CONSTANTINE I THE GREAT
AE3. 2.47g, 19.6mm
MINTED: Constantinople mint, AD 327-328
REF: RIC VII Constantinople 25 (R2)
OBVERSE: CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG, rosette-diademed head right.
REVERSE: LIBERT-A-S PVBLICA, Victory standing with head left on a galley, holding up a wreath in each hand; CONS in exergue, B in left field.
Very Fine. Well-centered with clear types and attractive desert patina.
A scarce Constantinople-only issue, commemorating the naval victory of Constantine's son Crispus at the Battle of the Hellespont in 324. The victory would allow Constantine's armies to make landing into Asia Minor, where he would proceed to inflict a final defeat upon his rival Licinius and bring an end to the civil war between them.
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 . Commemorating Crispus's victory
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