CONSTANTINE I THE GREAT
AE3. 3.05g, 21.2mm
MINTED: Constantinople mint, AD 328-329
REF: RIC VII Constantinople 38 (R4)
OBVERSE: CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, draped and cuirassed bust with rosette-diadem right.
REVERSE: CONSTANTINI-ANA DAFNE, Victory seated left on cippus, palm branch in left hand and laurel branch in right hand, looking right, spurning a barbarian captive kneeling left with head turned right; trophy at front, a shield at foot; B in left field, CONS* in exergue.
Very Fine. A nice example of a scarce and very interesting issue, struck only at Constantinople. The legend and iconography of the reverse type commemorates Constantine's defeat of Licinius and his ultimate victory in the civil wars that followed the collapse of the Tetrarchy.
Constantine was the son of Constantius I, one of the two junior co-rulers serving under emperors Diocletian and Maximian during the First Tetrarchy. During the civil strife that began with the collapse of the Tetrarchic institution, Constantine, with the support of his late father's legions and a number of opportunistic political alliances, saw his power grow from strength to strength. By successively defeating the emperors Maximian, Maxentius, and Licinius, he made himself the sole master of the Roman Empire by AD 324.
Constantine was the first Roman emperor to openly support Christianity and become a Christian. He founded the great city of Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) and made it the new centre of his Empire, from where he ruled for a further thirteen years until his death in AD 337. Assessment of Constantine as a man and emperor has been polarised since ancient times. He has been seen by some as a great military commander and hero, an empire rebuilder and reformer, and a paragon of Christian virtue. Others portray him as vain, greedy and suspicious, a master manipulator and tyrant who put to death his wife, father-in-law, eldest son, and numerous others.
CONSTANTINE I . AD 306-337 . AE3 . Scarce and interesting Dafne type
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