CONSTANTINE I THE GREAT
AE Follis. 3.69g, 20.5mm
MINTED: Arles mint, AD 317
REF: RIC VII Trier 132
OBVERSE: IMP CONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE: SOLI INVIC-TO COMITI, Sol standing right, head left, chlamys spread open, raising right hand and holding globe in left hand; T-F across field, BTR in exergue.
The reverse legend is a dedication to Sol, and translates to mean 'The Unconquered Sun, Companion of the Emperor'.
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 . Sol, the Sun God . Trier mint
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