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Denomination: AS Date: 330-331 AD
Description: Obv. CONSTAN-TINOPOLIS laureate, helmeted, wearing imperial mantle, holding scepter. Rev. Victory stg. on prow, holding long scepter in r. hand, and resting l. hand on shield, seen from side.
Constantine the Great (Latin: Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus; 27 February 272–22 May 337 CE), also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337 CE. At the time Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus was proclaimed Caesar, there were five claimants to the throne. But he secured his authority by defeating the competition, and strengthening Roman borders as well as internal administration.
Once he became the emperor, Constantine’s subsequent efforts were focused in the west, with the idea of “One empire, one God.” He reportedly had a vision one day in which a cross appeared in the sun, confirming to him that he should carry this image along with the message of Christ to protect his troops through battle. By the Edict of Milan, he recognized Christianity, and also had the army paint the cross on their shields using the Greek letters ‘chi’ and ‘rho’ (X and P) to abbreviate ‘Christ’. In 312 CE Constantine and his men defeated Maxentius at Milvia. He also chose Byzantium as the new capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and named it Constantinople after himself. The fact that ten Byzantine emperors bear his name after his death may be seen as a measure of his importance in history.