Constantius II w phoenix Constantine the Great son Ancient Roman Coin i30875
Item: i30875 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Constantius II – Roman Emperor: 337-361 A. Bronze AE3 17mm (2.43 grams) Thessalonica mint 348-351 A. Reference: RIC 107 (VIII, Thessalonica), LRBC 1637 – DNCONSTANTIVSPFAVG – Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right. FELTEMPREPARATIO Exe: TES Î – Constantius II standing left on galley, holding phoenix on globe and labarum tipped with the Chi-Rho (MONOGRAM of CHRIST – XP Superimposed); Victory seated to right, steering galley. Labarum of Constantine I, displaying the “Chi-Rho” symbol above. The labarum was a vexillum (military standard) that displayed the ” Chi-Rho ” symbol. Formed from the first two Greek letters of the word ” Christ ” Chi and Rho. It was first used by the Roman emperor Constantine I. Since the vexillum consisted of a flag suspended from the crossbar of a cross, it was ideally suited to symbolize the crucifixion of Christ. Later usage has sometimes regarded the terms “labarum” and “Chi-Rho” as synonyms. Ancient sources, however, draw an unambiguous distinction between the two. A coin of Constantine c. 337 showing a depiction of his labarum spearing a serpent. On the evening of October 27, 312, with his army preparing for the Battle of the Milvian Bridge , the emperor Constantine I claimed to have had a vision which led him to believe he was fighting under the protection of the Christian God. Lactantius states that, in the night before the battle, Constantine was commanded in a dream to “delineate the heavenly sign on the shields of his soldiers”. He obeyed and marked the shields with a sign “denoting Christ”. Lactantius describes that sign as a “staurogram”, or a Latin cross with its upper end rounded in a P-like fashion, rather than the better known Chi-Rho sign described by Eusebius of Caesarea. Thus, it had both the form of a cross and the monogram of Christ’s name from the formed letters “X” and “P”, the first letters of Christ’s name in Greek. From Eusebius, two accounts of a battle survive. The first, shorter one in the Ecclesiastical History leaves no doubt that God helped Constantine but doesn’t mention any vision. In his later Life of Constantine , Eusebius gives a detailed account of a vision and stresses that he had heard the story from the emperor himself. According to this version, Constantine with his army was marching somewhere (Eusebius doesn’t specify the actual location of the event, but it clearly isn’t in the camp at Rome) when he looked up to the sun and saw a cross of light above it, and with it the Greek words. The traditionally employed Latin translation of the Greek is in hoc signo vinces literally In this sign, you will conquer. ” However, a direct translation from the original Greek text of Eusebius into English gives the phrase “By this, conquer! At first he was unsure of the meaning of the apparition, but the following night he had a dream in which Christ explained to him that he should use the sign against his enemies. Eusebius then continues to describe the labarum, the military standard used by Constantine in his later wars against Licinius , showing the Chi-Rho sign. Those two accounts can hardly be reconciled with each other, though they have been merged in popular notion into Constantine seeing the Chi-Rho sign on the evening before the battle. Both authors agree that the sign was not readily understandable as denoting Christ, which corresponds with the fact that there is no certain evidence of the use of the letters chi and rho as a Christian sign before Constantine. Its first appearance is on a Constantinian silver coin from c. 317, which proves that Constantine did use the sign at that time, though not very prominently. He made extensive use of the Chi-Rho and the labarum only later in the conflict with Licinius. The vision has been interpreted in a solar context e. As a solar halo phenomenon, which would have been reshaped to fit with the Christian beliefs of the later Constantine. An alternate explanation of the intersecting celestial symbol has been advanced by George Latura, which claims that Plato’s visible god in Timaeus is in fact the intersection of the Milky Way and the Zodiacal Light, a rare apparition important to pagan beliefs that Christian bishops reinvented as a Christian symbol. Iconographic career under Constantine. Coin of Vetranio , a soldier is holding two labara. Interestingly they differ from the labarum of Constantine in having the Chi-Rho depicted on the cloth rather than above it, and in having their staves decorated with phalerae as were earlier Roman military unit standards. The emperor Honorius holding a variant of the labarum – the Latin phrase on the cloth means In the name of Christ [rendered by the Greek letters XPI] be ever victorious. Among a number of standards depicted on the Arch of Constantine , which was erected, largely with fragments from older monuments, just three years after the battle, the labarum does not appear. A grand opportunity for just the kind of political propaganda that the Arch otherwise was expressly built to present was missed. That is if Eusebius’ oath-confirmed account of Constantine’s sudden, vision-induced, conversion can be trusted. Many historians have argued that in the early years after the battle the emperor had not yet decided to give clear public support to Christianity, whether from a lack of personal faith or because of fear of religious friction. The arch’s inscription does say that the Emperor had saved the res publica. INSTINCTV DIVINITATIS MENTIS MAGNITVDINE. (“by greatness of mind and by instinct [or impulse] of divinity”). As with his predecessors, sun symbolism interpreted as representing Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun) or Helios , Apollo or Mithras is inscribed on his coinage, but in 325 and thereafter the coinage ceases to be explicitly pagan, and Sol Invictus disappears. In his Historia Ecclesiae Eusebius further reports that, after his victorious entry into Rome, Constantine had a statue of himself erected, holding the sign of the Savior [the cross] in his right hand. There are no other reports to confirm such a monument. Whether Constantine was the first Christian emperor supporting a peaceful transition to Christianity during his rule, or an undecided pagan believer until middle age, strongly influenced in his political-religious decisions by his Christian mother St. Helena , is still in dispute among historians. During the attack of Constantine’s troops at the Battle of Adrianople the guard of the labarum standard were directed to move it to any part of the field where his soldiers seemed to be faltering. Constantine felt that both Licinius and Arius were agents of Satan, and associated them with the serpent described in the Book of Revelation (12:9). Constantine represented Licinius as a snake on his coins. Eusebius stated that in addition to the singular labarum of Constantine, other similar standards (labara) were issued to the Roman army. This is confirmed by the two labara depicted being held by a soldier on a coin of Vetranio (illustrated) dating from 350. The phoenix is a mythical sacred firebird that originated in Persian mythology , ancient Phoenician mythology (according to Sanchuniathon), Chinese mythology , Egyptian religion and later Greek mythology. A phoenix is a mythical bird that is a fire spirit with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1,000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. In some stories, the new phoenix embalms the ashes of its old self in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis (Greek for sun-city). It is said that the bird’s cry is that of a beautiful song. In very few stories they are able to change into people. In Roman mythology , Victoria was the personification/Goddess of victory. She is the Roman version of the Greek goddess Nike , and was associated with Bellona. She was adapted from the Sabine agricultural goddess Vacuna and had a temple on the Palatine Hill. Her name (in Latin) means victory. Unlike the Greek Nike, Victoria (Latin for “victory”) was a major part of Roman society. Multiple temples were erected in her honour. When her statue was removed in 382 AD by emperor Gratianus there was much anger in Rome. She was normally worshipped by triumphant generals returning from war. Also unlike the Greek Nike, who was known for success in athletic games such as chariot races, Victoria was a symbol of victory over death and determined who would be successful during war. Appearing on Roman coins, jewelry, architecture, and other arts, Victoria is often seen with or in a chariot. An example of this is her place upon the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. Flavius Iulius Constantius , known in English as Constantius II (7 August 317 â November 3 361) was a Roman Emperor (337-361) of the Constantinian dynasty. Constantius joins the lengthy list of emperors whose career was marked by a seemingly endless series of wars both domestic and foreign. He served as Caesar from 324 until his father’s death in 337 at which time he shared the title of Augustus with two other brothers, Constantine II and Constans. To make sure no more Johnny-come-latelies in his family would try their hand at being emperor too it is thought that he engineered a bloodbath that left nary a relative. Constantine II died in battle and Constans was murdered by the men of Magnentius, the first of several usurpers. This left Constantius finally as sole legitimate emperor and he moved quickly to suppress Magnentius, an endeavor he eventually accomplished. The strife didn’t end there, however, as he still had to deal with other revolts and wars on every corner of the empire. Caught in these never-ending battles he died while on his way to battle Julian II. Flavius Iulius Constantius was born at Sirmium (now Sremska Mitrovica in Serbia) in province of Pannonia , the third son of Constantine the Great , and second by his second wife Fausta , the daughter of Maximian. Constantius was made Caesar by his father on 13 November 324. The Massacre of 337. The role of Constantius in the massacre of his relatives (those descended from the second marriage of his paternal grandfather Constantius Chlorus and Theodora) is unclear. Zosimus , writing 498-518 claims that Constantius â caused â the soldiers to murder his relatives, as opposed to actually ordering the action. Eutropius , writing between 350 and 370, writes that Constantius merely sanctioned â the act, rather than commanding it â. However, it must be noted that both of these sources are hostile to Constantius – Zosimus being a pagan, Eutropius a friend of Julian , Constantiusâ cousin and, ultimately, his enemy. Whatever the case, Constantius himself, his older brother Constantine II , his younger brother Constans and three cousins, Gallus , his half-brother Julian and Nepotianus , son of Eutropia , were left as the only surviving males related to Constantine. Division of the Empire. Meeting at Sirmium not long after the massacre, the three brothers proceeded to divide the Roman Empire among them, according to their father’s will. Constantine II received Britannia , Gaul and Hispania ; Constans (initially under the supervision of Constantine II) Italia , Africa , Illyricum, Thrace , Macedon and Achaea ; and Constantius the East. Reign in the East. There are few details of the early years of Constantius’ sole reign in the East. He seems to have spent most of his time defending the eastern border against invasions by the aggressive Sassanid Empire under Shapur II. These conflicts seem to have been mainly limited to Sassanid sieges of the various fortresses (Nisibis , Singara , Constantia and Amida) of Roman Mesopotamia , which achieved little for either side. Although Shapur II seems to have been victorious in most of the confrontations – except the Battle of Narasara, where one of Shapur II’s brothers, Narses, was killed – the overall result must be considered a victory for Constantius because Shapur failed to make any significant gains. In the meantime, Constantine II’s desire to retain control of Constans’ realm had lead Constantius’ two surviving brothers into open conflict; resulting in the death of the elder in 340. As a result, Constans took control of his deceased elder brotherâs realms and became sole ruler of the Western two-thirds of the Empire. This division lasted until 350, when Constans was killed in battle by forces loyal to the usurper Magnentius. This new state of affairs proved unacceptable to Constantius, who felt that, as the only surviving son of Constantine the Great , the position of Emperor was his alone. As such, he determined to march west to enforce his claims. However, feeling that the east still required some sort of imperial control, he elevated his cousin Constantius Gallus to Caesar of the East. As an extra measure to ensure the loyalty of his cousin, he married the elder of his two sisters, Constantina , to Gallus. Before facing Magnentius , Constantius first came to terms with Vetranio , a loyal Constantian general, who had previously accepted the position of Augustus in order to retain the loyalty of his troops, and probably to stop Magnentius from gaining more support. This action may have been carried out at the urging of Constantiusâ own sister, Constantina , who had since traveled east to marry Gallus. Constantius for his own part had previously sent Vetranio the imperial diadem and acknowledged the generalâs new position. However, when Constantius arrived, Vetranio willingly and gladly resigned his position and accepted Constantiusâ offer of a comfortable retirement in Bithynia. The following year, Constantius finally met Magnentius in the Battle of Mursa Major , one of the bloodiest battles in Roman history. The result was a defeat for the usurper, who withdrew back to his Gaulish domains. As a result, the cities of Italy switched their allegiance to Constantius and ejected all of Magnentius â garrisons. Constantius spent the early months of 352 on a campaign against the Sarmatians , before moving on to invade Italy. When Constantius and Magnentius finally met again, at the Battle of Mons Seleucus in southern Gaul, Constantius once again emerged the victor. Soon after, Magnentius , realising the futility of continuing his revolt, committed suicide 10 August 353. Sole Ruler of the Roman Empire. Constantius spent much of the rest of 353 and early 354 on campaign against the Alemanni on the Danubian borders. The exact details of this campaign are uncertain, though it seems to have ended with victory for Constantius. The Downfall of Gallus. In the meantime, Constantius had been receiving some disturbing reports regarding the actions of his cousin, Gallus. Possibly as a result of these reports, Constantius concluded a peace with the Alemanni , and withdrew to Milan. Once there, he decided to first call Ursicinus , Gallusâ magister equitum , to Milan for reasons that remain unclear. Constantius then requested the presence of Gallus and Constantina. Although at first Gallus and Constantina complied with this order, when Constantina died in Bithynia , Gallus begun to hesitate. However, after some convincing by one of Constantiusâ agents, Gallus continued his journey west, passing through Constantinople and Thrace to Petobio in the province of Noricum. It was there that Gallus was arrested by the soldiers of Constantius under the command of Barbatio. He was then moved to Pola , and interrogated. Once there, Gallus claimed that it was Constantina who was to blame for all the trouble that had been caused while he was in charge of the east. Apparently, at first, this so greatly angered Constantius that he immediately ordered the death of Gallus. However, soon after, he changed his mind, and recanted his execution order. Unfortunately for Gallus, this order was delayed by Eusebius , one of Constantiusâ eunuchs, and, as a result, Gallus was executed. More Usurpers and Julian Caesar. On 11 August 355, the magister militum Claudius Silvanus revolted in Gaul. Silvanus had surrendered to Constantius after the battle of Mursa Major. A plot organized by members of Constantius’ court led the emperor to recall Silvanus. After Silvanus revolted, he received a letter by Constantius that recalled him to Milan, but which made no reference to the revolt. Ursicinus , who was meant to replace Silvanus, bribed some troops, and Silvanus was killed. However, Constantius realised that too many threats still faced the Empire, and he could not possibly handle all of them by himself, so on 6 November 355, he elevated his last remaining relative, Julian, to the rank of Caesar. A few days later, Julian was married to Helena , the last surviving sister of Constantius. Not long after Constantius sent Julian off to Gaul. Constantius in the West and Return to the East. Constantius spent the next few years overseeing affairs in the western part of the Empire primarily from his base at Milan. However, he also visited Rome – for the first and only time in his life – in 357, and, in that same year, he forced Sarmatian and Quadi invaders out of Pannonia and Moesia Inferior , then led a successful campaign across the Danube against the Sarmatians and the Germanic Quadi tribe. Around 357/8, Constantius received ambassadors from Shapur II , who demanded that Constantius restore the lands surrendered by Narseh. Despite rejecting these terms, Constantius still tried to avert war with the Sassanid Empire by sending two embassies to Shapur II. As a result of Constantius’ rejection of his terms, Shapur II launched another invasion of Roman Mesopotamia. When news reached Constantius that Shapur II had not only invaded Roman territory, but taken Amida. Destroyed Singara and taken Bezabde he decided to return to there to face this re-emergent threat in 360. The usurpation of Julian and Problems in the East. In the meantime, Julian had won some victories against the Alemanni tribe, who had once again invaded Roman Gaul. As such, Constantius requested reinforcements from Julian for his own campaign against Shapur II. However, when he requested reinforcements from Julian âs Gaulish army, the Gaulish legions revolted and proclaimed Julian Augustus. However, on account of the immediate Sassanid threat, Constantius was unable to directly respond to his cousinâs usurpation other than by sending missives by which he tried to convince Julian to resign the title of Augustus and be satisfied with that of Caesar. By 361, Constantius saw no alternative but to face the usurper with violent force; and yet the threat of the Sassanids remained. Constantius had already spent part of early 361 unsuccessfully attempting to take the fortress of Bezabde. After a time, he had withdrawn to Antioch to regroup, and prepare for a confrontation with Shapur II. However, as it turned out, the campaigns of the previous year had inflicted such heavy losses on the Sassanids that they did not attempt another round of engagements in 361. This allowed Constantius to turn his full attention to facing the usurpation of Julian. As such, Constantius immediately gathered his forces and set off west. However, by the time he reached Mopsuestia in Cicilia, it was clear that he was fatally ill and would not survive to face Julian. Apparently, realising his death was near, Constantius had himself baptised by Euzoius , the Semi-Arian bishop of Antioch , and then declared that Julian was his rightful successor. Constantius II died of fever on 3 November 361. Constantius II was married three times. First to a daughter of his half-uncle Julius Constantius , whose name is unknown. She was a full-sister of Gallus and a half-sister of Julian. Second, to Eusebia, a woman of Macedonian origin from the city of Thessaloniki , whom he married before Constantius’ defeat of Magnentius in 353. She died in 360. Third and lastly, in 360, to Faustina (empress) , who gave birth to Constantius’ only child, a posthumous daughter named Flavia Maxima Constantia , who later married Emperor Gratian. Constantius seems to have had a particular interest in the religious state of the Roman Empire. As a Christian Roman Emperor , Constantius made a concerted effort to promote Christianity at the expense of Roman polytheism (âpaganismâ). As such, over the course of his reign, he issued a number of different edicts designed specifically to carry out this agenda (see below). Constantius also took an active part in attempting to shape the Christian church. In spite of the some of the edicts issued by Constantius, it should be recognised that he was not fanatically anti-pagan – he never made any attempt to disband the various Roman priestly colleges or the Vestal Virgins , he never acted against the various pagan schools, and, at times, he actually even made some effort to protect paganism. Also, most notably, he remained pontifex maximus until his death, and was actually deified by the Roman Senate after his death. The relative moderation of Constantius’ actions toward paganism is reflected by the fact that it was not until over 20 years after Constantius’ death, during the reign of Gratian , that any pagan senators protested their religion’s treatment. Although often considered an Arian , Constantius ultimately preferred a third, compromise version that lay somewhere in between Arianism and the Nicaean Creed , retrospectively called Semi-Arianism. As such, during his reign, Constantius made a concerted attempt to mold the Christian church to follow this compromise position, and to this end, he convened several Christian councils during his reign, the most notable of which were one at Rimini and its twin at Seleuca , which met in 359 and 360 respectively. “Unfortunately for his memory the theologians whose advice he took were ultimately discredited and the malcontents whom he pressed to conform emerged victorious, ” writes the historian A. The great councils of 359-60 are therefore not reckoned ecumenical in the tradition of the church, and Constantius II is not remembered as a restorer of unity, but as a heretic who arbitrarily imposed his will on the church. Judaism faced some severe restrictions under Constantius, who seems to have followed an anti-Jewish policy in line with that of his father. Early in his reign, Constantius issued a double edict in concert with his brothers limiting the ownership of slaves by Jewish people and banning marriages between Jews and Christian women. A later edict (issued by Constantius after becoming sole Emperor) decreed that a person who was proven to have converted from Christianity to Judaism would have their entire property confiscated by the state. However, it should be noted that Constantius’ actions in this regard may not have been so much to do with Jewish religion as Jewish business; apparently, it was often the case that privately-owned Jewish businesses were in competition with state-owned businesses. As such, Constantius may have sought to provide as much of an advantage to the state-owned businesses as possible by limiting the skilled workers and the slaves available to the Jewish businesses. Religious Edicts Issued by Constantius. Pagan-related edicts issued by Constantius (by himself or with others) included. The banning of sacrifices. The closing of pagan temples. Edicts against soothsayers and magicians. Christian-related edicts issued by Constantius (by himself or with others) included. Exemption from compulsory public service for the clergy; Exemption from compulsory public service for the sons of clergy. Clergy and the issue of private property. Bishops exempted from being tried in secular courts. Christian prostitutes only able to be bought by Christians. Jew-related edicts issued by Constantius (by himself or with others) included. Weaving women who moved from working for the government to working for Jews, must be restored to the government; Jews may not marry Christian women; Jews may not attempt to convert Christian women. Any non-Jewish slave bought by a Jew will be confiscated by the state; if a Jew attempts to circumcise a non-Jewish slave, the slave will be freed and the Jew shall face capital punishment; any Christian slaves owned by a Jew will be taken away and freed. A person who is proven to have converted from Christianity to Judaism shall have their property confiscated by the state. Constantius II is a particularly difficult figure to judge properly, mainly as a result of the hostility of most every source that mentions him. M Jones writes that Constantius appears in the pages of Ammianus as a conscientious emperor but a vain and stupid man, an easy prey to flatterers. He was timid and suspicious, and interested persons could easily play on his fears for their own advantage. However, Kent & M. Hirmer suggest that Constantius has suffered at the hands of unsympathetic authors, ecclesiastical and civil alike. To orthodox churchmen he was a bigoted supporter of the Arian heresy, to Julian the Apostate and the many who have subsequently taken his part he was a murderer, a tyrant and inept as a ruler. They go on to add, “Most contemporaries seem in fact to have held him in high esteem, and he certainly inspired loyalty in a way his brother could not”. 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 “Constantius II w phoenix Constantine the Great son Ancient Roman Coin i30875″ is in sale since Wednesday, March 13, 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.