. Maximian ruled in the West, from his capitals at Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) or Augusta Treverorum (Trier, Germany), while Diocletian ruled in the East, from Nicomedia (zmit, Turkey). The division was merely pragmatic: the Empire was called “indivisible” in official panegyric, and both emperors could move freely throughout the Empire. In 288, Maximian appointed Constantius to serve as his praetorian prefect in Gaul. Constantius left Helena to marry Maximian’s stepdaughter Theodora in 288 or 289. Diocletian divided the Empire again in 293 AD, appointing two Caesars (junior emperors) to rule over further subdivisions of East and West. Each would be subordinate to their respective Augustus (senior emperor) but would act with supreme authority in his assigned lands. This system would later be called the Tetrarchy. Diocletian’s first appointee for the office of Caesar was Constantius; his second was Galerius, a native of Felix Romuliana. According to Lactantius, Galerius was a brutal, animalistic man. Although he shared the paganism of Rome’s aristocracy, he seemed to them an alien figure, a semi-barbarian. On 1 March, Constantius was promoted to the office of Caesar, and dispatched to Gaul to fight the rebels Carausius and Allectus. In spite of meritocratic overtones, the Tetrarchy retained vestiges of hereditary privilege, and Constantine became the prime candidate for future appointment as Caesar as soon as his father took the position. Constantine went to the court of Diocletian, where he lived as his father’s heir presumptive. Head from a statue of Diocletian, Augustus of the East. Constantine received a formal education at Diocletian’s court, where he learned Latin literature, Greek, and philosophy. The cultural environment in Nicomedia was open, fluid and socially mobile, and Constantine could mix with intellectuals both pagan and Christian. He may have attended the lectures of Lactantius, a Christian scholar of Latin in the city. Because Diocletian did not completely trust Constantius-none of the Tetrarchs fully trusted their colleagues-Constantine was held as something of a hostage, a tool to ensure Constantius’s best behavior. Constantine was nonetheless a prominent member of the court: he fought for Diocletian and Galerius in Asia, and served in a variety of tribunates; he campaigned against barbarians on the Danube in 296 AD, and fought the Persians under Diocletian in Syria (297 AD) and under Galerius in Mesopotamia (298-299 AD). By late 305 AD, he had become a tribune of the first order, a tribunus ordinis primi. In late 302, Diocletian and Galerius sent a messenger to the oracle of Apollo at Didyma with an inquiry about Christians. On 23 February 303 AD, Diocletian ordered the destruction of Nicomedia’s new church, condemned its scriptures to the flames, and had its treasures seized. In the months that followed, churches and scriptures were destroyed, Christians were deprived of official ranks, and priests were imprisoned. It is unlikely that Constantine played any role in the persecution. In his later writings he would attempt to present himself as an opponent of Diocletian’s “sanguinary edicts” against the “worshippers of God”, but nothing indicates that he opposed it effectively at the time. Although no contemporary Christian challenged Constantine for his inaction during the persecutions, it remained a political liability throughout his life. On 1 May 305 AD, Diocletian, as a result of a debilitating sickness taken in the winter of 304-305 AD, announced his resignation. In a parallel ceremony in Milan, Maximian did the same. Lactantius states that Galerius manipulated the weakened Diocletian into resigning, and forced him to accept Galerius’ allies in the imperial succession. According to Lactantius, the crowd listening to Diocletian’s resignation speech believed, until the very last moment, that Diocletian would choose Constantine and Maxentius (Maximian’s son) as his successors. It was not to be: Constantius and Galerius were promoted to Augusti, while Severus and Maximinus Daia, Galerius’ nephew, were appointed their Caesars respectively. Constantine and Maxentius were ignored. Some of the ancient sources detail plots that Galerius made on Constantine’s life in the months following Diocletian’s abdication. They assert that Galerius assigned Constantine to lead an advance unit in a cavalry charge through a swamp on the middle Danube, made him enter into single combat with a lion, and attempted to kill him in hunts and wars. It is uncertain how much these tales can be trusted. Constantine recognized the implicit danger in remaining at Galerius’s court, where he was held as a virtual hostage. His career depended on being rescued by his father in the west. Constantius was quick to intervene. In the late spring or early summer of 305 AD, Constantius requested leave for his son to help him campaign in Britain. After a long evening of drinking, Galerius granted the request. Constantine’s later propaganda describes how he fled the court in the night, before Galerius could change his mind. He rode from post-house to post-house at high speed, hamstringing every horse in his wake. By the time Galerius awoke the following morning, Constantine had fled too far to be caught. Constantine joined his father in Gaul, at Bononia (Boulogne) before the summer of 305 AD. Bronze statue of Constantine I in York, England, near the spot where he was proclaimed Augustus in 306. From Bononia they crossed the Channel to Britain and made their way to Eboracum (York), capital of the province of Britannia Secunda and home to a large military base. Constantine was able to spend a year in northern Britain at his father’s side, campaigning against the Picts beyond Hadrian’s Wall in the summer and autumn. Constantius’s campaign, like that of Septimius Severus before it, probably advanced far into the north without achieving great success. Constantius had become severely sick over the course of his reign, and died on 25 July 306 in Eboracum (York). Before dying, he declared his support for raising Constantine to the rank of full Augustus. The Alamannic king Chrocus, a barbarian taken into service under Constantius, then proclaimed Constantine as Augustus. The troops loyal to Constantius’ memory followed him in acclamation. Gaul and Britain quickly accepted his rule; Iberia, which had been in his father’s domain for less than a year, rejected it. Constantine sent Galerius an official notice of Constantius’s death and his own acclamation. Along with the notice, he included a portrait of himself in the robes of an Augustus. The portrait was wreathed in bay. He requested recognition as heir to his father’s throne, and passed off responsibility for his unlawful ascension on his army, claiming they had “forced it upon him”. Galerius was put into a fury by the message; he almost set the portrait on fire. His advisers calmed him, and argued that outright denial of Constantine’s claims would mean certain war. Galerius was compelled to compromise: he granted Constantine the title “Caesar” rather than “Augustus” (the latter office went to Severus instead). Wishing to make it clear that he alone gave Constantine legitimacy, Galerius personally sent Constantine the emperor’s traditional purple robes. Constantine accepted the decision, knowing that it would remove doubts as to his legitimacy. Constantine’s share of the Empire consisted of Britain, Gaul, and Spain. He therefore commanded one of the largest Roman armies, stationed along the important Rhine frontier. After his promotion to emperor, Constantine remained in Britain, driving back the tribes of the Picts and secured his control in the northwestern dioceses. He completed the reconstruction of military bases begun under his father’s rule, and ordered the repair of the region’s roadways. He soon left for Augusta Treverorum (Trier) in Gaul, the Tetrarchic capital of the northwestern Roman Empire. The Franks, after learning of Constantine’s acclamation, invaded Gaul across the lower Rhine over the winter of 306-307 AD. Constantine drove them back beyond the Rhine and captured two of their kings, Ascaric and Merogaisus. The kings and their soldiers were fed to the beasts of Trier’s amphitheater in the adventus (arrival) celebrations that followed. Public baths (thermae) built in Trier by Constantine. More than 100 metres (328 ft) wide by 200 metres (656 ft) long, and capable of serving several thousands at a time, the baths were built to rival those of Rome. Constantine began a major expansion of Trier. He strengthened the circuit wall around the city with military towers and fortified gates, and began building a palace complex in the northeastern part of the city. To the south of his palace, he ordered the construction of a large formal audience hall, and a massive imperial bathhouse. Constantine sponsored many building projects across Gaul during his tenure as emperor of the West, especially in Augustodunum (Autun) and Arelate (Arles). According to Lactantius, Constantine followed his father in following a tolerant policy towards Christianity. Although not yet a Christian, he probably judged it a more sensible policy than open persecution, and a way to distinguish himself from the “great persecutor”, Galerius. Because Constantine was still largely untried and had a hint of illegitimacy about him, he relied on his father’s reputation in his early propaganda: the earliest panegyrics to Constantine give as much coverage to his father’s deeds as to those of Constantine himself. Constantine’s military skill and building projects soon gave the panegyrist the opportunity to comment favorably on the similarities between father and son, and Eusebius remarked that Constantine was a “renewal, as it were, in his own person, of his father’s life and reign”. Constantinian coinage, sculpture and oratory also shows a new tendency for disdain towards the “barbarians” beyond the frontiers. After Constantine’s victory over the Alemanni, he minted a coin issue depicting weeping and begging Alemannic tribesmen-”The Alemanni conquered”-beneath the phrase “Romans’ rejoicing”. There was little sympathy for these enemies. As his panegyrist declared: It is a stupid clemency that spares the conquered foe. Dresden bust of Maxentius. Following Galerius’ recognition of Constantine as caesar, Constantine’s portrait was brought to Rome, as was customary. Maxentius mocked the portrait’s subject as the son of a harlot, and lamented his own powerlessness. Maxentius, envious of Constantine’s authority, seized the title of emperor on 28 October 306 AD. Galerius refused to recognize him, but failed to unseat him. Galerius sent Severus against Maxentius, but during the campaign, Severus’ armies, previously under command of Maxentius’ father Maximian, defected, and Severus was seized and imprisoned. Maximian, brought out of retirement by his son’s rebellion, left for Gaul to confer with Constantine in late 307 AD. He offered to marry his daughter Fausta to Constantine, and elevate him to Augustan rank. In return, Constantine would reaffirm the old family alliance between Maximian and Constantius, and offer support to Maxentius’ cause in Italy. Constantine accepted, and married Fausta in Trier in late summer 307 AD. Constantine now gave Maxentius his meagre support, offering Maxentius political recognition. Constantine remained aloof from the Italian conflict, however. Over the spring and summer of 307 AD, he had left Gaul for Britain to avoid any involvement in the Italian turmoil; now, instead of giving Maxentius military aid, he sent his troops against Germanic tribes along the Rhine. In 308 AD, he raided the territory of the Bructeri, and made a bridge across the Rhine at Colonia Agrippinensium (Cologne). In 310 AD, he marched to the northern Rhine and fought the Franks. When not campaigning, he toured his lands advertising his benevolence, and supporting the economy and the arts. His refusal to participate in the war increased his popularity among his people, and strengthened his power base in the West. On 11 November 308 AD, Galerius called a general council at the military city of Carnuntum (Petronell-Carnuntum, Austria) to resolve the instability in the western provinces. Maximian was forced to abdicate again and Constantine was again demoted to Caesar. Licinius, one of Galerius’ old military companions, was appointed Augustus in the western regions. The new system did not last long: Constantine refused to accept the demotion, and continued to style himself as Augustus on his coinage, even as other members of the Tetrarchy referred to him as a Caesar on theirs. Maximinus Daia was frustrated that he had been passed over for promotion while the newcomer Licinius had been raised to the office of Augustus, and demanded that Galerius promote him. Galerius offered to call both Maximinus and Constantine “sons of the Augusti”, but neither accepted the new title. By the spring of 310 AD, Galerius was referring to both men as Augusti. In 310 AD, a dispossessed Maximian rebelled against Constantine while Constantine was away campaigning against the Franks. Maximian had been sent south to Arles with a contingent of Constantine’s army, in preparation for any attacks by Maxentius in southern Gaul. He announced that Constantine was dead, and took up the imperial purple. In spite of a large donative pledge to any who would support him as emperor, most of Constantine’s army remained loyal to their emperor, and Maximian was soon compelled to leave. Constantine soon heard of the rebellion, abandoned his campaign against the Franks, and marched his army up the Rhine. At Cabillunum (Chalon-sur-Saône), he moved his troops onto waiting boats to row down the slow waters of the Saône to the quicker waters of the Rhone. He disembarked at Lugdunum (Lyon). Maximian fled to Massilia (Marseille), a town better able to withstand a long siege than Arles. It made little difference, however, as loyal citizens opened the rear gates to Constantine. Maximian was captured and reproved for his crimes. Constantine granted some clemency, but strongly encouraged his suicide. In July 310 AD, Maximian hanged himself. In spite of the earlier rupture in their relations, Maxentius was eager to present himself as his father’s devoted son after his death. He began minting coins with his father’s deified image, proclaiming his desire to avenge Maximian’s death. Constantine initially presented the suicide as an unfortunate family tragedy. By 311 AD, however, he was spreading another version. According to this, after Constantine had pardoned him, Maximian planned to murder Constantine in his sleep. Fausta learned of the plot and warned Constantine, who put a eunuch in his own place in bed. Maximian was apprehended when he killed the eunuch and was offered suicide, which he accepted. Along with using propaganda, Constantine instituted a damnatio memoriae on Maximian, destroying all inscriptions referring to him and eliminating any public work bearing his image. The death of Maximian required a shift in Constantine’s public image. He could no longer rely on his connection to the elder emperor Maximian, and needed a new source of legitimacy. In a speech delivered in Gaul on 25 July 310 AD, the anonymous orator reveals a previously unknown dynastic connection to Claudius II, a 3rd Century emperor famed for defeating the Goths and restoring order to the empire. Breaking away from tetrarchic models, the speech emphasizes Constantine’s ancestral prerogative to rule, rather than principles of imperial equality. The new ideology expressed in the speech made Galerius and Maximian irrelevant to Constantine’s right to rule. Indeed, the orator emphasizes ancestry to the exclusion of all other factors: “No chance agreement of men, nor some unexpected consequence of favor, made you emperor, ” the orator declares to Constantine. The oration also moves away from the religious ideology of the Tetrarchy, with its focus on twin dynasties of Jupiter and Hercules. Instead, the orator proclaims that Constantine experienced a divine vision of Apollo and Victory granting him laurel wreaths of health and a long reign. In the likeness of Apollo Constantine recognized himself as the saving figure to whom would be granted “rule of the whole world”, as the poet Virgil had once foretold. The oration’s religious shift is paralleled by a similar shift in Constantine’s coinage. In his early reign, the coinage of Constantine advertised Mars as his patron. From 310 AD on, Mars was replaced by Sol Invictus, a god conventionally identified with Apollo. There is little reason to believe that either the dynastic connection or the divine vision are anything other than fiction, but their proclamation strengthened Constantine’s claims to legitimacy and increased his popularity among the citizens of Gaul. See also: Civil wars of the Tetrarchy. By the middle of 310 AD, Galerius had become too ill to involve himself in imperial politics. His final act survives: a letter to the provincials posted in Nicomedia on 30 April 311 AD, proclaiming an end to the persecutions, and the resumption of religious toleration. He died soon after the edict’s proclamation, destroying what little remained of the tetrarchy. Maximinus mobilized against Licinius, and seized Asia Minor. A hasty peace was signed on a boat in the middle of the Bosphorus. While Constantine toured Britain and Gaul, Maxentius prepared for war. He fortified northern Italy, and strengthened his support in the Christian community by allowing it to elect a new Bishop of Rome, Eusebius. Maxentius’ rule was nevertheless insecure. By 312 AD, he was a man barely tolerated, not one actively supported, even among Christian Italians. In the summer of 311 AD, Maxentius mobilized against Constantine while Licinius was occupied with affairs in the East. He declared war on Constantine, vowing to avenge his father’s “murder”. To prevent Maxentius from forming an alliance against him with Licinius, Constantine forged his own alliance with Licinius over the winter of 311-312 AD, and offered him his sister Constantia in marriage. Maximin considered Constantine’s arrangement with Licinius an affront to his authority. According to Eusebius, inter-regional travel became impossible, and there was military buildup everywhere. There was “not a place where people were not expecting the onset of hostilities every day”. Constantine’s advisers and generals cautioned against preemptive attack on Maxentius; even his soothsayers recommended against it, stating that the sacrifices had produced unfavorable omens. Constantine, with a spirit that left a deep impression on his followers, inspiring some to believe that he had some form of supernatural guidance, ignored all these cautions. Early in the spring of 312 AD, Constantine crossed the Cottian Alps with a quarter of his army, a force numbering about 40,000. The first town his army encountered was Segusium (Susa, Italy), a heavily fortified town that shut its gates to him. Constantine ordered his men to set fire to its gates and scale its walls. He took the town quickly. Constantine ordered his troops not to loot the town, and advanced with them into northern Italy. At the approach to the west of the important city of Augusta Taurinorum (Turin, Italy), Constantine met a large force of heavily armed Maxentian cavalry. In the ensuing battle Constantine’s army encircled Maxentius’ cavalry, flanked them with his own cavalry, and dismounted them with blows from his soldiers’ iron-tipped clubs. Constantine’s armies emerged victorious. Turin refused to give refuge to Maxentius’ retreating forces, opening its gates to Constantine instead. Other cities of the north Italian plain sent Constantine embassies of congratulation for his victory. He moved on to Milan, where he was met with open gates and jubilant rejoicing. Constantine rested his army in Milan until mid-summer 312 AD, when he moved on to Brixia (Brescia). Brescia’s army was easily dispersed, and Constantine quickly advanced to Verona, where a large Maxentian force was camped. Ruricius Pompeianus, general of the Veronese forces and Maxentius’ praetorian prefect, was in a strong defensive position, since the town was surrounded on three sides by the Adige. Constantine sent a small force north of the town in an attempt to cross the river unnoticed. Ruricius sent a large detachment to counter Constantine’s expeditionary force, but was defeated. Constantine’s forces successfully surrounded the town and laid siege. Constantine refused to let up on the siege, and sent only a small force to oppose him. In the desperately fought encounter that followed, Ruricius was killed and his army destroyed. Verona surrendered soon afterwards, followed by Aquileia, Mutina (Modena), and Ravenna. The road to Rome was now wide open to Constantine. The Milvian Bridge (Ponte Milvio) over the Tiber, north of Rome, where Constantine and Maxentius fought in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. Maxentius prepared for the same type of war he had waged against Severus and Galerius: he sat in Rome and prepared for a siege. He still controlled Rome’s praetorian guards, was well-stocked with African grain, and was surrounded on all sides by the seemingly impregnable Aurelian Walls. He ordered all bridges across the Tiber cut, reportedly on the counsel of the gods, and left the rest of central Italy undefended; Constantine secured that region’s support without challenge. Constantine progressed slowly along the Via Flaminia , allowing the weakness of Maxentius to draw his regime further into turmoil. Maxentius’ support continued to weaken: at chariot races on 27 October, the crowd openly taunted Maxentius, shouting that Constantine was invincible. Maxentius, no longer certain that he would emerge from a siege victorious, built a temporary boat bridge across the Tiber in preparation for a field battle against Constantine. On 28 October 312 AD, the sixth anniversary of his reign, he approached the keepers of the Sibylline Books for guidance. The keepers prophesied that, on that very day, “the enemy of the Romans” would die. Maxentius advanced north to meet Constantine in battle. The description from 28th October 312,’A cross centered on the Sun fits with modern-day photographs of Sun dogs. Constantine and his army adopt the Greek letters for Christ’s initials: Chi Rho. Further information: Battle of the Milvian Bridge. The Battle of the Milvian Bridge by Giulio Romano. Maxentius organized his forces-still twice the size of Constantine’s-in long lines facing the battle plain, with their backs to the river. Constantine’s army arrived at the field bearing unfamiliar symbols on either its standards or its soldiers’ shields. According to Lactantius, Constantine was visited by a dream the night before the battle, wherein he was advised to mark the heavenly sign of God on the shields of his soldiers… By means of a slanted letter X with the top of its head bent round, he marked Christ on their shields. ” Eusebius describes another version, where, while marching at midday, “he saw with his own eyes in the heavens a trophy of the cross arising from the light of the sun, carrying the message, In Hoc Signo Vinces or “with this sign, you will conquer”; in Eusebius’s account, Constantine had a dream the following night, in which Christ appeared with the same heavenly sign, and told him to make a standard, the labarum , for his army in that form. Eusebius is vague about when and where these events took place, but it enters his narrative before the war against Maxentius begins. Eusebius describes the sign as Chi traversed by Rho : , a symbol representing the first two letters of the Greek spelling of the word Christos or Christ. In 315 AD a medallion was issued at Ticinum showing Constantine wearing a helmet emblazoned with the Chi Rho , and coins issued at Siscia in 317/318 AD repeat the image. The figure was otherwise rare, however, and is uncommon in imperial iconography and propaganda before the 320s. Constantine deployed his own forces along the whole length of Maxentius’ line. He ordered his cavalry to charge, and they broke Maxentius’ cavalry. He then sent his infantry against Maxentius’ infantry, pushing many into the Tiber where they were slaughtered and drowned. The battle was brief: Maxentius’ troops were broken before the first charge. Maxentius’ horse guards and praetorians initially held their position, but broke under the force of a Constantinian cavalry charge; they also broke ranks and fled to the river. Maxentius rode with them, and attempted to cross the bridge of boats, but he was pushed by the mass of his fleeing soldiers into the Tiber, and drowned. Colossal head of Constantine, from a seated statue: a youthful, classicising, other-worldly official image (Metropolitan Museum of Art). Constantine entered Rome on 29 October 312. He staged a grand adventus in the city, and was met with popular jubilation. Maxentius’ body was fished out of the Tiber and decapitated. His head was paraded through the streets for all to see. After the ceremonies, Maxentius’ disembodied head was sent to Carthage; at this, Carthage would offer no further resistance. Unlike his predecessors, Constantine neglected to make the trip to the Capitoline Hill and perform customary sacrifices at the Temple of Jupiter. He did, however, choose to honor the Senatorial Curia with a visit, where he promised to restore its ancestral privileges and give it a secure role in his reformed government: there would be no revenge against Maxentius’ supporters. In response, the Senate decreed him “title of the first name”, which meant his name would be listed first in all official documents, and acclaimed him as “the greatest Augustus”. He issued decrees returning property lost under Maxentius, recalling political exiles, and releasing Maxentius’ imprisoned opponents. An extensive propaganda campaign followed, during which Maxentius’ image was systematically purged from all public places. Maxentius was written up as a “tyrant”, and set against an idealized image of the “liberator”, Constantine. Eusebius, in his later works, is the best representative of this strand of Constantinian propaganda. Maxentius’ rescripts were declared invalid, and the honors Maxentius had granted to leaders of the Senate were invalidated. Constantine also attempted to remove Maxentius’ influence on Rome’s urban landscape. All structures built by Maxentius were re-dedicated to Constantine, including the Temple of Romulus and the Basilica of Maxentius. At the focal point of the basilica, a stone statue of Constantine holding the Christian labarum in its hand was erected. Its inscription bore the message the statue had already made clear: By this sign Constantine had freed Rome from the yoke of the tyrant. Where he did not overwrite Maxentius’ achievements, Constantine upstaged them: the Circus Maximus was redeveloped so that its total seating capacity was twenty-five times larger than that of Maxentius’ racing complex on the Via Appia. Maxentius’ strongest supporters in the military were neutralized when the Praetorian Guard and Imperial Horse Guard (equites singulares) were disbanded. The tombstones of the Imperial Horse Guard were ground up and put to use in a basilica on the Via Labicana. On November 9, 312 AD, barely two weeks after Constantine captured the city, the former base of the Imperial Horse Guard was chosen for redevelopment into the Lateran Basilica. The Legio II Parthica was removed from Alba (Albano Laziale), and the remainder of Maxentius’ armies were sent to do frontier duty on the Rhine. In the following years, Constantine gradually consolidated his military superiority over his rivals in the crumbling Tetrarchy. In 313, he met Licinius in Milan to secure their alliance by the marriage of Licinius and Constantine’s half-sister Constantia. During this meeting, the emperors agreed on the so-called Edict of Milan, officially granting full tolerance to Christianity and all religions in the Empire. The document had special benefits for Christians, legalizing their religion and granting them restoration for all property seized during Diocletian’s persecution. It repudiates past methods of religious coercion and used only general terms to refer to the divine sphere-”Divinity” and “Supreme Divinity”, summa divinitas. The conference was cut short, however, when news reached Licinius that his rival Maximin had crossed the Bosporus and invaded European territory. Licinius departed and eventually defeated Maximin, gaining control over the entire eastern half of the Roman Empire. Relations between the two remaining emperors deteriorated, as Constantine suffered an assassination attempt at the hands of a character that Licinius wanted elevated to the rank of Caesar; Licinius, for his part had Constantine’s statues in Emona destroyed. In either 314 or 316 the two Augusti fought against one another at the Battle of Cibalae, with Constantine being victorious. They clashed again at the Battle of Mardia in 317, and agreed to a settlement in which Constantine’s sons Crispus and Constantine II, and Licinius’ son Licinianus were made caesars. After this arrangement, Constantine ruled the dioceses of Pannonia and Macedonia and took residence at Sirmium, whence he could wage war on the Goths and Sarmatians in 322, and on the Goths in 323. In the year 320, Licinius allegedly reneged on the religious freedom promised by the Edict of Milan in 313 and began to oppress Christians anew, generally without bloodshed, but resorting to confiscations and sacking of Christian office-holders. Although this characterization of Licinius as anti-Christian is somewhat doubtful, the fact is that he seems to have been far less open in his support of Christianity than Constantine. Therefore, Licinius was prone to see the Church as a force more loyal to Constantine than to the Imperial system in general – the explanation offered by the Church historian Sozomen. This dubious arrangement eventually became a challenge to Constantine in the West, climaxing in the great civil war of 324. Licinius, aided by Goth mercenaries, represented the past and the ancient Pagan faiths. Constantine and his Franks marched under the standard of the labarum , and both sides saw the battle in religious terms. Outnumbered, but fired by their zeal, Constantine’s army emerged victorious in the Battle of Adrianople. Licinius fled across the Bosphorus and appointed Martius Martinianus, the commander of his bodyguard, as Caesar, but Constantine next won the Battle of the Hellespont, and finally the Battle of Chrysopolis on 18 September 324. Licinius and Martinianus surrendered to Constantine at Nicomedia on the promise their lives would be spared: they were sent to live as private citizens in Thessalonica and Cappadocia respectively, but in 325 Constantine accused Licinius of plotting against him and had them both arrested and hanged; Licinius’s son (the son of Constantine’s half-sister) was also killed. Thus Constantine became the sole emperor of the Roman Empire. Coin struck by Constantine I to commemorate the founding of Constantinople. Licinius’ defeat came to represent the defeat of a rival center of Pagan and Greek-speaking political activity in the East, as opposed to the Christian and Latin-speaking Rome, and it was proposed that a new Eastern capital should represent the integration of the East into the Roman Empire as a whole, as a center of learning, prosperity, and cultural preservation for the whole of the Eastern Roman Empire. Among the various locations proposed for this alternative capital, Constantine appears to have toyed earlier with Serdica (present-day Sofia), as he was reported saying that ” Serdica is my Rome “. Sirmium and Thessalonica were also considered. Eventually, however, Constantine decided to work on the Greek city of Byzantium, which offered the advantage of having already been extensively rebuilt on Roman patterns of urbanism, during the preceding century, by Septimius Severus and Caracalla, who had already acknowledged its strategic importance. The city was thus founded in 324, dedicated on 11 May 330 and renamed Constantinopolis (“Constantine’s City” or Constantinople in English). Special commemorative coins were issued in 330 to honor the event. The new city was protected by the relics of the True Cross, the Rod of Moses and other holy relics, though a cameo now at the Hermitage Museum also represented Constantine crowned by the tyche of the new city. The figures of old gods were either replaced or assimilated into a framework of Christian symbolism. Constantine built the new Church of the Holy Apostles on the site of a temple to Aphrodite. Generations later there was the story that a divine vision led Constantine to this spot, and an angel no one else could see, led him on a circuit of the new walls. The capital would often be compared to the’old’ Rome as Nova Roma Constantinopolitana , the “New Rome of Constantinople”. Further information: Constantine I and Christianity, Constantine I and paganism, and Constantine the Great and Judaism. Constantine the Great , mosaic in Hagia Sophia, c. Constantine was the first emperor to stop Christian persecutions and to legalise Christianity along with all other religions and cults in the Roman Empire. In February 313, Constantine met with Licinius in Milan, where they developed the Edict of Milan. The edict stated that Christians should be allowed to follow the faith without oppression. The edict protected from religious persecution not only Christians but all religions, allowing anyone to worship whichever deity they chose. A similar edict had been issued in 311 by Galerius, then senior emperor of the Tetrarchy; Galerius’ edict granted Christians the right to practise their religion but did not restore any property to them. Scholars debate whether Constantine adopted his mother St. Helena’s Christianity in his youth, or whether he adopted it gradually over the course of his life. Constantine possibly retained the title of pontifex maximus , a title emperors bore as heads of the ancient Roman religion priesthood until Gratian r. 375-383 renounced the title. According to Christian writers, Constantine was over 40 when he finally declared himself a Christian, writing to Christians to make clear that he believed he owed his successes to the protection of the Christian High God alone. Throughout his rule, Constantine supported the Church financially, built basilicas, granted privileges to clergy e. His most famous building projects include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Old Saint Peter’s Basilica. Apparently Constantine did not patronize Christianity alone. After gaining victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312), a triumphal arch-the Arch of Constantine-was built (315) to celebrate his triumph. The arch is decorated with images of the goddess Victoria. At the time of its dedication, sacrifices to gods like Apollo, Diana, and Hercules were made. Absent from the Arch are any depictions of Christian symbolism. However, as the Arch was commissioned by the Senate, the absence of Christian symbols may reflect the role of the Curia at the time as a pagan redoubt. In 321, he legislated that the venerable day of the sun should be a day of rest for all citizens. In the year 323, he issued a decree banning Christians from participating in state sacrifices Furthermore, Constantine’s coinage continued to carry the symbols of the sun. After the pagan gods had disappeared from his coinage, Christian symbols appeared as Constantine’s attributes: the chi rho between his hands or on his labarum, as well on the coin itself. The reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the emperor as having great influence and ultimate regulatory authority within the religious discussions involving the early Christian councils of that time, e. Most notably the dispute over Arianism. Constantine himself disliked the risks to societal stability that religious disputes and controversies brought with them, preferring where possible to establish an orthodoxy. His influence over the early Church councils was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, and uphold ecclesiastical unity; what proper worship and doctrines and dogma consisted of was for the Church to determine, in the hands of the participating bishops. Most notably, from 313 to 316 bishops in North Africa struggled with other Christian bishops who had been ordained by Donatus in opposition to Caecilian. The African bishops could not come to terms and the Donatists asked Constantine to act as a judge in the dispute. Three regional Church councils and another trial before Constantine all ruled against Donatus and the Donatism movement in North Africa. In 317 Constantine issued an edict to confiscate Donatist church property and to send Donatist clergy into exile. More significantly, in 325 he summoned the Council of Nicaea, effectively the first Ecumenical Council (unless the Council of Jerusalem is so classified), most known for its dealing with Arianism and for instituting the Nicene Creed. Constantine enforced the prohibition of the First Council of Nicaea against celebrating the Lord’s Supper on the day before the Jewish Passover (14 Nisan) (see Quartodecimanism and Easter controversy). This marked a definite break of Christianity from the Judaic tradition. From then on the Roman Julian Calendar, a solar calendar, was given precedence over the lunisolar Hebrew Calendar among the Christian churches of the Roman Empire. Constantine made some new laws regarding the Jews, but while some of his edicts were unfavorable towards Jews, they were not harsher than those of his predecessors. It was made illegal for Jews to seek converts or to attack other Jews who had converted to Christianity. They were forbidden to own Christian slaves or to circumcise their slaves. On the other hand, Jewish clergy were given the same exemptions as Christian clergy. Head of Constantine’s colossal statue at the Capitoline Museums. The original statue of marble was acrolithic with the torso consisting of a cuirass in bronze. Beginning in the mid-3rd century the emperors began to favor members of the equestrian order over senators, who had had a monopoly on the most important offices of state. Senators were stripped of the command of legions and most provincial governorships (as it was felt that they lacked the specialized military upbringing needed in an age of acute defense needs), such posts being given to equestrians by Diocletian and his colleagues-following a practice enforced piecemeal by their predecessors. The emperors, however, still needed the talents and the help of the very rich, who were relied on to maintain social order and cohesion by means of a web of powerful influence and contacts at all levels. Exclusion of the old senatorial aristocracy threatened this arrangement. In 326, Constantine reversed this pro-equestrian trend, raising many administrative positions to senatorial rank and thus opening these offices to the old aristocracy, and at the same time elevating the rank of already existing equestrians office-holders to senator, degrading the equestrian order -at least as a bureaucratic rank -in the process, so that by the end of the 4th century the title of perfectissimus was granted only to mid-low officials. By the new Constantinian arrangement, one could become a senator, either by being elected praetor or (in most cases) by fulfilling a function of senatorial rank: from then on, holding of actual power and social status were melded together into a joint imperial hierarchy. At the same time, Constantine gained with this the support of the old nobility, as the Senate was allowed itself to elect praetors and quaestors, in place of the usual practice of the emperors directly creating new magistrates (adlectio). In one inscription in honor of city prefect (336-337) Ceionius Rufus Albinus, it was written that Constantine had restored the Senate “the auctoritas it had lost at Caesar’s time”. The Senate as a body remained devoid of any significant power; nevertheless, the senators, who had been marginalized as potential holders of imperial functions during the 3rd century, could now dispute such positions alongside more upstart bureaucrats. Some modern historians see in those administrative reforms an attempt by Constantine at reintegrating the senatorial order into the imperial administrative elite to counter the possibility of alienating pagan senators from a Christianized imperial rule; however, such an interpretation remains conjectural, given the fact that we do not have the precise numbers about pre-Constantine conversions to Christianity in the old senatorial milieu-some historians suggesting that early conversions among the old aristocracy were more numerous than previously supposed. Constantine’s reforms had to do only with the civilian administration: the military chiefs, who since the Crisis of the Third Century had risen from the ranks, remained outside the senate, in which they were included only by Constantine’s children. The failure of the various Diocletianic attempts at the restoration of a functioning silver coin resided in the fact that the silver currency was overvalued in terms of its actual metal content, and therefore could only circulate at much discounted rates. Minting of the Diocletianic “pure” silver argenteus ceased, therefore, soon after 305, while the billon currency continued to be used until the 360s. From the early 300s on, Constantine forsook any attempts at restoring the silver currency, preferring instead to concentrate on minting large quantities of good standard gold pieces-the solidus, 72 of which made a pound of gold. New (and highly debased) silver pieces would continue to be issued during Constantine’s later reign and after his death, in a continuous process of retariffing, until this bullion minting eventually ceased, de jure , in 367, with the silver piece being de facto continued by various denominations of bronze coins, the most important being the centenionalis. These bronze pieces continued to be devalued, assuring the possibility of keeping fiduciary minting alongside a gold standard. The anonymous author of the possibly contemporary treatise on military affairs De Rebus Bellicis held that, as a consequence of this monetary policy, the rift between classes widened: the rich benefited from the stability in purchasing power of the gold piece, while the poor had to cope with ever-degrading bronze pieces. Later emperors like Julian the Apostate tried to present themselves as advocates of the humiles by insisting on trustworthy mintings of the bronze currency. Constantine’s monetary policy were closely associated with his religious ones, in that increased minting was associated with measures of confiscation-taken since 331 and closed in 336-of all gold, silver and bronze statues from pagan temples, who were declared as imperial property and, as such, as monetary assets. Two imperial commissioners for each province had the task of getting hold of the statues and having them melded for immediate minting-with the exception of a number of bronze statues who were used as public monuments for the beautification of the new capital in Constantinople. Executions of Crispus and Fausta. On some date between 15 May and 17 June 326, Constantine had his eldest son Crispus, by Minervina, seized and put to death by “cold poison” at Pola (Pula, Croatia). In July, Constantine had his wife, the Empress Fausta, killed in an over-heated bath. Their names were wiped from the face of many inscriptions, references to their lives in the literary record were erased, and the memory of both was condemned. Eusebius, for example, edited praise of Crispus out of later copies of his Historia Ecclesiastica , and his Vita Constantini contains no mention of Fausta or Crispus at all. Few ancient sources are willing to discuss possible motives for the events; those few that do, offer unconvincing rationales, are of later provenance, and are generally unreliable. At the time of the executions, it was commonly believed that the Empress Fausta was either in an illicit relationship with Crispus, or was spreading rumors to that effect. A popular myth arose, modified to allude to Hippolytus-Phaedra legend, with the suggestion that Constantine killed Crispus and Fausta for their immoralities. One source, the largely fictional Passion of Artemius , probably penned in the eighth century by John of Damascus, makes the legendary connection explicit. As an interpretation of the executions, the myth rests on only “the slimmest of evidence”: sources that allude to the relationship between Crispus and Fausta are late and unreliable, and the modern suggestion that Constantine’s “godly” edicts of 326 and the irregularities of Crispus are somehow connected rests on no evidence at all. Although Constantine created his apparent heirs “Caesars”, following a pattern established by Diocletian, he gave his creations a hereditary character, alien to the tetrarchic system: Constantine’s Caesars were to be kept in the hope of ascending to Empire, and entirely subordinated to their Augustus, as long as he was alive. Therefore, an alternative explanation for the execution of Crispus was, perhaps, Constantine’s desire to keep a firm grip on his prospective heirs, this-and Fausta’s desire for having her sons inheriting instead of their half-brother-being reason enough for killing Crispus; the subsequent execution of Fausta, however, was probably meant as a reminder to her children that Constantine would not hesitate in “killing his own relatives when he felt this was necessary”. The Roman Empire in 337, showing Constantine’s conquests in Dacia across the lower Danube (shaded purple) and other Roman dependencies (light purple). Constantine considered Constantinople his capital and permanent residence. He lived there for a good portion of his later life. He rebuilt Trajan’s bridge across the Danube, in hopes of reconquering Dacia, a province that had been abandoned under Aurelian. In the late winter of 332, Constantine campaigned with the Sarmatians against the Goths. The weather and lack of food cost the Goths dearly: reportedly, nearly one hundred thousand died before they submitted to Rome. In 334, after Sarmatian commoners had overthrown their leaders, Constantine led a campaign against the tribe. He won a victory in the war and extended his control over the region, as remains of camps and fortifications in the region indicate. Constantine resettled some Sarmatian exiles as farmers in Illyrian and Roman districts, and conscripted the rest into the army. Constantine took the title Dacicus maximus in 336. In the last years of his life Constantine made plans for a campaign against Persia. In a letter written to the king of Persia, Shapur, Constantine had asserted his patronage over Persia’s Christian subjects and urged Shapur to treat them well. The letter is undatable. In response to border raids, Constantine sent Constantius to guard the eastern frontier in 335. In 336, prince Narseh invaded Armenia (a Christian kingdom since 301) and installed a Persian client on the throne. Constantine then resolved to campaign against Persia himself. He treated the war as a Christian crusade, calling for bishops to accompany the army and commissioning a tent in the shape of a church to follow him everywhere. Constantine planned to be baptized in the Jordan River before crossing into Persia. Persian diplomats came to Constantinople over the winter of 336-337, seeking peace, but Constantine turned them away. The campaign was called off, however, when Constantine became sick in the spring of 337. The Baptism of Constantine , as imagined by students of Raphael. Constantine had known death would soon come. Within the Church of the Holy Apostles, Constantine had secretly prepared a final resting-place for himself. It came sooner than he had expected. Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother’s city of Helenopolis (Altinova), on the southern shores of the Gulf of Nicomedia (present-day Gulf of zmit). There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. Seeking purification, he became a catechumen, and attempted a return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, “performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom”. He chose the Arianizing bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia, bishop of the city where he lay dying, as his baptizer. In postponing his baptism, he followed one custom at the time which postponed baptism until after infancy. It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on the last day of the fifty-day festival of Pentecost directly following Pascha (or Easter), on 22 May 337. The Constantinian dynasty down to Gratian r. Although Constantine’s death follows the conclusion of the Persian campaign in Eusebius’s account, most other sources report his death as occurring in its middle. Emperor Julian (a nephew of Constantine), writing in the mid-350s, observes that the Sassanians escaped punishment for their ill-deeds, because Constantine died “in the middle of his preparations for war”. Similar accounts are given in the Origo Constantini , an anonymous document composed while Constantine was still living, and which has Constantine dying in Nicomedia; the Historiae abbreviatae of Sextus Aurelius Victor, written in 361, which has Constantine dying at an estate near Nicomedia called Achyrona while marching against the Persians; and the Breviarium of Eutropius, a handbook compiled in 369 for the Emperor Valens, which has Constantine dying in a nameless state villa in Nicomedia. From these and other accounts, some have concluded that Eusebius’s Vita was edited to defend Constantine’s reputation against what Eusebius saw as a less congenial version of the campaign. Following his death, his body was transferred to Constantinople and buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles there. He was succeeded by his three sons born of Fausta, Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans. A number of relatives were killed by followers of Constantius, notably Constantine’s nephews Dalmatius (who held the rank of Caesar) and Hannibalianus, presumably to eliminate possible contenders to an already complicated succession. He also had two daughters, Constantina and Helena, wife of Emperor Julian. Bronze head of Constantine, from a colossal statue (4th century). Although he earned his honorific of “The Great” from Christian historians long after he had died, he could have claimed the title on his military achievements and victories alone. Besides reuniting the Empire under one emperor, Constantine won major victories over the Franks and Alamanni in 306-308, the Franks again in 313-314, the Goths in 332 and the Sarmatians in 334. By 336, Constantine had reoccupied most of the long-lost province of Dacia, which Aurelian had been forced to abandon in 271. At the time of his death, he was planning a great expedition to end raids on the eastern provinces from the Persian Empire. Serving for a total of almost 31 years (combining his years as co-ruler and sole ruler), he was also the longest serving emperor since Augustus and the second longest serving emperor in Roman history. In the cultural sphere Constantine contributed to the revival of the clean shaven face fashion of the Roman emperors from Augustus to Trajan, which was originally introduced among the Romans by Scipio Africanus. This new Roman imperial fashion lasted until the reign of Phocas. The Byzantine Empire considered Constantine its founder and the Holy Roman Empire reckoned him among the venerable figures of its tradition. In the later Byzantine state, it had become a great honor for an emperor to be hailed as a “new Constantine”. Ten emperors, including the last emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, carried the name. Monumental Constantinian forms were used at the court of Charlemagne to suggest that he was Constantine’s successor and equal. Constantine acquired a mythic role as a warrior against “heathens”. The motif of the Romanesque equestrian, the mounted figure in the posture of a triumphant Roman emperor, became a visual metaphor in statuary in praise of local benefactors. The name “Constantine” itself enjoyed renewed popularity in western France in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The Orthodox Church considers Constantine a saint (, Saint Constantine), having a feast day on 3 September, and calls him isapostolos -an equal of the Apostles. The Ni Airport is named “Constantine the Great” in honor of him. A large Cross was planned to be built on a hill overlooking Ni, but the project was cancelled. In 2012, a memorial was erected in Ni in his honor. The Commemoration of the Edict of Milan was held in Ni in 2013. During his life and those of his sons, Constantine was presented as a paragon of virtue. Pagans such as Praxagoras of Athens and Libanius showered him with praise. When the last of his sons died in 361, however, his nephew (and son-in-law) Julian the Apostate wrote the satire Symposium, or the Saturnalia , which denigrated Constantine, calling him inferior to the great pagan emperors, and given over to luxury and greed. Following Julian, Eunapius began-and Zosimus continued-a historiographic tradition that blamed Constantine for weakening the Empire through his indulgence to the Christians. Constantius appoints Constantine as his successor by Peter Paul Rubens, 1622. In both medieval East and West, Constantine was presented as an ideal ruler, the standard against which any king or emperor could be measured. The Renaissance rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources prompted a re-evaluation of Constantine’s career. The German humanist Johann Löwenklau, discoverer of Zosimus’ writings, published a Latin translation thereof in 1576. In its preface, he argued that Zosimus’ picture of Constantine was superior to that offered by Eusebius and the Church historians, offered a more balanced view. Cardinal Caesar Baronius, a man of the Counter-Reformation, criticized Zosimus, favoring Eusebius’ account of the Constantinian era. Baronius’ Life of Constantine (1588) presents Constantine as the model of a Christian prince. For his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-89), Edward Gibbon, aiming to unite the two extremes of Constantinian scholarship, offered a portrait of Constantine built on the contrasted narratives of Eusebius and Zosimus. In a form that parallels his account of the empire’s decline, Gibbon presents a noble war hero corrupted by Christian influences, who transforms into an Oriental despot in his old age: a hero… Degenerating into a cruel and dissolute monarch. Modern interpretations of Constantine’s rule begin with Jacob Burckhardt’s The Age of Constantine the Great 1853, rev. Burckhardt’s Constantine is a scheming secularist, a politician who manipulates all parties in a quest to secure his own power. Henri Grégoire, writing in the 1930s, followed Burckhardt’s evaluation of Constantine. For Grégoire, Constantine developed an interest in Christianity only after witnessing its political usefulness. Grégoire was skeptical of the authenticity of Eusebius’ Vita , and postulated a pseudo-Eusebius to assume responsibility for the vision and conversion narratives of that work. Otto Seeck, in Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken Welt (1920-23), and André Piganiol, in L’empereur Constantin (1932), wrote against this historiographic tradition. Seeck presented Constantine as a sincere war hero, whose ambiguities were the product of his own naïve inconsistency. Piganiol’s Constantine is a philosophical monotheist, a child of his era’s religious syncretism. Related histories by A. Jones (Constantine and the Conversion of Europe , 1949) and Ramsay MacMullen (Constantine , 1969) gave portraits of a less visionary, and more impulsive, Constantine. These later accounts were more willing to present Constantine as a genuine convert to Christianity. Beginning with Norman H. Baynes’ Constantine the Great and the Christian Church (1929) and reinforced by Andreas Alföldi’s The Conversion of Constantine and Pagan Rome (1948), a historiographic tradition developed which presented Constantine as a committed Christian. Barnes’s seminal Constantine and Eusebius (1981) represents the culmination of this trend. Barnes’ Constantine experienced a radical conversion, which drove him on a personal crusade to convert his empire. Charles Matson Odahl’s recent Constantine and the Christian Empire (2004) takes much the same tack. In spite of Barnes’ work, arguments over the strength and depth of Constantine’s religious conversion continue. Certain themes in this school reached new extremes in T. Elliott’s The Christianity of Constantine the Great (1996), which presented Constantine as a committed Christian from early childhood. A similar view of Constantine is held in Paul Veyne’s recent (2007) work, Quand notre monde est devenu chrétien , which does not speculate on the origins of Constantine’s Christian motivation, but presents him, in his role as Emperor, as a religious revolutionary who fervently believed himself meant “to play a providential role in the millenary economy of the salvation of humanity”. Main article: Donation of Constantine. Latin Rite Catholics considered it inappropriate that Constantine was baptized only on his death-bed and by an unorthodox bishop, as it undermined the authority of the Papacy. Hence, by the early fourth century, a legend had emerged that Pope Sylvester I (314-335) had cured the pagan emperor from leprosy. According to this legend, Constantine was soon baptized, and began the construction of a church in the Lateran Palace. In the eighth century, most likely during the pontificate of Stephen II (752-757), a document called the Donation of Constantine first appeared, in which the freshly converted Constantine hands the temporal rule over “the city of Rome and all the provinces, districts, and cities of Italy and the Western regions” to Sylvester and his successors. In the High Middle Ages, this document was used and accepted as the basis for the Pope’s temporal power, though it was denounced as a forgery by Emperor Otto III and lamented as the root of papal worldliness by the poet Dante Alighieri. The 15th century philologist Lorenzo Valla proved the document was indeed a forgery. Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia. During the medieval period, Britons regarded Constantine as a king of their own people, particularly associating him with Caernarfon in Gwynedd. While some of this is owed to his fame and his proclamation as Emperor in Britain, there was also confusion of his family with Magnus Maximus’s supposed wife Saint Elen and her son, another Constantine (Welsh: Custennin). In the 12th century Henry of Huntingdon included a passage in his Historia Anglorum that the emperor Constantine’s mother was a Briton, making her the daughter of King Cole of Colchester. Geoffrey of Monmouth expanded this story in his highly fictionalized Historia Regum Britanniae , an account of the supposed Kings of Britain from their Trojan origins to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. According to Geoffrey, Cole was King of the Britons when Constantius, here a senator, came to Britain. Afraid of the Romans, Cole submitted to Roman law so long as he retained his kingship. However, he died only a month later, and Constantius took the throne himself, marrying Cole’s daughter Helena. They had their son Constantine, who succeeded his father as King of Britain before becoming Roman Emperor. Historically, this series of events is extremely improbable. Constantius had already left Helena by the time he left for Britain. Additionally, no earlier source mentions that Helena was born in Britain, let alone that she was a princess. Henry’s source for the story is unknown, though it may have been a lost hagiography of Helena. Documentaries of Constantine include: PBS’ “From Jesus To Christ: The First Christians” Chapter 12 and Hector Galan’s “Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine” Episode 6 Constantine. World-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine, world coins & more. Ilya Zlobin is an independent individual who has a passion for coin collecting, research and understanding the importance of the historical context and significance all coins and objects represent. Send me a message about this and I can update your invoice should you want this method. Getting your order to you, quickly and securely is a top priority and is taken seriously here. Great care is taken in packaging and mailing every item securely and quickly. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be very happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Additionally, the coin is inside it’s own protective coin flip (holder), with a 2×2 inch description of the coin matching the individual number on the COA. Whether your goal is to collect or give the item as a gift, coins presented like this could be more prized and valued higher than items that were not given such care and attention to. When should I leave feedback? 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  • Ruler: Constantine I
  • Ancient Coins: Roman Coins
  • Coin Type: Ancient Roman
  • Certification: NGC
  • Grade: Ch VF
  • Certification Number: 4680703-014

Jun 21 2018

CONSTANTINE I the GREAT 330AD Romulus Remus WOLF Ancient Roman Coin NGC i69156

CONSTANTINE I the GREAT 330AD Romulus Remus WOLF Ancient Roman Coin NGC i69156

CONSTANTINE I the GREAT 330AD Romulus Remus WOLF Ancient Roman Coin NGC i69156

CONSTANTINE I the GREAT 330AD Romulus Remus WOLF Ancient Roman Coin NGC i69156

CONSTANTINE I the GREAT 330AD Romulus Remus WOLF Ancient Roman Coin NGC i69156

Item: i69156 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Constantine I’The Great. Rome’s Founding by Romulus & Remus Commemorative. Bronze AE3 18mm (2.53 grams) Constantinople mint, struck circa 330-335 A. Reference: RIC VII 62 Certification: NGC Ancients. Ch XF 4680703-013 VRBS ROMA, helmeted, mantled bust of Roma left. She-Wolf ” Lupa Romana” standing left, suckling Rome’s founders, the twins Romulus and Remus; two stars above; mintmark CONS in exergue below. By circa 330 A. Constantine the Great completed his new capital for the Roman empire and called it Constantinople after himself, originally the ancient Greek city named Byzantium. Constantinople lay in a strategically imporant location and could be considered the continuation of the Roman empire in the east until about 1453 A. When it fell to the Ottoman Turks. For this momentous occasion, he issued two coin types commemorating this event, with one celebrating Rome and the other Constantinople. The type that commemorated Rome. Had the personification of Rome, Roma with the inscription VRBS ROMA and the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus on the reverse suckling the mythical she-wolf. The type that commemorated Constantinople. Had the personification of Constantinople on the obverse and Victory on a galley sailing with a shield. This was a great way for Constantine the Great to pay homage to both Rome and Constantinople as now the Roman empire had two official capitals. Read the Constantine the Great Ancient Roman Coins Guide. To learn more about his coins. Romulus and Remus are Rome’s twin founders in its traditional foundation myth. They are descendants of the Trojan prince and refugee Aeneas, and are fathered by the god Mars or the demi-god Hercules on a royal Vestal Virgin, Rhea Silvia, whose uncle exposes them to die in the wild. They are found by a she-wolf who suckles and cares for them. The twins are eventually restored to their regal birthright, acquire many followers and decide to found a new city. Romulus wishes to build the new city on the Palatine Hill; Remus prefers the Aventine Hill. They agree to determine the site through augury. Romulus appears to receive the more favourable signs but each claims the results in his favour. In the disputes that follow, Remus is killed. Ovid has Romulus invent the festival of Lemuria to appease Remus’ resentful ghost. Romulus names the new city Rome, after himself, and goes on to create the Roman Legions and the Roman Senate. He adds citizens to his new city by abducting the women of the neighboring Sabine tribes, which results in the combination of Sabines and Romans as one Roman people. Rome rapidly expands to become a dominant force, due to divine favour and the inspired administrative, military and political leadership of Romulus. In later life Romulus becomes increasingly autocratic, disappears in mysterious circumstances and is deified as the god Quirinus, the divine persona of the Roman people. The legend of Romulus and Remus encapsulates Rome’s ideas of itself, its origins, moral values and purpose: it has also been described as one of the most problematic of all foundation myths. Romulus’ name is thought to be a back-formation from the name Rome; Remus’ is a matter for ancient and modern speculation. The main sources for the legend approach it as history and offer an implausibly exact chronology: Roman historians dated the city’s foundation variously from 758 to 728 BC. Plutarch says Romulus was fifty-three at his death; which reckoning gives the twins’ birth year as c. Possible historical bases for the broad mythological narrative remain unclear and much disputed. Romulus and Remus are eminent among the feral children of ancient mythography. Caesar (Recognized): 306-309 A. Constantina wife of Hanniballianus. And Helena the Younger wife of Julian II. Constantine the Great Latin: Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus ; 27 February c. 272 AD – 22 May 337 AD, also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine (in the Orthodox Church as Saint Constantine the Great, Equal-to-the-Apostles), was a Roman Emperor from 306 to 337 AD. Constantine was the son of Flavius Valerius Constantius, a Roman army officer, and his consort Helena. His father became Caesar , the deputy emperor in the west in 293 AD. Constantine was sent east, where he rose through the ranks to become a military tribune under the emperors Diocletian and Galerius. In 305, Constantius was raised to the rank of Augustus , senior western emperor, and Constantine was recalled west to campaign under his father in Britannia (Britain). Acclaimed as emperor by the army at Eboracum (modern-day York) after his father’s death in 306 AD, Constantine emerged victorious in a series of civil wars against the emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of both west and east by 324 AD. As emperor, Constantine enacted many administrative, financial, social, and military reforms to strengthen the empire. The government was restructured and civil and military authority separated. A new gold coin, the solidus, was introduced to combat inflation. It would become the standard for Byzantine and European currencies for more than a thousand years. The first Roman emperor to claim conversion to Christianity, Constantine played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which decreed tolerance for Christianity in the empire. He called the First Council of Nicaea in 325, at which the Nicene Creed was professed by Christians. In military matters, the Roman army was reorganised to consist of mobile field units and garrison soldiers capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers-the Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths, and the Sarmatians-even resettling territories abandoned by his predecessors during the Crisis of the Third Century. The age of Constantine marked a distinct epoch in the history of the Roman Empire. He built a new imperial residence at Byzantium and renamed the city Constantinople after himself (the laudatory epithet of “New Rome” came later, and was never an official title). It would later become the capital of the Empire for over one thousand years; for which reason the later Eastern Empire would come to be known as the Byzantine Empire. His more immediate political legacy was that, in leaving the empire to his sons, he replaced Diocletian’s tetrarchy with the principle of dynastic succession. His reputation flourished during the lifetime of his children and centuries after his reign. The medieval church upheld him as a paragon of virtue while secular rulers invoked him as a prototype, a point of reference, and the symbol of imperial legitimacy and identity. Beginning with the Renaissance, there were more critical appraisals of his reign due to the rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources. Critics portrayed him as a tyrant. Trends in modern and recent scholarship attempted to balance the extremes of previous scholarship. Constantine is a significant figure in the history of Christianity. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on his orders at the purported site of Jesus’ tomb in Jerusalem, became the holiest place in Christendom. The Papal claim to temporal power in the High Middle Ages was based on the supposed Donation of Constantine. He is venerated as a saint by Eastern Orthodox, Byzantine Catholics, and Anglicans. Constantine was a ruler of major historical importance, and he has always been a controversial figure. The fluctuations in Constantine’s reputation reflect the nature of the ancient sources for his reign. These are abundant and detailed, but have been strongly influenced by the official propaganda of the period, and are often one-sided. There are no surviving histories or biographies dealing with Constantine’s life and rule. The nearest replacement is Eusebius of Caesarea’s Vita Constantini , a work that is a mixture of eulogy and hagiography. Written between 335 AD and circa 339 AD, the Vita extols Constantine’s moral and religious virtues. The Vita creates a contentiously positive image of Constantine, and modern historians have frequently challenged its reliability. The fullest secular life of Constantine is the anonymous Origo Constantini. A work of uncertain date, the Origo focuses on military and political events, to the neglect of cultural and religious matters. Lactantius’ De Mortibus Persecutorum , a political Christian pamphlet on the reigns of Diocletian and the Tetrarchy, provides valuable but tendentious detail on Constantine’s predecessors and early life. The ecclesiastical histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret describe the ecclesiastic disputes of Constantine’s later reign. Written during the reign of Theodosius II (408-50 AD), a century after Constantine’s reign, these ecclesiastic historians obscure the events and theologies of the Constantinian period through misdirection, misrepresentation and deliberate obscurity. The contemporary writings of the orthodox Christian Athanasius and the ecclesiastical history of the Arian Philostorgius also survive, though their biases are no less firm. The epitomes of Aurelius Victor (De Caesaribus), Eutropius (Breviarium), Festus (Breviarium), and the anonymous author of the Epitome de Caesaribus offer compressed secular political and military histories of the period. Although not Christian, the epitomes paint a favorable image of Constantine, but omit reference to Constantine’s religious policies. The Panegyrici Latini , a collection of panegyrics from the late third and early fourth centuries, provide valuable information on the politics and ideology of the tetrarchic period and the early life of Constantine. Contemporary architecture, such as the Arch of Constantine in Rome and palaces in Gamzigrad and Córdoba, epigraphic remains, and the coinage of the era complement the literary sources. Remains of the luxurious residence palace of Mediana, erected by Constantine I near his birth town of Naissus. Flavius Valerius Constantinus, as he was originally named, was born in the city of Naissus, (today Ni, Serbia) part of the Dardania province of Moesia on 27 February, probably c. His father was Flavius Constantius, an Illyrian, and a native of Dardania province of Moesia (later Dacia Ripensis). Constantine probably spent little time with his father who was an officer in the Roman army, part of the Emperor Aurelian’s imperial bodyguard. Being described as a tolerant and politically skilled man, Constantius advanced through the ranks, earning the governorship of Dalmatia from Emperor Diocletian, another of Aurelian’s companions from Illyricum, in 284 or 285. Constantine’s mother was Helena, possibly a Bithynian woman of low social standing. It is uncertain whether she was legally married to Constantius or merely his concubine. It is unclear if Constantine could speak Thracian, his main language being Latin, and during his public speeches he needed Greek translators. Constantine’s parents and siblings, the dates in square brackets indicate the possession of minor titles. In July 285 AD, Diocletian declared Maximian, another colleague from Illyricum, his co-emperor. Each emperor would have his own court, his own military and administrative faculties, and each would rule with a separate praetorian prefect as chief lieutenant. Maximian ruled in the West, from his capitals at Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) or Augusta Treverorum (Trier, Germany), while Diocletian ruled in the East, from Nicomedia (zmit, Turkey). The division was merely pragmatic: the Empire was called “indivisible” in official panegyric, and both emperors could move freely throughout the Empire. In 288, Maximian appointed Constantius to serve as his praetorian prefect in Gaul. Constantius left Helena to marry Maximian’s stepdaughter Theodora in 288 or 289. Diocletian divided the Empire again in 293 AD, appointing two Caesars (junior emperors) to rule over further subdivisions of East and West. Each would be subordinate to their respective Augustus (senior emperor) but would act with supreme authority in his assigned lands. This system would later be called the Tetrarchy. Diocletian’s first appointee for the office of Caesar was Constantius; his second was Galerius, a native of Felix Romuliana. According to Lactantius, Galerius was a brutal, animalistic man. Although he shared the paganism of Rome’s aristocracy, he seemed to them an alien figure, a semi-barbarian. On 1 March, Constantius was promoted to the office of Caesar, and dispatched to Gaul to fight the rebels Carausius and Allectus. In spite of meritocratic overtones, the Tetrarchy retained vestiges of hereditary privilege, and Constantine became the prime candidate for future appointment as Caesar as soon as his father took the position. Constantine went to the court of Diocletian, where he lived as his father’s heir presumptive. Head from a statue of Diocletian, Augustus of the East. Constantine received a formal education at Diocletian’s court, where he learned Latin literature, Greek, and philosophy. The cultural environment in Nicomedia was open, fluid and socially mobile, and Constantine could mix with intellectuals both pagan and Christian. He may have attended the lectures of Lactantius, a Christian scholar of Latin in the city. Because Diocletian did not completely trust Constantius-none of the Tetrarchs fully trusted their colleagues-Constantine was held as something of a hostage, a tool to ensure Constantius’s best behavior. Constantine was nonetheless a prominent member of the court: he fought for Diocletian and Galerius in Asia, and served in a variety of tribunates; he campaigned against barbarians on the Danube in 296 AD, and fought the Persians under Diocletian in Syria (297 AD) and under Galerius in Mesopotamia (298-299 AD). By late 305 AD, he had become a tribune of the first order, a tribunus ordinis primi. In late 302, Diocletian and Galerius sent a messenger to the oracle of Apollo at Didyma with an inquiry about Christians. On 23 February 303 AD, Diocletian ordered the destruction of Nicomedia’s new church, condemned its scriptures to the flames, and had its treasures seized. In the months that followed, churches and scriptures were destroyed, Christians were deprived of official ranks, and priests were imprisoned. It is unlikely that Constantine played any role in the persecution. In his later writings he would attempt to present himself as an opponent of Diocletian’s “sanguinary edicts” against the “worshippers of God”, but nothing indicates that he opposed it effectively at the time. Although no contemporary Christian challenged Constantine for his inaction during the persecutions, it remained a political liability throughout his life. On 1 May 305 AD, Diocletian, as a result of a debilitating sickness taken in the winter of 304-305 AD, announced his resignation. In a parallel ceremony in Milan, Maximian did the same. Lactantius states that Galerius manipulated the weakened Diocletian into resigning, and forced him to accept Galerius’ allies in the imperial succession. According to Lactantius, the crowd listening to Diocletian’s resignation speech believed, until the very last moment, that Diocletian would choose Constantine and Maxentius (Maximian’s son) as his successors. It was not to be: Constantius and Galerius were promoted to Augusti, while Severus and Maximinus Daia, Galerius’ nephew, were appointed their Caesars respectively. Constantine and Maxentius were ignored. Some of the ancient sources detail plots that Galerius made on Constantine’s life in the months following Diocletian’s abdication. They assert that Galerius assigned Constantine to lead an advance unit in a cavalry charge through a swamp on the middle Danube, made him enter into single combat with a lion, and attempted to kill him in hunts and wars. It is uncertain how much these tales can be trusted. Constantine recognized the implicit danger in remaining at Galerius’s court, where he was held as a virtual hostage. His career depended on being rescued by his father in the west. Constantius was quick to intervene. In the late spring or early summer of 305 AD, Constantius requested leave for his son to help him campaign in Britain. After a long evening of drinking, Galerius granted the request. Constantine’s later propaganda describes how he fled the court in the night, before Galerius could change his mind. He rode from post-house to post-house at high speed, hamstringing every horse in his wake. By the time Galerius awoke the following morning, Constantine had fled too far to be caught. Constantine joined his father in Gaul, at Bononia (Boulogne) before the summer of 305 AD. Bronze statue of Constantine I in York, England, near the spot where he was proclaimed Augustus in 306. From Bononia they crossed the Channel to Britain and made their way to Eboracum (York), capital of the province of Britannia Secunda and home to a large military base. Constantine was able to spend a year in northern Britain at his father’s side, campaigning against the Picts beyond Hadrian’s Wall in the summer and autumn. Constantius’s campaign, like that of Septimius Severus before it, probably advanced far into the north without achieving great success. Constantius had become severely sick over the course of his reign, and died on 25 July 306 in Eboracum (York). Before dying, he declared his support for raising Constantine to the rank of full Augustus. The Alamannic king Chrocus, a barbarian taken into service under Constantius, then proclaimed Constantine as Augustus. The troops loyal to Constantius’ memory followed him in acclamation. Gaul and Britain quickly accepted his rule; Iberia, which had been in his father’s domain for less than a year, rejected it. Constantine sent Galerius an official notice of Constantius’s death and his own acclamation. Along with the notice, he included a portrait of himself in the robes of an Augustus. The portrait was wreathed in bay. He requested recognition as heir to his father’s throne, and passed off responsibility for his unlawful ascension on his army, claiming they had “forced it upon him”. Galerius was put into a fury by the message; he almost set the portrait on fire. His advisers calmed him, and argued that outright denial of Constantine’s claims would mean certain war. Galerius was compelled to compromise: he granted Constantine the title “Caesar” rather than “Augustus” (the latter office went to Severus instead). Wishing to make it clear that he alone gave Constantine legitimacy, Galerius personally sent Constantine the emperor’s traditional purple robes. Constantine accepted the decision, knowing that it would remove doubts as to his legitimacy. Constantine’s share of the Empire consisted of Britain, Gaul, and Spain. He therefore commanded one of the largest Roman armies, stationed along the important Rhine frontier. After his promotion to emperor, Constantine remained in Britain, driving back the tribes of the Picts and secured his control in the northwestern dioceses. He completed the reconstruction of military bases begun under his father’s rule, and ordered the repair of the region’s roadways. He soon left for Augusta Treverorum (Trier) in Gaul, the Tetrarchic capital of the northwestern Roman Empire. The Franks, after learning of Constantine’s acclamation, invaded Gaul across the lower Rhine over the winter of 306-307 AD. Constantine drove them back beyond the Rhine and captured two of their kings, Ascaric and Merogaisus. The kings and their soldiers were fed to the beasts of Trier’s amphitheater in the adventus (arrival) celebrations that followed. Public baths (thermae) built in Trier by Constantine. More than 100 metres (328 ft) wide by 200 metres (656 ft) long, and capable of serving several thousands at a time, the baths were built to rival those of Rome. Constantine began a major expansion of Trier. He strengthened the circuit wall around the city with military towers and fortified gates, and began building a palace complex in the northeastern part of the city. To the south of his palace, he ordered the construction of a large formal audience hall, and a massive imperial bathhouse. Constantine sponsored many building projects across Gaul during his tenure as emperor of the West, especially in Augustodunum (Autun) and Arelate (Arles). According to Lactantius, Constantine followed his father in following a tolerant policy towards Christianity. Although not yet a Christian, he probably judged it a more sensible policy than open persecution, and a way to distinguish himself from the “great persecutor”, Galerius. Because Constantine was still largely untried and had a hint of illegitimacy about him, he relied on his father’s reputation in his early propaganda: the earliest panegyrics to Constantine give as much coverage to his father’s deeds as to those of Constantine himself. Constantine’s military skill and building projects soon gave the panegyrist the opportunity to comment favorably on the similarities between father and son, and Eusebius remarked that Constantine was a “renewal, as it were, in his own person, of his father’s life and reign”. Constantinian coinage, sculpture and oratory also shows a new tendency for disdain towards the “barbarians” beyond the frontiers. After Constantine’s victory over the Alemanni, he minted a coin issue depicting weeping and begging Alemannic tribesmen-”The Alemanni conquered”-beneath the phrase “Romans’ rejoicing”. There was little sympathy for these enemies. As his panegyrist declared: It is a stupid clemency that spares the conquered foe. Dresden bust of Maxentius. Following Galerius’ recognition of Constantine as caesar, Constantine’s portrait was brought to Rome, as was customary. Maxentius mocked the portrait’s subject as the son of a harlot, and lamented his own powerlessness. Maxentius, envious of Constantine’s authority, seized the title of emperor on 28 October 306 AD. Galerius refused to recognize him, but failed to unseat him. Galerius sent Severus against Maxentius, but during the campaign, Severus’ armies, previously under command of Maxentius’ father Maximian, defected, and Severus was seized and imprisoned. Maximian, brought out of retirement by his son’s rebellion, left for Gaul to confer with Constantine in late 307 AD. He offered to marry his daughter Fausta to Constantine, and elevate him to Augustan rank. In return, Constantine would reaffirm the old family alliance between Maximian and Constantius, and offer support to Maxentius’ cause in Italy. Constantine accepted, and married Fausta in Trier in late summer 307 AD. Constantine now gave Maxentius his meagre support, offering Maxentius political recognition. Constantine remained aloof from the Italian conflict, however. Over the spring and summer of 307 AD, he had left Gaul for Britain to avoid any involvement in the Italian turmoil; now, instead of giving Maxentius military aid, he sent his troops against Germanic tribes along the Rhine. In 308 AD, he raided the territory of the Bructeri, and made a bridge across the Rhine at Colonia Agrippinensium (Cologne). In 310 AD, he marched to the northern Rhine and fought the Franks. When not campaigning, he toured his lands advertising his benevolence, and supporting the economy and the arts. His refusal to participate in the war increased his popularity among his people, and strengthened his power base in the West. On 11 November 308 AD, Galerius called a general council at the military city of Carnuntum (Petronell-Carnuntum, Austria) to resolve the instability in the western provinces. Maximian was forced to abdicate again and Constantine was again demoted to Caesar. Licinius, one of Galerius’ old military companions, was appointed Augustus in the western regions. The new system did not last long: Constantine refused to accept the demotion, and continued to style himself as Augustus on his coinage, even as other members of the Tetrarchy referred to him as a Caesar on theirs. Maximinus Daia was frustrated that he had been passed over for promotion while the newcomer Licinius had been raised to the office of Augustus, and demanded that Galerius promote him. Galerius offered to call both Maximinus and Constantine “sons of the Augusti”, but neither accepted the new title. By the spring of 310 AD, Galerius was referring to both men as Augusti. In 310 AD, a dispossessed Maximian rebelled against Constantine while Constantine was away campaigning against the Franks. Maximian had been sent south to Arles with a contingent of Constantine’s army, in preparation for any attacks by Maxentius in southern Gaul. He announced that Constantine was dead, and took up the imperial purple. In spite of a large donative pledge to any who would support him as emperor, most of Constantine’s army remained loyal to their emperor, and Maximian was soon compelled to leave. Constantine soon heard of the rebellion, abandoned his campaign against the Franks, and marched his army up the Rhine. At Cabillunum (Chalon-sur-Saône), he moved his troops onto waiting boats to row down the slow waters of the Saône to the quicker waters of the Rhone. He disembarked at Lugdunum (Lyon). Maximian fled to Massilia (Marseille), a town better able to withstand a long siege than Arles. It made little difference, however, as loyal citizens opened the rear gates to Constantine. Maximian was captured and reproved for his crimes. Constantine granted some clemency, but strongly encouraged his suicide. In July 310 AD, Maximian hanged himself. In spite of the earlier rupture in their relations, Maxentius was eager to present himself as his father’s devoted son after his death. He began minting coins with his father’s deified image, proclaiming his desire to avenge Maximian’s death. Constantine initially presented the suicide as an unfortunate family tragedy. By 311 AD, however, he was spreading another version. According to this, after Constantine had pardoned him, Maximian planned to murder Constantine in his sleep. Fausta learned of the plot and warned Constantine, who put a eunuch in his own place in bed. Maximian was apprehended when he killed the eunuch and was offered suicide, which he accepted. Along with using propaganda, Constantine instituted a damnatio memoriae on Maximian, destroying all inscriptions referring to him and eliminating any public work bearing his image. The death of Maximian required a shift in Constantine’s public image. He could no longer rely on his connection to the elder emperor Maximian, and needed a new source of legitimacy. In a speech delivered in Gaul on 25 July 310 AD, the anonymous orator reveals a previously unknown dynastic connection to Claudius II, a 3rd Century emperor famed for defeating the Goths and restoring order to the empire. Breaking away from tetrarchic models, the speech emphasizes Constantine’s ancestral prerogative to rule, rather than principles of imperial equality. The new ideology expressed in the speech made Galerius and Maximian irrelevant to Constantine’s right to rule. Indeed, the orator emphasizes ancestry to the exclusion of all other factors: “No chance agreement of men, nor some unexpected consequence of favor, made you emperor, ” the orator declares to Constantine. The oration also moves away from the religious ideology of the Tetrarchy, with its focus on twin dynasties of Jupiter and Hercules. Instead, the orator proclaims that Constantine experienced a divine vision of Apollo and Victory granting him laurel wreaths of health and a long reign. In the likeness of Apollo Constantine recognized himself as the saving figure to whom would be granted “rule of the whole world”, as the poet Virgil had once foretold. The oration’s religious shift is paralleled by a similar shift in Constantine’s coinage. In his early reign, the coinage of Constantine advertised Mars as his patron. From 310 AD on, Mars was replaced by Sol Invictus, a god conventionally identified with Apollo. There is little reason to believe that either the dynastic connection or the divine vision are anything other than fiction, but their proclamation strengthened Constantine’s claims to legitimacy and increased his popularity among the citizens of Gaul. See also: Civil wars of the Tetrarchy. By the middle of 310 AD, Galerius had become too ill to involve himself in imperial politics. His final act survives: a letter to the provincials posted in Nicomedia on 30 April 311 AD, proclaiming an end to the persecutions, and the resumption of religious toleration. He died soon after the edict’s proclamation, destroying what little remained of the tetrarchy. Maximinus mobilized against Licinius, and seized Asia Minor. A hasty peace was signed on a boat in the middle of the Bosphorus. While Constantine toured Britain and Gaul, Maxentius prepared for war. He fortified northern Italy, and strengthened his support in the Christian community by allowing it to elect a new Bishop of Rome, Eusebius. Maxentius’ rule was nevertheless insecure. By 312 AD, he was a man barely tolerated, not one actively supported, even among Christian Italians. In the summer of 311 AD, Maxentius mobilized against Constantine while Licinius was occupied with affairs in the East. He declared war on Constantine, vowing to avenge his father’s “murder”. To prevent Maxentius from forming an alliance against him with Licinius, Constantine forged his own alliance with Licinius over the winter of 311-312 AD, and offered him his sister Constantia in marriage. Maximin considered Constantine’s arrangement with Licinius an affront to his authority. According to Eusebius, inter-regional travel became impossible, and there was military buildup everywhere. There was “not a place where people were not expecting the onset of hostilities every day”. Constantine’s advisers and generals cautioned against preemptive attack on Maxentius; even his soothsayers recommended against it, stating that the sacrifices had produced unfavorable omens. Constantine, with a spirit that left a deep impression on his followers, inspiring some to believe that he had some form of supernatural guidance, ignored all these cautions. Early in the spring of 312 AD, Constantine crossed the Cottian Alps with a quarter of his army, a force numbering about 40,000. The first town his army encountered was Segusium (Susa, Italy), a heavily fortified town that shut its gates to him. Constantine ordered his men to set fire to its gates and scale its walls. He took the town quickly. Constantine ordered his troops not to loot the town, and advanced with them into northern Italy. At the approach to the west of the important city of Augusta Taurinorum (Turin, Italy), Constantine met a large force of heavily armed Maxentian cavalry. In the ensuing battle Constantine’s army encircled Maxentius’ cavalry, flanked them with his own cavalry, and dismounted them with blows from his soldiers’ iron-tipped clubs. Constantine’s armies emerged victorious. Turin refused to give refuge to Maxentius’ retreating forces, opening its gates to Constantine instead. Other cities of the north Italian plain sent Constantine embassies of congratulation for his victory. He moved on to Milan, where he was met with open gates and jubilant rejoicing. Constantine rested his army in Milan until mid-summer 312 AD, when he moved on to Brixia (Brescia). Brescia’s army was easily dispersed, and Constantine quickly advanced to Verona, where a large Maxentian force was camped. Ruricius Pompeianus, general of the Veronese forces and Maxentius’ praetorian prefect, was in a strong defensive position, since the town was surrounded on three sides by the Adige. Constantine sent a small force north of the town in an attempt to cross the river unnoticed. Ruricius sent a large detachment to counter Constantine’s expeditionary force, but was defeated. Constantine’s forces successfully surrounded the town and laid siege. Constantine refused to let up on the siege, and sent only a small force to oppose him. In the desperately fought encounter that followed, Ruricius was killed and his army destroyed. Verona surrendered soon afterwards, followed by Aquileia, Mutina (Modena), and Ravenna. The road to Rome was now wide open to Constantine. The Milvian Bridge (Ponte Milvio) over the Tiber, north of Rome, where Constantine and Maxentius fought in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. Maxentius prepared for the same type of war he had waged against Severus and Galerius: he sat in Rome and prepared for a siege. He still controlled Rome’s praetorian guards, was well-stocked with African grain, and was surrounded on all sides by the seemingly impregnable Aurelian Walls. He ordered all bridges across the Tiber cut, reportedly on the counsel of the gods, and left the rest of central Italy undefended; Constantine secured that region’s support without challenge. Constantine progressed slowly along the Via Flaminia , allowing the weakness of Maxentius to draw his regime further into turmoil. Maxentius’ support continued to weaken: at chariot races on 27 October, the crowd openly taunted Maxentius, shouting that Constantine was invincible. Maxentius, no longer certain that he would emerge from a siege victorious, built a temporary boat bridge across the Tiber in preparation for a field battle against Constantine. On 28 October 312 AD, the sixth anniversary of his reign, he approached the keepers of the Sibylline Books for guidance. The keepers prophesied that, on that very day, “the enemy of the Romans” would die. Maxentius advanced north to meet Constantine in battle. The description from 28th October 312,’A cross centered on the Sun fits with modern-day photographs of Sun dogs. Constantine and his army adopt the Greek letters for Christ’s initials: Chi Rho. Further information: Battle of the Milvian Bridge. The Battle of the Milvian Bridge by Giulio Romano. Maxentius organized his forces-still twice the size of Constantine’s-in long lines facing the battle plain, with their backs to the river. Constantine’s army arrived at the field bearing unfamiliar symbols on either its standards or its soldiers’ shields. According to Lactantius, Constantine was visited by a dream the night before the battle, wherein he was advised to mark the heavenly sign of God on the shields of his soldiers… By means of a slanted letter X with the top of its head bent round, he marked Christ on their shields. ” Eusebius describes another version, where, while marching at midday, “he saw with his own eyes in the heavens a trophy of the cross arising from the light of the sun, carrying the message, In Hoc Signo Vinces or “with this sign, you will conquer”; in Eusebius’s account, Constantine had a dream the following night, in which Christ appeared with the same heavenly sign, and told him to make a standard, the labarum , for his army in that form. Eusebius is vague about when and where these events took place, but it enters his narrative before the war against Maxentius begins. Eusebius describes the sign as Chi traversed by Rho : , a symbol representing the first two letters of the Greek spelling of the word Christos or Christ. In 315 AD a medallion was issued at Ticinum showing Constantine wearing a helmet emblazoned with the Chi Rho , and coins issued at Siscia in 317/318 AD repeat the image. The figure was otherwise rare, however, and is uncommon in imperial iconography and propaganda before the 320s. Constantine deployed his own forces along the whole length of Maxentius’ line. He ordered his cavalry to charge, and they broke Maxentius’ cavalry. He then sent his infantry against Maxentius’ infantry, pushing many into the Tiber where they were slaughtered and drowned. The battle was brief: Maxentius’ troops were broken before the first charge. Maxentius’ horse guards and praetorians initially held their position, but broke under the force of a Constantinian cavalry charge; they also broke ranks and fled to the river. Maxentius rode with them, and attempted to cross the bridge of boats, but he was pushed by the mass of his fleeing soldiers into the Tiber, and drowned. Colossal head of Constantine, from a seated statue: a youthful, classicising, other-worldly official image (Metropolitan Museum of Art). Constantine entered Rome on 29 October 312. He staged a grand adventus in the city, and was met with popular jubilation. Maxentius’ body was fished out of the Tiber and decapitated. His head was paraded through the streets for all to see. After the ceremonies, Maxentius’ disembodied head was sent to Carthage; at this, Carthage would offer no further resistance. Unlike his predecessors, Constantine neglected to make the trip to the Capitoline Hill and perform customary sacrifices at the Temple of Jupiter. He did, however, choose to honor the Senatorial Curia with a visit, where he promised to restore its ancestral privileges and give it a secure role in his reformed government: there would be no revenge against Maxentius’ supporters. In response, the Senate decreed him “title of the first name”, which meant his name would be listed first in all official documents, and acclaimed him as “the greatest Augustus”. He issued decrees returning property lost under Maxentius, recalling political exiles, and releasing Maxentius’ imprisoned opponents. An extensive propaganda campaign followed, during which Maxentius’ image was systematically purged from all public places. Maxentius was written up as a “tyrant”, and set against an idealized image of the “liberator”, Constantine. Eusebius, in his later works, is the best representative of this strand of Constantinian propaganda. Maxentius’ rescripts were declared invalid, and the honors Maxentius had granted to leaders of the Senate were invalidated. Constantine also attempted to remove Maxentius’ influence on Rome’s urban landscape. All structures built by Maxentius were re-dedicated to Constantine, including the Temple of Romulus and the Basilica of Maxentius. At the focal point of the basilica, a stone statue of Constantine holding the Christian labarum in its hand was erected. Its inscription bore the message the statue had already made clear: By this sign Constantine had freed Rome from the yoke of the tyrant. Where he did not overwrite Maxentius’ achievements, Constantine upstaged them: the Circus Maximus was redeveloped so that its total seating capacity was twenty-five times larger than that of Maxentius’ racing complex on the Via Appia. Maxentius’ strongest supporters in the military were neutralized when the Praetorian Guard and Imperial Horse Guard (equites singulares) were disbanded. The tombstones of the Imperial Horse Guard were ground up and put to use in a basilica on the Via Labicana. On November 9, 312 AD, barely two weeks after Constantine captured the city, the former base of the Imperial Horse Guard was chosen for redevelopment into the Lateran Basilica. The Legio II Parthica was removed from Alba (Albano Laziale), and the remainder of Maxentius’ armies were sent to do frontier duty on the Rhine. In the following years, Constantine gradually consolidated his military superiority over his rivals in the crumbling Tetrarchy. In 313, he met Licinius in Milan to secure their alliance by the marriage of Licinius and Constantine’s half-sister Constantia. During this meeting, the emperors agreed on the so-called Edict of Milan, officially granting full tolerance to Christianity and all religions in the Empire. The document had special benefits for Christians, legalizing their religion and granting them restoration for all property seized during Diocletian’s persecution. It repudiates past methods of religious coercion and used only general terms to refer to the divine sphere-”Divinity” and “Supreme Divinity”, summa divinitas. The conference was cut short, however, when news reached Licinius that his rival Maximin had crossed the Bosporus and invaded European territory. Licinius departed and eventually defeated Maximin, gaining control over the entire eastern half of the Roman Empire. Relations between the two remaining emperors deteriorated, as Constantine suffered an assassination attempt at the hands of a character that Licinius wanted elevated to the rank of Caesar; Licinius, for his part had Constantine’s statues in Emona destroyed. In either 314 or 316 the two Augusti fought against one another at the Battle of Cibalae, with Constantine being victorious. They clashed again at the Battle of Mardia in 317, and agreed to a settlement in which Constantine’s sons Crispus and Constantine II, and Licinius’ son Licinianus were made caesars. After this arrangement, Constantine ruled the dioceses of Pannonia and Macedonia and took residence at Sirmium, whence he could wage war on the Goths and Sarmatians in 322, and on the Goths in 323. In the year 320, Licinius allegedly reneged on the religious freedom promised by the Edict of Milan in 313 and began to oppress Christians anew, generally without bloodshed, but resorting to confiscations and sacking of Christian office-holders. Although this characterization of Licinius as anti-Christian is somewhat doubtful, the fact is that he seems to have been far less open in his support of Christianity than Constantine. Therefore, Licinius was prone to see the Church as a force more loyal to Constantine than to the Imperial system in general – the explanation offered by the Church historian Sozomen. This dubious arrangement eventually became a challenge to Constantine in the West, climaxing in the great civil war of 324. Licinius, aided by Goth mercenaries, represented the past and the ancient Pagan faiths. Constantine and his Franks marched under the standard of the labarum , and both sides saw the battle in religious terms. Outnumbered, but fired by their zeal, Constantine’s army emerged victorious in the Battle of Adrianople. Licinius fled across the Bosphorus and appointed Martius Martinianus, the commander of his bodyguard, as Caesar, but Constantine next won the Battle of the Hellespont, and finally the Battle of Chrysopolis on 18 September 324. Licinius and Martinianus surrendered to Constantine at Nicomedia on the promise their lives would be spared: they were sent to live as private citizens in Thessalonica and Cappadocia respectively, but in 325 Constantine accused Licinius of plotting against him and had them both arrested and hanged; Licinius’s son (the son of Constantine’s half-sister) was also killed. Thus Constantine became the sole emperor of the Roman Empire. Coin struck by Constantine I to commemorate the founding of Constantinople. Licinius’ defeat came to represent the defeat of a rival center of Pagan and Greek-speaking political activity in the East, as opposed to the Christian and Latin-speaking Rome, and it was proposed that a new Eastern capital should represent the integration of the East into the Roman Empire as a whole, as a center of learning, prosperity, and cultural preservation for the whole of the Eastern Roman Empire. Among the various locations proposed for this alternative capital, Constantine appears to have toyed earlier with Serdica (present-day Sofia), as he was reported saying that ” Serdica is my Rome “. Sirmium and Thessalonica were also considered. Eventually, however, Constantine decided to work on the Greek city of Byzantium, which offered the advantage of having already been extensively rebuilt on Roman patterns of urbanism, during the preceding century, by Septimius Severus and Caracalla, who had already acknowledged its strategic importance. The city was thus founded in 324, dedicated on 11 May 330 and renamed Constantinopolis (“Constantine’s City” or Constantinople in English). Special commemorative coins were issued in 330 to honor the event. The new city was protected by the relics of the True Cross, the Rod of Moses and other holy relics, though a cameo now at the Hermitage Museum also represented Constantine crowned by the tyche of the new city. The figures of old gods were either replaced or assimilated into a framework of Christian symbolism. Constantine built the new Church of the Holy Apostles on the site of a temple to Aphrodite. Generations later there was the story that a divine vision led Constantine to this spot, and an angel no one else could see, led him on a circuit of the new walls. The capital would often be compared to the’old’ Rome as Nova Roma Constantinopolitana , the “New Rome of Constantinople”. Further information: Constantine I and Christianity, Constantine I and paganism, and Constantine the Great and Judaism. Constantine the Great , mosaic in Hagia Sophia, c. Constantine was the first emperor to stop Christian persecutions and to legalise Christianity along with all other religions and cults in the Roman Empire. In February 313, Constantine met with Licinius in Milan, where they developed the Edict of Milan. The edict stated that Christians should be allowed to follow the faith without oppression. The edict protected from religious persecution not only Christians but all religions, allowing anyone to worship whichever deity they chose. A similar edict had been issued in 311 by Galerius, then senior emperor of the Tetrarchy; Galerius’ edict granted Christians the right to practise their religion but did not restore any property to them. Scholars debate whether Constantine adopted his mother St. Helena’s Christianity in his youth, or whether he adopted it gradually over the course of his life. Constantine possibly retained the title of pontifex maximus , a title emperors bore as heads of the ancient Roman religion priesthood until Gratian r. 375-383 renounced the title. According to Christian writers, Constantine was over 40 when he finally declared himself a Christian, writing to Christians to make clear that he believed he owed his successes to the protection of the Christian High God alone. Throughout his rule, Constantine supported the Church financially, built basilicas, granted privileges to clergy e. His most famous building projects include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Old Saint Peter’s Basilica. Apparently Constantine did not patronize Christianity alone. After gaining victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312), a triumphal arch-the Arch of Constantine-was built (315) to celebrate his triumph. The arch is decorated with images of the goddess Victoria. At the time of its dedication, sacrifices to gods like Apollo, Diana, and Hercules were made. Absent from the Arch are any depictions of Christian symbolism. However, as the Arch was commissioned by the Senate, the absence of Christian symbols may reflect the role of the Curia at the time as a pagan redoubt. In 321, he legislated that the venerable day of the sun should be a day of rest for all citizens. In the year 323, he issued a decree banning Christians from participating in state sacrifices Furthermore, Constantine’s coinage continued to carry the symbols of the sun. After the pagan gods had disappeared from his coinage, Christian symbols appeared as Constantine’s attributes: the chi rho between his hands or on his labarum, as well on the coin itself. The reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the emperor as having great influence and ultimate regulatory authority within the religious discussions involving the early Christian councils of that time, e. Most notably the dispute over Arianism. Constantine himself disliked the risks to societal stability that religious disputes and controversies brought with them, preferring where possible to establish an orthodoxy. His influence over the early Church councils was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, and uphold ecclesiastical unity; what proper worship and doctrines and dogma consisted of was for the Church to determine, in the hands of the participating bishops. Most notably, from 313 to 316 bishops in North Africa struggled with other Christian bishops who had been ordained by Donatus in opposition to Caecilian. The African bishops could not come to terms and the Donatists asked Constantine to act as a judge in the dispute. Three regional Church councils and another trial before Constantine all ruled against Donatus and the Donatism movement in North Africa. In 317 Constantine issued an edict to confiscate Donatist church property and to send Donatist clergy into exile. More significantly, in 325 he summoned the Council of Nicaea, effectively the first Ecumenical Council (unless the Council of Jerusalem is so classified), most known for its dealing with Arianism and for instituting the Nicene Creed. Constantine enforced the prohibition of the First Council of Nicaea against celebrating the Lord’s Supper on the day before the Jewish Passover (14 Nisan) (see Quartodecimanism and Easter controversy). This marked a definite break of Christianity from the Judaic tradition. From then on the Roman Julian Calendar, a solar calendar, was given precedence over the lunisolar Hebrew Calendar among the Christian churches of the Roman Empire. Constantine made some new laws regarding the Jews, but while some of his edicts were unfavorable towards Jews, they were not harsher than those of his predecessors. It was made illegal for Jews to seek converts or to attack other Jews who had converted to Christianity. They were forbidden to own Christian slaves or to circumcise their slaves. On the other hand, Jewish clergy were given the same exemptions as Christian clergy. Head of Constantine’s colossal statue at the Capitoline Museums. The original statue of marble was acrolithic with the torso consisting of a cuirass in bronze. Beginning in the mid-3rd century the emperors began to favor members of the equestrian order over senators, who had had a monopoly on the most important offices of state. Senators were stripped of the command of legions and most provincial governorships (as it was felt that they lacked the specialized military upbringing needed in an age of acute defense needs), such posts being given to equestrians by Diocletian and his colleagues-following a practice enforced piecemeal by their predecessors. The emperors, however, still needed the talents and the help of the very rich, who were relied on to maintain social order and cohesion by means of a web of powerful influence and contacts at all levels. Exclusion of the old senatorial aristocracy threatened this arrangement. In 326, Constantine reversed this pro-equestrian trend, raising many administrative positions to senatorial rank and thus opening these offices to the old aristocracy, and at the same time elevating the rank of already existing equestrians office-holders to senator, degrading the equestrian order -at least as a bureaucratic rank -in the process, so that by the end of the 4th century the title of perfectissimus was granted only to mid-low officials. By the new Constantinian arrangement, one could become a senator, either by being elected praetor or (in most cases) by fulfilling a function of senatorial rank: from then on, holding of actual power and social status were melded together into a joint imperial hierarchy. At the same time, Constantine gained with this the support of the old nobility, as the Senate was allowed itself to elect praetors and quaestors, in place of the usual practice of the emperors directly creating new magistrates (adlectio). In one inscription in honor of city prefect (336-337) Ceionius Rufus Albinus, it was written that Constantine had restored the Senate “the auctoritas it had lost at Caesar’s time”. The Senate as a body remained devoid of any significant power; nevertheless, the senators, who had been marginalized as potential holders of imperial functions during the 3rd century, could now dispute such positions alongside more upstart bureaucrats. Some modern historians see in those administrative reforms an attempt by Constantine at reintegrating the senatorial order into the imperial administrative elite to counter the possibility of alienating pagan senators from a Christianized imperial rule; however, such an interpretation remains conjectural, given the fact that we do not have the precise numbers about pre-Constantine conversions to Christianity in the old senatorial milieu-some historians suggesting that early conversions among the old aristocracy were more numerous than previously supposed. Constantine’s reforms had to do only with the civilian administration: the military chiefs, who since the Crisis of the Third Century had risen from the ranks, remained outside the senate, in which they were included only by Constantine’s children. The failure of the various Diocletianic attempts at the restoration of a functioning silver coin resided in the fact that the silver currency was overvalued in terms of its actual metal content, and therefore could only circulate at much discounted rates. Minting of the Diocletianic “pure” silver argenteus ceased, therefore, soon after 305, while the billon currency continued to be used until the 360s. From the early 300s on, Constantine forsook any attempts at restoring the silver currency, preferring instead to concentrate on minting large quantities of good standard gold pieces-the solidus, 72 of which made a pound of gold. New (and highly debased) silver pieces would continue to be issued during Constantine’s later reign and after his death, in a continuous process of retariffing, until this bullion minting eventually ceased, de jure , in 367, with the silver piece being de facto continued by various denominations of bronze coins, the most important being the centenionalis. These bronze pieces continued to be devalued, assuring the possibility of keeping fiduciary minting alongside a gold standard. The anonymous author of the possibly contemporary treatise on military affairs De Rebus Bellicis held that, as a consequence of this monetary policy, the rift between classes widened: the rich benefited from the stability in purchasing power of the gold piece, while the poor had to cope with ever-degrading bronze pieces. Later emperors like Julian the Apostate tried to present themselves as advocates of the humiles by insisting on trustworthy mintings of the bronze currency. Constantine’s monetary policy were closely associated with his religious ones, in that increased minting was associated with measures of confiscation-taken since 331 and closed in 336-of all gold, silver and bronze statues from pagan temples, who were declared as imperial property and, as such, as monetary assets. Two imperial commissioners for each province had the task of getting hold of the statues and having them melded for immediate minting-with the exception of a number of bronze statues who were used as public monuments for the beautification of the new capital in Constantinople. Executions of Crispus and Fausta. On some date between 15 May and 17 June 326, Constantine had his eldest son Crispus, by Minervina, seized and put to death by “cold poison” at Pola (Pula, Croatia). In July, Constantine had his wife, the Empress Fausta, killed in an over-heated bath. Their names were wiped from the face of many inscriptions, references to their lives in the literary record were erased, and the memory of both was condemned. Eusebius, for example, edited praise of Crispus out of later copies of his Historia Ecclesiastica , and his Vita Constantini contains no mention of Fausta or Crispus at all. Few ancient sources are willing to discuss possible motives for the events; those few that do, offer unconvincing rationales, are of later provenance, and are generally unreliable. At the time of the executions, it was commonly believed that the Empress Fausta was either in an illicit relationship with Crispus, or was spreading rumors to that effect. A popular myth arose, modified to allude to Hippolytus-Phaedra legend, with the suggestion that Constantine killed Crispus and Fausta for their immoralities. One source, the largely fictional Passion of Artemius , probably penned in the eighth century by John of Damascus, makes the legendary connection explicit. As an interpretation of the executions, the myth rests on only “the slimmest of evidence”: sources that allude to the relationship between Crispus and Fausta are late and unreliable, and the modern suggestion that Constantine’s “godly” edicts of 326 and the irregularities of Crispus are somehow connected rests on no evidence at all. Although Constantine created his apparent heirs “Caesars”, following a pattern established by Diocletian, he gave his creations a hereditary character, alien to the tetrarchic system: Constantine’s Caesars were to be kept in the hope of ascending to Empire, and entirely subordinated to their Augustus, as long as he was alive. Therefore, an alternative explanation for the execution of Crispus was, perhaps, Constantine’s desire to keep a firm grip on his prospective heirs, this-and Fausta’s desire for having her sons inheriting instead of their half-brother-being reason enough for killing Crispus; the subsequent execution of Fausta, however, was probably meant as a reminder to her children that Constantine would not hesitate in “killing his own relatives when he felt this was necessary”. The Roman Empire in 337, showing Constantine’s conquests in Dacia across the lower Danube (shaded purple) and other Roman dependencies (light purple). Constantine considered Constantinople his capital and permanent residence. He lived there for a good portion of his later life. He rebuilt Trajan’s bridge across the Danube, in hopes of reconquering Dacia, a province that had been abandoned under Aurelian. In the late winter of 332, Constantine campaigned with the Sarmatians against the Goths. The weather and lack of food cost the Goths dearly: reportedly, nearly one hundred thousand died before they submitted to Rome. In 334, after Sarmatian commoners had overthrown their leaders, Constantine led a campaign against the tribe. He won a victory in the war and extended his control over the region, as remains of camps and fortifications in the region indicate. Constantine resettled some Sarmatian exiles as farmers in Illyrian and Roman districts, and conscripted the rest into the army. Constantine took the title Dacicus maximus in 336. In the last years of his life Constantine made plans for a campaign against Persia. In a letter written to the king of Persia, Shapur, Constantine had asserted his patronage over Persia’s Christian subjects and urged Shapur to treat them well. The letter is undatable. In response to border raids, Constantine sent Constantius to guard the eastern frontier in 335. In 336, prince Narseh invaded Armenia (a Christian kingdom since 301) and installed a Persian client on the throne. Constantine then resolved to campaign against Persia himself. He treated the war as a Christian crusade, calling for bishops to accompany the army and commissioning a tent in the shape of a church to follow him everywhere. Constantine planned to be baptized in the Jordan River before crossing into Persia. Persian diplomats came to Constantinople over the winter of 336-337, seeking peace, but Constantine turned them away. The campaign was called off, however, when Constantine became sick in the spring of 337. The Baptism of Constantine , as imagined by students of Raphael. Constantine had known death would soon come. Within the Church of the Holy Apostles, Constantine had secretly prepared a final resting-place for himself. It came sooner than he had expected. Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother’s city of Helenopolis (Altinova), on the southern shores of the Gulf of Nicomedia (present-day Gulf of zmit). There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. Seeking purification, he became a catechumen, and attempted a return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, “performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom”. He chose the Arianizing bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia, bishop of the city where he lay dying, as his baptizer. In postponing his baptism, he followed one custom at the time which postponed baptism until after infancy. It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on the last day of the fifty-day festival of Pentecost directly following Pascha (or Easter), on 22 May 337. The Constantinian dynasty down to Gratian r. Although Constantine’s death follows the conclusion of the Persian campaign in Eusebius’s account, most other sources report his death as occurring in its middle. Emperor Julian (a nephew of Constantine), writing in the mid-350s, observes that the Sassanians escaped punishment for their ill-deeds, because Constantine died “in the middle of his preparations for war”. Similar accounts are given in the Origo Constantini , an anonymous document composed while Constantine was still living, and which has Constantine dying in Nicomedia; the Historiae abbreviatae of Sextus Aurelius Victor, written in 361, which has Constantine dying at an estate near Nicomedia called Achyrona while marching against the Persians; and the Breviarium of Eutropius, a handbook compiled in 369 for the Emperor Valens, which has Constantine dying in a nameless state villa in Nicomedia. From these and other accounts, some have concluded that Eusebius’s Vita was edited to defend Constantine’s reputation against what Eusebius saw as a less congenial version of the campaign. Following his death, his body was transferred to Constantinople and buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles there. He was succeeded by his three sons born of Fausta, Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans. A number of relatives were killed by followers of Constantius, notably Constantine’s nephews Dalmatius (who held the rank of Caesar) and Hannibalianus, presumably to eliminate possible contenders to an already complicated succession. He also had two daughters, Constantina and Helena, wife of Emperor Julian. Bronze head of Constantine, from a colossal statue (4th century). Although he earned his honorific of “The Great” from Christian historians long after he had died, he could have claimed the title on his military achievements and victories alone. Besides reuniting the Empire under one emperor, Constantine won major victories over the Franks and Alamanni in 306-308, the Franks again in 313-314, the Goths in 332 and the Sarmatians in 334. By 336, Constantine had reoccupied most of the long-lost province of Dacia, which Aurelian had been forced to abandon in 271. At the time of his death, he was planning a great expedition to end raids on the eastern provinces from the Persian Empire. Serving for a total of almost 31 years (combining his years as co-ruler and sole ruler), he was also the longest serving emperor since Augustus and the second longest serving emperor in Roman history. In the cultural sphere Constantine contributed to the revival of the clean shaven face fashion of the Roman emperors from Augustus to Trajan, which was originally introduced among the Romans by Scipio Africanus. This new Roman imperial fashion lasted until the reign of Phocas. The Byzantine Empire considered Constantine its founder and the Holy Roman Empire reckoned him among the venerable figures of its tradition. In the later Byzantine state, it had become a great honor for an emperor to be hailed as a “new Constantine”. Ten emperors, including the last emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, carried the name. Monumental Constantinian forms were used at the court of Charlemagne to suggest that he was Constantine’s successor and equal. Constantine acquired a mythic role as a warrior against “heathens”. The motif of the Romanesque equestrian, the mounted figure in the posture of a triumphant Roman emperor, became a visual metaphor in statuary in praise of local benefactors. The name “Constantine” itself enjoyed renewed popularity in western France in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The Orthodox Church considers Constantine a saint (, Saint Constantine), having a feast day on 3 September, and calls him isapostolos -an equal of the Apostles. The Ni Airport is named “Constantine the Great” in honor of him. A large Cross was planned to be built on a hill overlooking Ni, but the project was cancelled. In 2012, a memorial was erected in Ni in his honor. The Commemoration of the Edict of Milan was held in Ni in 2013. During his life and those of his sons, Constantine was presented as a paragon of virtue. Pagans such as Praxagoras of Athens and Libanius showered him with praise. When the last of his sons died in 361, however, his nephew (and son-in-law) Julian the Apostate wrote the satire Symposium, or the Saturnalia , which denigrated Constantine, calling him inferior to the great pagan emperors, and given over to luxury and greed. Following Julian, Eunapius began-and Zosimus continued-a historiographic tradition that blamed Constantine for weakening the Empire through his indulgence to the Christians. Constantius appoints Constantine as his successor by Peter Paul Rubens, 1622. In both medieval East and West, Constantine was presented as an ideal ruler, the standard against which any king or emperor could be measured. The Renaissance rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources prompted a re-evaluation of Constantine’s career. The German humanist Johann Löwenklau, discoverer of Zosimus’ writings, published a Latin translation thereof in 1576. In its preface, he argued that Zosimus’ picture of Constantine was superior to that offered by Eusebius and the Church historians, offered a more balanced view. Cardinal Caesar Baronius, a man of the Counter-Reformation, criticized Zosimus, favoring Eusebius’ account of the Constantinian era. Baronius’ Life of Constantine (1588) presents Constantine as the model of a Christian prince. For his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-89), Edward Gibbon, aiming to unite the two extremes of Constantinian scholarship, offered a portrait of Constantine built on the contrasted narratives of Eusebius and Zosimus. In a form that parallels his account of the empire’s decline, Gibbon presents a noble war hero corrupted by Christian influences, who transforms into an Oriental despot in his old age: a hero… Degenerating into a cruel and dissolute monarch. Modern interpretations of Constantine’s rule begin with Jacob Burckhardt’s The Age of Constantine the Great 1853, rev. Burckhardt’s Constantine is a scheming secularist, a politician who manipulates all parties in a quest to secure his own power. Henri Grégoire, writing in the 1930s, followed Burckhardt’s evaluation of Constantine. For Grégoire, Constantine developed an interest in Christianity only after witnessing its political usefulness. Grégoire was skeptical of the authenticity of Eusebius’ Vita , and postulated a pseudo-Eusebius to assume responsibility for the vision and conversion narratives of that work. Otto Seeck, in Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken Welt (1920-23), and André Piganiol, in L’empereur Constantin (1932), wrote against this historiographic tradition. Seeck presented Constantine as a sincere war hero, whose ambiguities were the product of his own naïve inconsistency. Piganiol’s Constantine is a philosophical monotheist, a child of his era’s religious syncretism. Related histories by A. Jones (Constantine and the Conversion of Europe , 1949) and Ramsay MacMullen (Constantine , 1969) gave portraits of a less visionary, and more impulsive, Constantine. These later accounts were more willing to present Constantine as a genuine convert to Christianity. Beginning with Norman H. Baynes’ Constantine the Great and the Christian Church (1929) and reinforced by Andreas Alföldi’s The Conversion of Constantine and Pagan Rome (1948), a historiographic tradition developed which presented Constantine as a committed Christian. Barnes’s seminal Constantine and Eusebius (1981) represents the culmination of this trend. Barnes’ Constantine experienced a radical conversion, which drove him on a personal crusade to convert his empire. Charles Matson Odahl’s recent Constantine and the Christian Empire (2004) takes much the same tack. In spite of Barnes’ work, arguments over the strength and depth of Constantine’s religious conversion continue. Certain themes in this school reached new extremes in T. Elliott’s The Christianity of Constantine the Great (1996), which presented Constantine as a committed Christian from early childhood. A similar view of Constantine is held in Paul Veyne’s recent (2007) work, Quand notre monde est devenu chrétien , which does not speculate on the origins of Constantine’s Christian motivation, but presents him, in his role as Emperor, as a religious revolutionary who fervently believed himself meant “to play a providential role in the millenary economy of the salvation of humanity”. Main article: Donation of Constantine. Latin Rite Catholics considered it inappropriate that Constantine was baptized only on his death-bed and by an unorthodox bishop, as it undermined the authority of the Papacy. Hence, by the early fourth century, a legend had emerged that Pope Sylvester I (314-335) had cured the pagan emperor from leprosy. According to this legend, Constantine was soon baptized, and began the construction of a church in the Lateran Palace. In the eighth century, most likely during the pontificate of Stephen II (752-757), a document called the Donation of Constantine first appeared, in which the freshly converted Constantine hands the temporal rule over “the city of Rome and all the provinces, districts, and cities of Italy and the Western regions” to Sylvester and his successors. In the High Middle Ages, this document was used and accepted as the basis for the Pope’s temporal power, though it was denounced as a forgery by Emperor Otto III and lamented as the root of papal worldliness by the poet Dante Alighieri. The 15th century philologist Lorenzo Valla proved the document was indeed a forgery. Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia. During the medieval period, Britons regarded Constantine as a king of their own people, particularly associating him with Caernarfon in Gwynedd. While some of this is owed to his fame and his proclamation as Emperor in Britain, there was also confusion of his family with Magnus Maximus’s supposed wife Saint Elen and her son, another Constantine (Welsh: Custennin). In the 12th century Henry of Huntingdon included a passage in his Historia Anglorum that the emperor Constantine’s mother was a Briton, making her the daughter of King Cole of Colchester. Geoffrey of Monmouth expanded this story in his highly fictionalized Historia Regum Britanniae , an account of the supposed Kings of Britain from their Trojan origins to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. According to Geoffrey, Cole was King of the Britons when Constantius, here a senator, came to Britain. Afraid of the Romans, Cole submitted to Roman law so long as he retained his kingship. However, he died only a month later, and Constantius took the throne himself, marrying Cole’s daughter Helena. They had their son Constantine, who succeeded his father as King of Britain before becoming Roman Emperor. Historically, this series of events is extremely improbable. Constantius had already left Helena by the time he left for Britain. Additionally, no earlier source mentions that Helena was born in Britain, let alone that she was a princess. Henry’s source for the story is unknown, though it may have been a lost hagiography of Helena. Documentaries of Constantine include: PBS’ “From Jesus To Christ: The First Christians” Chapter 12 and Hector Galan’s “Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine” Episode 6 Constantine. World-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine, world coins & more. Ilya Zlobin is an independent individual who has a passion for coin collecting, research and understanding the importance of the historical context and significance all coins and objects represent. Send me a message about this and I can update your invoice should you want this method. Getting your order to you, quickly and securely is a top priority and is taken seriously here. Great care is taken in packaging and mailing every item securely and quickly. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be very happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Additionally, the coin is inside it’s own protective coin flip (holder), with a 2×2 inch description of the coin matching the individual number on the COA. Whether your goal is to collect or give the item as a gift, coins presented like this could be more prized and valued higher than items that were not given such care and attention to. When should I leave feedback? Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens sometimes that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for their order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. How and where do I learn more about collecting ancient coins? Visit the Guide on How to Use My Store. For on an overview about using my store, with additional information and links to all other parts of my store which may include educational information on topics you are looking for. The item “CONSTANTINE I the GREAT 330AD Romulus Remus WOLF Ancient Roman Coin NGC i69156″ is in sale since Tuesday, May 1, 2018. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Ruler: Constantine I
  • Ancient Coins: Roman Coins
  • Coin Type: Ancient Roman
  • Certification: NGC
  • Grade: Ch XF
  • Certification Number: 4680703-013

Jun 20 2018

HANNIBALLIANUS 335AD Constantine the Great Time Ancient Roman Coin NGC i66637

HANNIBALLIANUS 335AD Constantine the Great Time Ancient Roman Coin NGC i66637

HANNIBALLIANUS 335AD Constantine the Great Time Ancient Roman Coin NGC i66637

HANNIBALLIANUS 335AD Constantine the Great Time Ancient Roman Coin NGC i66637

HANNIBALLIANUS 335AD Constantine the Great Time Ancient Roman Coin NGC i66637

Item: i66637 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Roman’Rex Regum. Bronze BI Nummus or AE3/4 14mm (1.56 grams) Constantinople mint: 335-337 A. Reference: RIC VII 147; S. 3935 Certification: NGC Ancients. Ch XF Strike: 4/5 Surface: 4/5 4281367-010 FL HANNIBALIANO REGI, Bare-headed, draped and cuirassed bust right. SECVRITAS PVBLICA Exe: CONS, Euphrates lying left, holding scepter. And Helena the Younger wife of Julian II. Flavius Hannibalianus also Hanniballianus ; d. September 337 was a member of the Constantinian dynasty, which ruled over the Roman Empire in the 4th century. Hannibalianus was the son of Flavius Dalmatius, and thus nephew of Constantine I. Hannibalianus and his brother Dalmatius were educated at Tolosa by rhetor Exuperius. In 320s, Constantine called Flavius Dalmatius and his sons to Constantinople. Hannibalianus married Constantine’s elder daughter, Constantina, in 335, and was made nobilissimus. In occasion of the campaign of Constantine against the Sassanids (337), Hannibalianus was made Rex Regum et Ponticarum Gentium , “King of the Kings and of the Pontic People”. Probably it was Constantine’s intention to put Hannibalianus on the Pontic throne, after the defeat of the Persians. The Persian campaign did not take place, because Constantine died in May 337. Hannibalianus died, as did his brother, in the purge of the imperial family that followed. World-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine, world coins & more. Ilya Zlobin is an independent individual who has a passion for coin collecting, research and understanding the importance of the historical context and significance all coins and objects represent. Send me a message about this and I can update your invoice should you want this method. Getting your order to you, quickly and securely is a top priority and is taken seriously here. Great care is taken in packaging and mailing every item securely and quickly. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be very happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Additionally, the coin is inside it’s own protective coin flip (holder), with a 2×2 inch description of the coin matching the individual number on the COA. Whether your goal is to collect or give the item as a gift, coins presented like this could be more prized and valued higher than items that were not given such care and attention to. When should I leave feedback? Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens sometimes that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for their order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. How and where do I learn more about collecting ancient coins? Visit the Guide on How to Use My Store. For on an overview about using my store, with additional information and links to all other parts of my store which may include educational information on topics you are looking for. The item “HANNIBALLIANUS 335AD Constantine the Great Time Ancient Roman Coin NGC i66637″ is in sale since Tuesday, January 16, 2018. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Ruler: Hanniballianus
  • Certification: NGC
  • Grade: Ch XF
  • Certification Number: 4281367-010

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Jun 13 2018

CONSTANTINE I Romulus Remus SheWolf Rome Commemorative Ancient Roman Coin i46808

CONSTANTINE I Romulus Remus SheWolf Rome Commemorative Ancient Roman Coin i46808

CONSTANTINE I Romulus Remus SheWolf Rome Commemorative Ancient Roman Coin i46808

Item: i46808 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Constantine I’The Great’ – Roman Emperor : 307-337 A. ROME CITY COMMEMORATIVE Bronze AE3 19mm (2.91 grams) Cyzicus mint: 330-335 A. Reference: RIC 72 (VII, Cyzicus) VRBSROMA – Roma helmeted, draped and cuirassed bust left. SMK – wolf standing left, suckling Romulus and Remus; two stars above. Three dots between stars above. By circa 330 A. Constantine the Great completed his new capital for the Roman empire called Constantinople. For this momentous occasion, he issued two commemorative coin types, one celebrating Rome and the other Constantinople. The type that commemorated Rome had the personification of Rome, Roma with the inscription VRBS ROMA and the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus on the reverse suckling the she-wolf. The type that commemorated Constantinople had the personification of Constantinople on the obverse and Victory on a galley sailing with a shield. This was a great way for Constantine the Great to pay homage to both Rome and Constantinople. Romulus and Remus are the twin brothers and central characters of Rome’s foundation myth. Their mother is Rhea Silvia , daughter to Numitor , king of Alba Longa. Before their conception, Numitor’s brother Amulius seizes power, kills Numitor’s male heirs and forces Rhea Silvia to become a Vestal Virgin , sworn to chastity. Rhea Silvia conceives the twins by the god Mars , or by the demi-god Hercules ; once the twins are born, Amulius has them abandoned to die in the river Tiber. They are saved by a series of miraculous interventions: the river carries them to safety, a she-wolf (in Latin , lupa) finds and suckles them, and a woodpecker feeds them. A shepherd and his wife find them and foster them to manhood, as simple shepherds. The twins, still ignorant of their true origins, prove to be natural leaders. Each acquires many followers. When they discover the truth of their birth, they kill Amulius and restore Numitor to his throne. Rather than wait to inherit Alba Longa, they choose to found a new city. Romulus wants to found the new city on the Palatine Hill ; Remus prefers the Aventine Hill. They agree to determine the site through augury but when each claims the results in his own favor, they quarrel and Remus is killed. Romulus founds the new city, names it Rome , after himself, and creates its first legions and senate. The new city grows rapidly, swelled by landless refugees; as most of these are male, and unmarried, Romulus arranges the abduction of women from the neighboring Sabines. The ensuing war ends with the joining of Sabines and Romans as one Roman people. Thanks to divine favour and Romulus’ inspired leadership, Rome becomes a dominant force, but Romulus himself becomes increasingly autocratic, and disappears or dies in mysterious circumstances. In later forms of the myth, he ascends to heaven, and is identified with Quirinus , the divine personification of the Roman people. The legend as a whole encapsulates Rome’s ideas of itself, its origins and moral values. For modern scholarship, it remains one of the most complex and problematic of all foundation myths, particularly in the matter and manner of Remus’ death. Ancient historians had no doubt that Romulus gave his name to the city. Most modern historians believe his name a back-formation from the name Rome; the basis for Remus’ name and role remain subjects of ancient and modern speculation. The myth was fully developed into something like an “official”, chronological version in the Late Republican and early Imperial era; Roman historians dated the city’s foundation to between 758 and 728 BC, and Plutarch reckoned the twins’ birth year as c. 27/28 March 771 BC. An earlier tradition that gave Romulus a distant ancestor in the semi-divine Trojan prince Aeneas was further embellished, and Romulus was made the direct ancestor of Rome’s first Imperial dynasty. Possible historical bases for the broad mythological narrative remain unclear and disputed. The image of the she-wolf suckling the divinely fathered twins became an iconic representation of the city and its founding legend, making Romulus and Remus preeminent among the feral children of ancient mythography. The legend in ancient sources. Modern scholarship approaches the various known stories of Romulus and Remus as cumulative elaborations and later interpretations of Roman foundation-myth. Particular versions and collations were presented by Roman historians as authoritative, an official history trimmed of contradictions and untidy variants to justify contemporary developments, genealogies and actions in relation to Roman morality. Other narratives appear to represent popular or folkloric tradition; some of these remain inscrutable in purpose and meaning. Wiseman sums the whole as the mythography of an unusually problematic foundation and early history. Cornell and others describe particular elements of the mythos as “shameful”. Nevertheless, by the 4th century BC, the fundamentals of the Romulus and Remus story were standard Roman fare, and by 269 BC the wolf and suckling twins appeared on one of the earliest, if not the earliest issues of Roman silver coinage. Rome’s foundation story was evidently a matter of national pride. It featured in the earliest known history of Rome , which was attributed to Diocles of Peparethus. The patrician senator Quintus Fabius Pictor used Diocles’ as a source for his own history of Rome, written around the time of Rome’s war with Hannibal and probably intended for circulation among Rome’s Greek-speaking allies. Fabius’ history provided a basis for the early books of Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita , which he wrote in Latin , and for several Greek-language histories of Rome, including Dionysius of Halicarnassus’s Roman Antiquities , written during the late 1st century BC, and Plutarch’s early 2nd century Life of Romulus. These three accounts provide the broad literary basis for studies of Rome’s founding mythography. They have much in common, but each is selective to its purpose. Livy’s is a dignified handbook, justifying the purpose and morality of Roman traditions observed in his own times. Dionysius and Plutarch approach the same subjects as interested outsiders, and include founder-traditions not mentioned by Livy, untraceable to a common source and probably specific to particular regions, social classes or oral traditions. A Roman text of the late Imperial era, Origo gentis Romanae (The origin of the Roman people) is dedicated to the many “more or less bizarre”, often contradictory variants of Rome’s foundation myth, including versions in which Remus founds a city named Remuria, five miles from Rome, and outlives his brother Romulus. Stories of ancestry and parentage. There are several variations on the basic legendary tale. Plutarch presents Romulus and Remus’ ancient descent from prince Aeneas , fugitive from Troy after its destruction by the Achaeans. Their maternal grandfather is his descendant Numitor , who inherits the kingship of Alba Longa. Numitors brother Amulius inherits its treasury, including the gold brought by Aeneas from Troy. Amulius uses his control of the treasury to dethrone Numitor, but fears that Numitor’s daughter, Rhea Silvia , will bear children who could overthrow him. Amulius forces Rhea Silvia into perpetual virginity as a Vestal priestess, but she bears children anyway. In one variation of the story, Mars , god of war, seduces and impregnates her: in another, Amulius himself seduces her, and in yet another, Hercules. The king sees his niece’s pregnancy and confines her. She gives birth to twin boys of remarkable beauty; her uncle orders her death and theirs. One account holds that he has Rhea buried alive the standard punishment for Vestal Virgins who violated their vow of celibacy and orders the death of the twins by exposure ; both means would avoid his direct blood-guilt. In another, he has Rhea and her twins thrown into the River Tiber. In every version, a servant is charged with the deed of killing the twins, but cannot bring himself to harm them. He places them in a basket and leaves it on the banks of the Tiber. The river rises in flood and carries the twins downstream, unharmed. Altar from Ostia showing the discovery of Romulus and Remus (now at the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme). The river deity Tiberinus makes the basket catch in the roots of a fig tree that grows in the Velabrum swamp at the base of the Palatine Hill. The twins are found and suckled by a she-wolf (Lupa) and fed by a woodpecker (Picus). A shepherd of Amulius named Faustulus discovers them and takes them to his hut, where he and his wife Acca Larentia raise them as their own children. Faustulus (to the right of picture) discovers Romulus and Remus with the she-wolf and woodpecker. Their mother Rhea Silvia and the river-god Tiberinus witness the moment. Painting by Peter Paul Rubens , c. In another variant, Hercules impregnates Acca Larentia and marries her off to the shepherd Faustulus. She has twelve sons; when one of them dies, Romulus takes his place to found the priestly college of Arval brothers Fratres Arvales. Acca Larentia is therefore identified with the Arval goddess Dea Dia , who is served by the Arvals. In later Republican religious tradition, a Quirinal priest (flamen) impersonated Romulus (by then deified as Quirinus) to perform funerary rites for his foster mother (identified as Dia). Another and probably late tradition has Acca Larentia as a sacred prostitute one of many Roman slangs for prostitute was lupa (she-wolf). Yet another tradition relates that Romulus and Remus are nursed by the Wolf-Goddess Lupa or Luperca in her cave-lair (lupercal). Luperca was given cult for her protection of sheep from wolves and her spouse was the Wolf-and-Shepherd-God Lupercus , who brought fertility to the flocks. She has been identified with Acca Larentia. In all versions of the founding myth, the twins grew up as shepherds. While tending their flocks, they came into conflict with the shepherds of Amulius. Remus was captured and brought before Amulius, who eventually discovers his identity. Romulus raised a band of shepherds to liberate his brother and Amulius was killed. Romulus and Remus were conjointly offered the crown but they refused it and restored Numitor to the throne. They left to found their own city, but could not agree on its location; Romulus preferred the Palatine Hill , Remus preferred the Aventine Hill. They agreed to seek the will of the gods in this matter, through augury. Each took position on his respective hill and prepared a sacred space there. Remus saw six auspicious birds; but Romulus saw twelve. Romulus claimed superior augury as the divine basis of his right to decide. Remus made a counterclaim: he saw his six vultures first. Romulus set to work with his supporters, digging a trench (or building a wall, according to Dionysius) around the Palatine to define his city boundary. Livy gave two versions of Remus’ death. In the one “more generally received”, Remus criticized and belittles the new wall, and in a final insult to the new city and its founder alike, he leapt over it. Romulus killed him, saying “So perish every one that shall hereafter leap over my wall”. In the other version, Remus was simply stated as dead; no murder was alleged. Two other, lesser known accounts have Remus killed by a blow to the head with a spade, wielded either by Romulus’ commander Fabius according to St. Jerome’s version or by a man named Celer. Romulus buried Remus with honour and regret. The Roman ab urbe condita began from the founding of the city, and places that date as 21 April 753 BC. Romulus completed his city and named it Roma after himself. Then he divided his fighting men into regiments of 3000 infantry and 300 cavalry, which he called “legions”. From the rest of the populace he selected 100 of the most noble and wealthy fathers to serve as his council. He called these men Patricians : they were fathers of Rome, not only because they cared for their own legitimate citizen-sons but because they had a fatherly care for Rome and all its people. They were also its elders, and were therefore known as Senators. Romulus thereby inaugurated a system of government and social hierarchy based on the patron-client relationship. Rome drew exiles, refugees, the dispossessed, criminals and runaway slaves. The city expanded its boundaries to accommodate them; five of the seven hills of Rome were settled: the Capitoline Hill , the Aventine Hill , the Caelian Hill , the Quirinal Hill , and the Palatine Hill. As most of these immigrants were men, Rome found itself with a shortage of marriageable women. Romulus invited the neighboring Sabines and Latins , along with their womenfolk, to a festival at the Circus Maximus , in honour of Consus (or of Neptune). While the men were distracted by the games and befuddled with wine, the Romans seized their daughters and took them into the city. Most were eventually persuaded to marry Roman men. War with the Sabines. The Sabine and Latin men demanded the return of their daughters. The inhabitants of three Latin towns (Caenina, Antemnae and Crustumerium) took up arms one after the other but were soundly defeated by Romulus, who killed Acron, the king of Caenina, with his own hand and celebrates the first Roman triumph shortly after. Romulus was magnanimous in victory most of the conquered land was divided among Rome’s citizens but none of the defeated are enslaved. The Sabine king Titus Tatius marched on Rome to assault its Capitoline citadel. The citadel commander’s daughter Tarpeia opened the gates for them, in return for “what they wear on their left arms”. She expected their golden bracelets. Once inside, the Sabines crushed her to death under a pile of their shields. Romulus, Victor over Acron, hauls the rich booty to the temple of Jupiter, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. The Sabines left the citadel to meet the Romans in open battle in the space later known as the comitium. The outcome hung in the balance; the Romans retreated to the Palatine Hill, where Romulus called on Jupiter for help traditionally at the place where a Stator temple to Jupiter (“the stayer”) was built. The Romans drove the Sabines back to the point where the Curia Hostilia later stood. The Sabine Women, by Jacques-Louis David. The Sabine women themselves then intervened to beg for unity between Sabines and Romans. A truce was made, then peace. The Romans based themselves on the Palatine and the Sabines on the Quirinal , with Romulus and Tatius as joint kings and the Comitium as the common centre of government and culture. 100 Sabine elders and clan leaders joined the Patrician Senate. The Sabines adopted the Roman calendar, and the Romans adopted the armour and oblong shield of the Sabines. The legions were doubled in size. Romulus and Tatius ruled jointly for five years and subdued the Alban colony of the Camerini. Then Tatius sheltered some allies who had illegally plundered the Lavinians, and murdered ambassadors sent to seek justice. Romulus and the Senate decided that Tatius should go to Lavinium to offer sacrifice and appease his offence. At Lavinium, Tatius was assassinated and Romulus became sole king. As king, Romulus held authority over Rome’s armies and judiciary. He organises Rome’s administration according to tribe; one of Latins (Ramnes), one of Sabines (Titites), and one of Luceres. Each elected a tribune to represented their civil, religious, and military interests. The tribunes were magistrates of their tribes, performed sacrifices on their behalf, and commanded their tribal levies in times of war. Romulus divided each tribe into ten curiae to form the Comitia Curiata. The thirty curiae derived their individual names from thirty of the kidnapped Sabine women. The individual curiae were further divided into ten gentes , held to form the basis for the nomen in the Roman naming convention. Proposals made by Romulus or the Senate were offered to the Curiate assembly for ratification; the ten gentes within each curia cast a vote. Votes were carried by whichever gens has a majority. Romulus formed a personal guard called the Celeres ; these were three hundred of Rome’s finest horsemen. They were commanded by a tribune of the Ramnes; in one version of the founding tale, Celer killed Remus and helped Romulus found the city of Rome. The provision of a personal guard for Romulus helped justify the Augustan development of a Praetorian Guard , responsible for internal security and the personal safety of the Emperor. The relationship between Romulus and his Tribune resembled the later relation between the Roman Dictator and his Magister Equitum. Celer, as the Celerum Tribune , occupied the second place in the state, and in Romulus’ absence had the rights of convoking the Comitia and commanding the armies. For more than two decades, Romulus waged wars and expands Rome’s territory. He subdues Fidenae , which seized Roman provisions during a famine, and founded a Roman colony there. Then he subdued the Crustumini, who had murdered Roman colonists in their territory. The Etruscans of Veii protested the presence of a Roman garrison at Fidenae, and demanded the return of the town to its citizens. When Romulus refused, they confronted him in battle and were defeated. They agreed to a hundred-year truce and surrendered fifty noble hostages: Romulus celebrated his third and last triumph. When Romulus’ grandfather Numitor died, the people of Alba Longa offered him the crown as rightful heir. Romulus adapted the government of the city to a Roman model. Henceforth, the citizens held annual elections and choose one of their own as Roman governor. In Rome, Romulus began to show signs of autocratic rule. The Senate becomes less influential in administration and lawmaking; Romulus ruled by edict. He divided his conquered territories among his soldiers without Patrician consent. Senatorial resentment grew to hatred. According to the legend, Romulus mysteriously disappeared in a storm or whirlwind, during or shortly after offering public sacrifice at or near the Quirinal Hill. A “foul suspicion” arises that the Senate, weary of kingly government, and exasperated of late by the imperious deportment of Romulus toward them, had plotted against his life and made him away, so that they might assume the authority and government into their own hands. This suspicion they sought to turn aside by decreeing divine honors to Romulus, as to one not dead, but translated to a higher condition. And Proculus, a man of note, took oath that he saw Romulus caught up into heaven in his arms and vestments, and heard him, as he ascended, cry out that they should hereafter style him by the name of Quirinus. Livy repeats more or less the same story, but shifts the initiative for deification to the people of Rome. Then a few voices began to proclaim Romulus’s divinity; the cry was taken up, and at last every man present hailed him as a god and son of a god, and prayed to him to be forever gracious and to protect his children. However, even on this great occasion there were, I believe, a few dissenters who secretly maintained that the king had been torn to pieces by the senators. At all events the story got about, though in veiled terms; but it was not important, as awe, and admiration for Romulus’s greatness, set the seal upon the other version of his end, which was, moreover, given further credit by the timely action of a certain Julius Proculus, a man, we are told, honored for his wise counsel on weighty matters. The loss of the king had left the people in an uneasy mood and suspicious of the senators, and Proculus, aware of the prevalent temper, conceived the shrewd idea of addressing the Assembly. Romulus’, he declared,’the father of our city descended from heaven at dawn this morning and appeared to me. In awe and reverence I stood before him, praying for permission to look upon his face without sin. Go , he said, and tell the Romans that by heaven’s will my Rome shall be capital of the world. Let them learn to be soldiers. Let them know, and teach their children, that no power on earth can stand against Roman arms. Having spoken these words, he was taken up again into the sky. Livy infers Romulus’ murder as no more than a dim and doubtful whisper from the past; in the circumstances, Proculus’ declaration is wise and practical because it has the desired effect. Cicero’s seeming familiarity with the story of Romulus’ murder and divinity must have been shared by his target audience and readership. Dio’s version, though fragmentary, is unequivocal; Romulus is surrounded by hostile, resentful senators and “rent limb from limb” in the senate-house itself. An eclipse and sudden storm, “the same sort of phenomenon that had attended his birth”, conceal the deed from the soldiers and the people, who are anxiously seeking their king. Proculus fakes a personal vision of Romulus’ spontaneous ascent to heaven as Quirinus and announces the message of Romulus-Quirinus; a new king must be chosen at once. A dispute arises: should this king be Sabine or Roman? The debate goes on for a year. During this time, the most distinguished senators rule for five days at a time as interreges. Plutarch says that Romulus was 53 (“in the fifty-fourth year of his age”) when he “vanished” in 717 BC; this gives the twins a birth-date in the year 771 BC, and Romulus’ founding of Rome at the age of 18. Dionysius of Halicarnassus says that Romulus began his reign at 18, ruled for 37 years and died at 55 years old. 180s BC refers to Romulus as a divinity without reference to Quirinus, whom Roman mythographers identified as an originally Sabine war-deity, and thus to be identified with Roman Mars. Lucilius lists Quirinus and Romulus as separate deities, and Varro accords them different temples. Images of Quirinus showed him as a bearded warrior wielding a spear as a god of war, the embodiment of Roman strength and a deified likeness of the city of Rome. He had a Flamen Maior called the Flamen Quirinalis , who oversaw his worship and rituals in the ordainment of Roman religion attributed to Romulus’ royal successor, Numa Pompilius. There is however no evidence for the conflated Romulus-Quirinus before the 1st century BC. Ovid in Book 14, lines 812-828, of the Metamorphoses gives a description of the deification of Romulus and his wife Hersilia , who are given the new names of Quirinus and Hora respectively. Mars, the father of Romulus, is given permission by Jupiter to bring his son up to Olympus to live with the Olympians. Ovid uses the words of Ennius as a direct quote and puts them into the mouth of the King of the Gods, “There shall be one whom you shall raise to the blue vault of heaven”. Ovid then uses a simile to describe the change that Romulus undertakes as he ascends to live with the Olympians, as leaden balls from a broad sling melt in mid sky: Finer his features now and worthier of heavens high-raised couch, his lineaments those of Quirinus in his robe of state. Silver didrachm (6.44 g). Ancient pictures of the Roman twins usually follow certain symbolic traditions, depending on the legend they follow: they either show a shepherd, the she-wolf, the twins under a fig tree, and one or two birds (Livy , Plutarch); or they depict two shepherds, the she-wolf, the twins in a cave, seldom a fig tree, and never any birds (Dionysius of Halicarnassus). Also there are coins with Lupa and the tiny twins placed beneath her. The Franks Casket , an Anglo-Saxon ivory box (early 7th century AD) shows Romulus and Remus in an unusual setting, two wolves instead of one, a grove instead of one tree or a cave, four kneeling warriors instead of one or two gesticulating shepherds. According to one interpretation, and as the runic inscription (“far from home”) indicates, the twins are cited here as the Dioscuri , helpers at voyages such as Castor and Polydeuces. Their descent from the Roman god of war predestines them as helpers on the way to war. The carver transferred them into the Germanic holy grove and has Woden s second wolf join them. Thus the picture served along with five other ones to influence ” wyrd “, the fortune and fate of a warrior king. Romolo e Remo : a 1961 film starring Steve Reeves and Gordon Scott as the two brothers. The Rape of the Sabine Women : a 1962 film starring Wolf Ruvinskis as Romulus. In the Star Trek universe, Romulus and Remus are neighbouring planets with Remus being tidally locked to the star. Romulus is the capital of the Romulan Star Empire , which is loosely based on the Roman Empire. The novel Founding Fathers by Alfred Duggan describes the founding and first decades of Rome from the points of view of Marcus, one of Romulus’s Latin followers, Publius, a Sabine who settles in Rome as part of the peace agreement with Tatius, Perperna, an Etruscan fugitive who is accepted into the tribe of Luceres after his own city is destroyed, and Macro, a Greek seeking purification from blood-guilt who comes to the city in the last years of Romulus’ reign. Publiusa and Perpernia become senators. Romulus is portrayed as a gifted leader though a remarkably unpleasant person, chiefly distinguished by his luck; the story of his surreptitious murder by the senators is adopted, but although the story of his deification is fabricated, his murderers themselves think he may indeed have become a god. The novel begins with the founding of the city and the killing of Remus, and ends with the accession of Numa Pompilius. In the game Undead Knights , the main characters are brothers named Romulus and Remus. Constantine the Great Latin. Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus. 272 22 May 337, also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine , was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to be converted to Christianity , Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed tolerance of all religions throughout the empire. Constantine defeated the emperors Maxentius and Licinius during civil wars. He also fought successfully against the Franks , Alamanni , Visigoths , and Sarmatians during his reign even resettling parts of Dacia which had been abandoned during the previous century. Constantine built a new imperial residence at Byzantium , naming it New Rome. However, in Constantine’s honor, people called it Constantinople , which would later be the capital of what is now known as the Byzantine Empire for over one thousand years. Because of this, he is thought of as the founder of the Byzantine Empire. Flavius Valerius Constantinus, as he was originally named, was born in the city of Naissus, Dardania province of Moesia , in present-day Ni , Serbia , on 27 February of an uncertain year, probably near 272. His father was Flavius Constantius , a native of Dardania province of Moesia (later Dacia Ripensis). Constantius was a tolerant and politically skilled man. Constantine probably spent little time with his father. Constantius was an officer in the Roman army, part of the Emperor Aurelian’s imperial bodyguard. Constantius advanced through the ranks, earning the governorship of Dalmatia from Emperor Diocletian , another of Aurelian’s companions from Illyricum , in 284 or 285. Helena gave birth to the future emperor Constantine I on 27 February of an uncertain year soon after 270 (probably around 272). At the time, she was in Naissus (Ni , Serbia). In order to obtain a wife more consonant with his rising status, Constantius divorced Helena some time before 289, when he married Theodora , Maximian’s daughter. (The narrative sources date the marriage to 293, but the Latin panegyric of 289 refers to the couple as already married). Helena and her son were dispatched to the court of Diocletian at Nicomedia, where Constantine grew to be a member of the inner circle. Helena never remarried and lived for a time in obscurity, though close to her only son, who had a deep regard and affection for her. She received the title of Augusta in 325 and died in 330 with her son at her side. She was buried in the Mausoleum of Helena , outside Rome on the Via Labicana. Her sarcophagus is on display in the Pio-Clementine Vatican Museum , although the connection is often questioned, next to her is the sarcophagus of her granddaughter Saint Constantina (Saint Constance). The elaborate reliefs contain hunting scenes. During her life, she gave many presents to the poor, released prisoners and mingled with the ordinary worshippers in modest attire. Constantine received a formal education at Diocletian’s court, where he learned Latin literature, Greek, and philosophy. On 1 May 305, Diocletian, as a result of a debilitating sickness taken in the winter of 3045, announced his resignation. In a parallel ceremony in Milan, Maximian did the same. Lactantius states that Galerius manipulated the weakened Diocletian into resigning, and forced him to accept Galerius’ allies in the imperial succession. According to Lactantius, the crowd listening to Diocletian’s resignation speech believed, until the very last moment, that Diocletian would choose Constantine and Maxentius (Maximian’s son) as his successors. It was not to be: Constantius and Galerius were promoted to Augusti, while Severus and Maximin were appointed their Caesars respectively. Constantine and Maxentius were ignored. Constantine recognized the implicit danger in remaining at Galerius’ court, where he was held as a virtual hostage. His career depended on being rescued by his father in the west. Constantius was quick to intervene. In the late spring or early summer of 305, Constantius requested leave for his son, to help him campaign in Britain. After a long evening of drinking, Galerius granted the request. Constantine’s later propaganda describes how he fled the court in the night, before Galerius could change his mind. Constantine joined his father in Gaul , at Bononia (Boulogne) before the summer of 305. From Bononia they crossed the Channel to Britain and made their way to Eboracum (York), capital of the province of Britannia Secunda and home to a large military base. Constantine was able to spend a year in northern Britain at his father’s side, campaigning against the Picts beyond Hadrian’s Wall in the summer and autumn. Constantius’s campaign, like that of Septimius Severus before it, probably advanced far into the north without achieving great success. Constantius had become severely sick over the course of his reign, and died on 25 July 306 in Eboracum (York). Before dying, he declared his support for raising Constantine to the rank of full Augustus. The Alamannic king Chrocus , a barbarian taken into service under Constantius, then proclaimed Constantine as Augustus. The troops loyal to Constantius’ memory followed him in acclamation. Gaul and Britain quickly accepted his rule; Iberia, which had been in his father’s domain for less than a year, rejected it. Constantine sent Galerius an official notice of Constantius’s death and his own acclamation. Along with the notice, he included a portrait of himself in the robes of an Augustus. The portrait was wreathed in bay. He requested recognition as heir to his father’s throne, and passed off responsibility for his unlawful ascension on his army, claiming they had “forced it upon him”. Galerius was put into a fury by the message; he almost set the portrait on fire. His advisers calmed him, and argued that outright denial of Constantine’s claims would mean certain war. Galerius was compelled to compromise: he granted Constantine the title “Caesar” rather than “Augustus” (the latter office went to Severus instead). Wishing to make it clear that he alone gave Constantine legitimacy, Galerius personally sent Constantine the emperor’s traditional purple robes. Constantine accepted the decision. Constantine’s share of the Empire consisted of Britain, Gaul, and Spain. Because Constantine was still largely untried and had a hint of illegitimacy about him, he relied on his father’s reputation in his early propaganda: the earliest panegyrics to Constantine give as much coverage to his father’s deeds as to those of Constantine himself. Constantine’s military skill and building projects soon gave the panegyrist the opportunity to comment favorably on the similarities between father and son, and Eusebius remarked that Constantine was a “renewal, as it were, in his own person, of his father’s life and reign”. Constantinian coinage, sculpture and oratory also shows a new tendency for disdain towards the “barbarians” beyond the frontiers. After Constantine’s victory over the Alemanni, he minted a coin issue depicting weeping and begging Alemannic tribesmen”The Alemanni conquered”beneath the phrase “Romans’ rejoicing”. There was little sympathy for these enemies. As his panegyrist declared: It is a stupid clemency that spares the conquered foe. In 310, a dispossessed and power-hungry Maximian rebelled against Constantine while Constantine was away campaigning against the Franks. Maximian had been sent south to Arles with a contingent of Constantine’s army, in preparation for any attacks by Maxentius in southern Gaul. He announced that Constantine was dead, and took up the imperial purple. In spite of a large donative pledge to any who would support him as emperor, most of Constantine’s army remained loyal to their emperor, and Maximian was soon compelled to leave. Constantine soon heard of the rebellion, abandoned his campaign against the Franks, and marched his army up the Rhine. At Cabillunum (Chalon-sur-Saône), he moved his troops onto waiting boats to row down the slow waters of the Saône to the quicker waters of the Rhone. He disembarked at Lugdunum (Lyon). Maximian fled to Massilia (Marseille), a town better able to withstand a long siege than Arles. It made little difference, however, as loyal citizens opened the rear gates to Constantine. Maximian was captured and reproved for his crimes. Constantine granted some clemency, but strongly encouraged his suicide. In July 310, Maximian hanged himself. The death of Maximian required a shift in Constantine’s public image. Breaking away from tetrarchic models, the speech emphasizes Constantine’s ancestral prerogative to rule, rather than principles of imperial equality. The new ideology expressed in the speech made Galerius and Maximian irrelevant to Constantine’s right to rule. Indeed, the orator emphasizes ancestry to the exclusion of all other factors: “No chance agreement of men, nor some unexpected consequence of favor, made you emperor, ” the orator declares to Constantine. A gold multiple of “Unconquered Constantine” with Sol Invictus, struck in 313. The use of Sol’s image appealed to both the educated citizens of Gaul, who would recognize in it Apollo’s patronage of Augustus and the arts; and to Christians, who found solar monotheism less objectionable than the traditional pagan pantheon. The oration also moves away from the religious ideology of the Tetrarchy, with its focus on twin dynasties of Jupiter and Hercules. Instead, the orator proclaims that Constantine experienced a divine vision of Apollo and Victory granting him laurel wreaths of health and a long reign. In the likeness of Apollo Constantine recognized himself as the saving figure to whom would be granted “rule of the whole world”, as the poet Virgil had once foretold. The oration’s religious shift is paralleled by a similar shift in Constantine’s coinage. In his early reign, the coinage of Constantine advertised Mars as his patron. From 310 on, Mars was replaced by Sol Invictus , a god conventionally identified with Apollo. By the middle of 310, Galerius had become too ill to involve himself in imperial politics. His final act survives: a letter to the provincials posted in Nicomedia on 30 April 311, proclaiming an end to the persecutions, and the resumption of religious toleration. He died soon after the edict’s proclamation, destroying what little remained of the tetrarchy. Maximin mobilized against Licinius, and seized Asia Minor. A hasty peace was signed on a boat in the middle of the Bosphorus. While Constantine toured Britain and Gaul, Maxentius prepared for war. He fortified northern Italy, and strengthened his support in the Christian community by allowing it to elect a new Bishop of Rome , Eusebius. Constantine’s advisers and generals cautioned against preemptive attack on Maxentius; even his soothsayers recommended against it, stating that the sacrifices had produced unfavorable omens. Constantine, with a spirit that left a deep impression on his followers, inspiring some to believe that he had some form of supernatural guidance, ignored all these cautions. Early in the spring of 312, Constantine crossed the Cottian Alps with a quarter of his army, a force numbering about 40,000. The first town his army encountered was Segusium (Susa , Italy), a heavily fortified town that shut its gates to him. Constantine ordered his men to set fire to its gates and scale its walls. He took the town quickly. Constantine ordered his troops not to loot the town, and advanced with them into northern Italy. At the approach to the west of the important city of Augusta Taurinorum (Turin , Italy), Constantine met a large force of heavily armed Maxentian cavalry. In the ensuing battle Constantine’s army encircled Maxentius’ cavalry, flanked them with his own cavalry, and dismounted them with blows from his soldiers’ iron-tipped clubs. Constantine’s armies emerged victorious. Turin refused to give refuge to Maxentius’ retreating forces, opening its gates to Constantine instead. Other cities of the north Italian plain sent Constantine embassies of congratulation for his victory. He moved on to Milan, where he was met with open gates and jubilant rejoicing. Constantine rested his army in Milan until mid-summer 312, when he moved on to Brixia (Brescia). Brescia’s army was easily dispersed, and Constantine quickly advanced to Verona , where a large Maxentian force was camped. Ruricius Pompeianus, general of the Veronese forces and Maxentius’ praetorian prefect, was in a strong defensive position, since the town was surrounded on three sides by the Adige. Constantine sent a small force north of the town in an attempt to cross the river unnoticed. Ruricius sent a large detachment to counter Constantine’s expeditionary force, but was defeated. Constantine’s forces successfully surrounded the town and laid siege. Constantine refused to let up on the siege, and sent only a small force to oppose him. In the desperately fought encounter that followed, Ruricius was killed and his army destroyed. Verona surrendered soon afterwards, followed by Aquileia , Mutina (Modena). The road to Rome was now wide open to Constantine. Maxentius prepared for the same type of war he had waged against Severus and Galerius: he sat in Rome and prepared for a siege. He still controlled Rome’s praetorian guards, was well-stocked with African grain, and was surrounded on all sides by the seemingly impregnable Aurelian Walls. He ordered all bridges across the Tiber cut, reportedly on the counsel of the gods, and left the rest of central Italy undefended; Constantine secured that region’s support without challenge. Constantine progressed slowly along the Via Flaminia , allowing the weakness of Maxentius to draw his regime further into turmoil. Maxentius’ support continued to weaken: at chariot races on 27 October, the crowd openly taunted Maxentius, shouting that Constantine was invincible. Maxentius, no longer certain that he would emerge from a siege victorious, built a temporary boat bridge across the Tiber in preparation for a field battle against Constantine. On 28 October 312, the sixth anniversary of his reign, he approached the keepers of the Sibylline Books for guidance. The keepers prophesied that, on that very day, “the enemy of the Romans” would die. Maxentius advanced north to meet Constantine in battle. Maxentius organized his forcesstill twice the size of Constantine’sin long lines facing the battle plain, with their backs to the river. Constantine’s army arrived at the field bearing unfamiliar symbols on either its standards or its soldiers’ shields. Eusebius describes the sign as Chi traversed by Rho : , a symbol representing the first two letters of the Greek spelling of the word Christos or Christ. Constantine deployed his own forces along the whole length of Maxentius’ line. He ordered his cavalry to charge, and they broke Maxentius’ cavalry. He then sent his infantry against Maxentius’ infantry, pushing many into the Tiber where they were slaughtered and drowned. The battle was brief: Maxentius’ troops were broken before the first charge. Maxentius’ horse guards and praetorians initially held their position, but broke under the force of a Constantinian cavalry charge; they also broke ranks and fled to the river. Maxentius rode with them, and attempted to cross the bridge of boats, but he was pushed by the mass of his fleeing soldiers into the Tiber, and drowned. Constantine entered Rome on 29 October. He staged a grand adventus in the city, and was met with popular jubilation. Maxentius’ body was fished out of the Tiber and decapitated. His head was paraded through the streets for all to see. Unlike his predecessors, Constantine neglected to make the trip to the Capitoline Hill and perform customary sacrifices at the Temple of Jupiter. He issued decrees returning property lost under Maxentius, recalling political exiles, and releasing Maxentius’ imprisoned opponents. In the following years, Constantine gradually consolidated his military superiority over his rivals in the crumbling Tetrarchy. In 313, he met Licinius in Milan to secure their alliance by the marriage of Licinius and Constantine’s half-sister Constantia. During this meeting, the emperors agreed on the so-called Edict of Milan , officially granting full tolerance to Christianity and all religions in the Empire. The document had special benefits for Christians, legalizing their religion and granting them restoration for all property seized during Diocletian’s persecution. In the year 320, Licinius reneged on the religious freedom promised by the Edict of Milan in 313 and began to oppress Christians anew, generally without bloodshed, but resorting to confiscations and sacking of Christian office-holders. That became a challenge to Constantine in the West, climaxing in the great civil war of 324. Licinius, aided by Goth mercenaries , represented the past and the ancient Pagan faiths. Constantine and his Franks marched under the standard of the labarum , and both sides saw the battle in religious terms. Outnumbered, but fired by their zeal, Constantine’s army emerged victorious in the Battle of Adrianople. Licinius fled across the Bosphorus and appointed Martius Martinianus , the commander of his bodyguard, as Caesar, but Constantine next won the Battle of the Hellespont , and finally the Battle of Chrysopolis on 18 September 324. Licinius and Martinianus surrendered to Constantine at Nicomedia on the promise their lives would be spared: they were sent to live as private citizens in Thessalonica and Cappadocia respectively, but in 325 Constantine accused Licinius of plotting against him and had them both arrested and hanged; Licinius’s son (the son of Constantine’s half-sister) was also killed. Thus Constantine became the sole emperor of the Roman Empire. Licinius’ defeat came to represent the defeat of a rival center of Pagan and Greek-speaking political activity in the East, as opposed to the Christian and Latin-speaking Rome, and it was proposed that a new Eastern capital should represent the integration of the East into the Roman Empire as a whole, as a center of learning, prosperity, and cultural preservation for the whole of the Eastern Roman Empire. Among the various locations proposed for this alternative capital, Constantine appears to have toyed earlier with Serdica (present-day Sofia), as he was reported saying that ” Serdica is my Rome “. Sirmium and Thessalonica were also considered. Eventually, however, Constantine decided to work on the Greek city of Byzantium , which offered the advantage of having already been extensively rebuilt on Roman patterns of urbanism, during the preceding century, by Septimius Severus and Caracalla , who had already acknowledged its strategic importance. The city was then renamed Constantinopolis (“Constantine’s City” or Constantinople in English), and issued special commemorative coins in 330 to honor the event. The new city was protected by the relics of the True Cross , the Rod of Moses and other holy relics , though a cameo now at the Hermitage Museum also represented Constantine crowned by the tyche of the new city. The figures of old gods were either replaced or assimilated into a framework of Christian symbolism. Constantine built the new Church of the Holy Apostles on the site of a temple to Aphrodite. Generations later there was the story that a divine vision led Constantine to this spot, and an angel no one else could see, led him on a circuit of the new walls. The capital would often be compared to the’old’ Rome as Nova Roma Constantinopolitana , the “New Rome of Constantinople”. Constantine the Great , mosaic in Hagia Sophia, c. Constantine is perhaps best known for being the first “Christian” Roman emperor. Scholars debate whether Constantine adopted his mother. S Christianity in his youth, or whether he adopted it gradually over the course of his life. Constantine was over 40 when he finally declared himself a Christian, writing to Christians to make clear that he believed he owed his successes to the protection of the Christian High God alone. Throughout his rule, Constantine supported the Church financially, built basilicas, granted privileges to clergy e. His most famous building projects include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre , and Old Saint Peter’s Basilica. However, Constantine certainly did not patronize Christianity alone. After gaining victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312), a triumphal archthe Arch of Constantine was built (315) to celebrate his triumph. The arch is most notably decorated with images of the goddess Victoria and, at the time of its dedication, sacrifices to gods like Apollo , Diana , and Hercules were made. Most notably absent from the Arch are any depictions whatsoever regarding Christian symbolism. Later in 321, Constantine instructed that Christians and non-Christians should be united in observing the venerable day of the sun , referencing the sun-worship that Aurelian had established as an official cult. Furthermore, and long after his oft alleged “conversion” to Christianity, Constantine’s coinage continued to carry the symbols of the sun. Even after the pagan gods had disappeared from the coinage, Christian symbols appeared only as Constantine’s personal attributes: the chi rho between his hands or on his labarum , but never on the coin itself. Even when Constantine dedicated the new capital of Constantinople, which became the seat of Byzantine Christianity for a millennium, he did so wearing the Apollonian sun-rayed Diadem ; no Christian symbols were present at this dedication. Constantine made new laws regarding the Jews. They were forbidden to own Christian slaves or to circumcise their slaves. Beginning in the mid-3rd century the emperors began to favor members of the equestrian order over senators, who had had a monopoly on the most important offices of state. Senators were stripped of the command of legions and most provincial governorships (as it was felt that they lacked the specialized military upbringing needed in an age of acute defense needs), such posts being given to equestrians by Diocletian and his colleaguesfollowing a practice enforced piecemeal by their predecessors. The emperors however, still needed the talents and the help of the very rich, who were relied on to maintain social order and cohesion by means of a web of powerful influence and contacts at all levels. Exclusion of the old senatorial aristocracy threatened this arrangement. In 326, Constantine reversed this pro-equestrian trend, raising many administrative positions to senatorial rank and thus opening these offices to the old aristocracy, and at the same time elevating the rank of already existing equestrians office-holders to senator, eventually wiping out the equestrian orderat least as a bureaucratic rankin the process. One could become a senator, either by being elected praetor or (in most cases) by fulfilling a function of senatorial rank: from then on, holding of actual power and social status were melded together into a joint imperial hierarchy. At the same time, Constantine gained with this the support of the old nobility, as the Senate was allowed itself to elect praetors and quaestors , in place of the usual practice of the emperors directly creating new magistrates (adlectio). The Senate as a body remained devoid of any significant power; nevertheless, the senators, who had been marginalized as potential holders of imperial functions during the 3rd century, could now dispute such positions alongside more upstart bureaucrats. Some modern historians see in those administrative reforms an attempt by Constantine at reintegrating the senatorial order into the imperial administrative elite to counter the possibility of alienating pagan senators from a Christianized imperial rule. Constantine’s reforms had to do only with the civilian administration: the military chiefs, who since the Crisis of the Third Century had risen from the ranks, remained outside the senate, in which they were included only by Constantine’s children. The failure of the various Diocletianic attempts at the restoration of a functioning silver coin resided in the fact that the silver currency was overvalued in terms of its actual metal content, and therefore could only circulate at much discounted rates. Minting of the Diocletianic “pure” silver argenteus ceased, therefore, soon after 305, while the billon currency continued to be used until the 360s. From the early 300s on, Constantine forsook any attempts at restoring the silver currency, preferring instead to concentrate on minting large quantities of good standard gold piecesthe solidus , 72 of which made a pound of gold. New (and highly debased) silver pieces would continue to be issued during Constantine’s later reign and after his death, in a continuous process of retariffing, until this billon minting eventually ceased, de jure , in 367, with the silver piece being de facto continued by various denominations of bronze coins, the most important being the centenionalis. Later emperors like Julian the Apostate tried to present themselves as advocates of the humiles by insisting on trustworthy mintings of the bronze currency. Constantine’s monetary policy were closely associated with his religious ones, in that increased minting was associated with measures of confiscationtaken since 331 and closed in 336of all gold, silver and bronze statues from pagan temples, who were declared as imperial property and, as such, as monetary assets. Two imperial commissioners for each province had the task of getting hold of the statues and having them melded for immediate mintingwith the exception of a number of bronze statues who were used as public monuments for the beautification of the new capital in Constantinople. Constantine considered Constantinople as his capital and permanent residence. He lived there for a good portion of his later life. He rebuilt Trajan’s bridge across the Danube, in hopes of reconquering Dacia , a province that had been abandoned under Aurelian. In the late winter of 332, Constantine campaigned with the Sarmatians against the Goths. The weather and lack of food cost the Goths dearly: reportedly, nearly one hundred thousand died before they submitted to Rome. In 334, after Sarmatian commoners had overthrown their leaders, Constantine led a campaign against the tribe. He won a victory in the war and extended his control over the region, as remains of camps and fortifications in the region indicate. Constantine resettled some Sarmatian exiles as farmers in Illyrian and Roman districts, and conscripted the rest into the army. Constantine took the title Dacicus maximus in 336. Constantine had known death would soon come. Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother’s city of Helenopolis (Altinova), on the southern shores of the Gulf of zmit. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. Seeking purification, he became a catechumen , and attempted a return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan , where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away. The bishops, Eusebius records, “performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom”. He chose the Arianizing bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia , bishop of the city where he lay dying, as his baptizer. In postponing his baptism, he followed one custom at the time which postponed baptism until after infancy. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on the last day of the fifty-day festival of Pentecost directly following Pascha (or Easter), on 22 May 337. Following his death, his body was transferred to Constantinople and buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles there. He was succeeded by his three sons born of Fausta, Constantine II , Constantius II and Constans. A number of relatives were killed by followers of Constantius, notably Constantine’s nephews Dalmatius (who held the rank of Caesar) and Hannibalianus , presumably to eliminate possible contenders to an already complicated succession. He also had two daughters, Constantina and Helena , wife of Emperor Julian. The Byzantine Empire considered Constantine its founder and the Holy Roman Empire reckoned him among the venerable figures of its tradition. In the later Byzantine state, it had become a great honor for an emperor to be hailed as a “new Constantine”. Ten emperors, including the last emperor of Byzantium, carried the name. Most Eastern Christian churches consider Constantine a saint (, Saint Constantine). In the Byzantine Church he was called isapostolos an equal of the Apostles. Ni airport is named Constantine the Great in honor of his birth in Naissus. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don’t leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service. The item “CONSTANTINE I Romulus Remus SheWolf Rome Commemorative Ancient Roman Coin i46808″ is in sale since Thursday, January 29, 2015. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “highrating_lowprice” and is located in Rego Park, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Ruler: Constantine I

Jun 8 2018

Postal Commemorative Society Ancient Roman Coins from the Constantine Era with COA

Postal Commemorative Society Ancient Roman Coins from the Constantine Era with COA

Postal Commemorative Society Ancient Roman Coins from the Constantine Era with COA

Postal Commemorative Society Ancient Roman Coins from the Constantine Era with COA

Postal Commemorative Society Ancient Roman Coins from the Constantine Era with COA

Postal Commemorative Society Ancient Roman Coins from the Constantine Era with COA

Postal Commemorative Society Ancient Roman Coins from the Constantine Era with COA

Postal Commemorative Society Ancient Roman Coins from the Constantine Era with COA

Postal Commemorative Society Ancient Roman Coins from the Constantine Era w/ COA. Postal Commemorative Society Ancient Roman Coins from the Era of Constantine and His Sons. If you have any questions, please send us a message! Please let us send you a combined invoice before paying. We have a well-rounded inventory with everything from. 75 cent BU State quarters to an 1893-S Morgan Dollar and everything in between. We also have a full product line of coin supplies. Auctiva Free Image Hosting. Show off your items with Auctiva’s Listing Templates. Track Page Views With. Auctiva’s FREE Counter. The item “Postal Commemorative Society Ancient Roman Coins from the Constantine Era with COA” is in sale since Thursday, May 4, 2017. This item is in the category “Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ Ancient\Roman\ Imperial (27 BC-476 AD)”. The seller is “coinguy5488″ and is located in Moline, Illinois. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada.
  • Certification: Uncertified
  • Grade: Ungraded
  • Ruler: Constantine I

May 22 2018

14kt Yellow Gold Ring Ancient Roman Bronze Coin Constantine I CERTIFICATE Sz 7.7

14kt Yellow Gold Ring Ancient Roman Bronze Coin Constantine I CERTIFICATE Sz 7.7

14kt Yellow Gold Ring Ancient Roman Bronze Coin Constantine I CERTIFICATE Sz 7.7

14kt Yellow Gold Ring Ancient Roman Bronze Coin Constantine I CERTIFICATE Sz 7.7

14kt Yellow Gold Ring Ancient Roman Bronze Coin Constantine I CERTIFICATE Sz 7.7

14kt Yellow Gold Ring Ancient Roman Bronze Coin Constantine I CERTIFICATE Sz 7.7

14kt Yellow Gold Ring Ancient Roman Bronze Coin. A handsome 14kt yellow gold ring with ancient Roman bronze coin. The coin is Constantine I, 307 to 337 AD. It has an ornate band. Comes with the Certificate Of Authenticity. Size: 7.75 Marked: 14k Total Weight : 10.1 grams or 6.49 dwt In Excellent Condition! The item “14kt Yellow Gold Ring Ancient Roman Bronze Coin Constantine I CERTIFICATE Sz 7.7″ is in sale since Wednesday, September 14, 2016. This item is in the category “Jewelry & Watches\Fine Jewelry\Fine Rings\Precious Metal without Stones”. The seller is “ham.mall” and is located in Deerfield Beach, Florida. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Norway, Saudi arabia, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Colombia.
  • Metal: Yellow Gold
  • Metal Purity: 14k
  • Ring Size: 7 3/4

May 6 2018

Authentic Ancient Rome Constantine I 306-337 Sterling Silver Roman Coin Pendant

Authentic Ancient Rome Constantine I 306-337 Sterling Silver Roman Coin Pendant

Authentic Ancient Rome Constantine I 306-337 Sterling Silver Roman Coin Pendant

Authentic Ancient Rome Constantine I 306-337 Sterling Silver Roman Coin Pendant

Roman Emperor Contantine the Great Silver Coin Pendant. Amazing pendant with an authentic ancient Roman coin which was made during Constantine the Great’s reign as emperor of Rome from 306 to 337 AD! Rare larger bronze coin features the bust of Constantine. Incredible quality & highly detailed. Superb, well-preserved coin is 1680+ years old! Coin bezel is high quality sterling silver and. The Italian-made sterling silver diamond cut rope chain is 24 inches long and 1.3 mm thick. Pendant is 24.5 mm in diameter which is slightly larger than a U. This makes a very unique gift and comes boxed! Feel free and ask any questions you may have. Please wait for adjusted invoice. ALL PENDANTS ARE BOXED! Professionally crafted with care and precision. The item “Authentic Ancient Rome Constantine I 306-337 Sterling Silver Roman Coin Pendant” is in sale since Monday, April 16, 2018. This item is in the category “Jewelry & Watches\Fine Jewelry\Fine Necklaces & Pendants\Precious Metal without Stones”. The seller is “mapuk” and is located in West Palm Beach, Florida. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Style: Pendant
  • Metal: Sterling Silver
  • Length (inches): 24
  • Country/Region of Manufacture: Italy
  • Metal Purity: 925 parts per 1000