Constantine I The Great Ancient Roman Coin Romulus & Remus Mother wolf i40081
Item: i40081 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Constantine I’The Great’ – Roman Emperor : 307-337 A. ROME CITY COMMEMORATIVE Bronze AE3 17mm (2.10 grams) Siscia mint: 330-335 A. Reference: RIC 240 (VII, Siscia), LRBC 750 VRBS ROMA, helmeted, mantled bust of Roma left. She-wolf standing left suckling Romulus and Remus, two stars above, SIS in exergue. By circa 330 A. Constantine the Great completed his new capital for the Roman empire called Constantinople. For this momentous occasion, he issued two commemorative coin types, one celebrating Rome and the other Constantinople. The type that commemorated Rome had the personification of Rome, Roma with the inscription VRBS ROMA and the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus on the reverse suckling the she-wolf. The type that commemorated Constantinople had the personification of Constantinople on the obverse and Victory on a galley sailing with a shield. This was a great way for Constantine the Great to pay homage to both Rome and Constantinople. Romulus and Remus are the twin brothers and central characters of Rome’s foundation myth. Their mother is Rhea Silvia , daughter to Numitor , king of Alba Longa. Before their conception, Numitor’s brother Amulius seizes power, kills Numitor’s male heirs and forces Rhea Silvia to become a Vestal Virgin , sworn to chastity. Rhea Silvia conceives the twins by the god Mars , or by the demi-god Hercules ; once the twins are born, Amulius has them abandoned to die in the river Tiber. They are saved by a series of miraculous interventions: the river carries them to safety, a she-wolf (in Latin , lupa) finds and suckles them, and a woodpecker feeds them. A shepherd and his wife find them and foster them to manhood, as simple shepherds. The twins, still ignorant of their true origins, prove to be natural leaders. Each acquires many followers. When they discover the truth of their birth, they kill Amulius and restore Numitor to his throne. Rather than wait to inherit Alba Longa, they choose to found a new city. Romulus wants to found the new city on the Palatine Hill ; Remus prefers the Aventine Hill. They agree to determine the site through augury but when each claims the results in his own favor, they quarrel and Remus is killed. Romulus founds the new city, names it Rome , after himself, and creates its first legions and senate. The new city grows rapidly, swelled by landless refugees; as most of these are male, and unmarried, Romulus arranges the abduction of women from the neighboring Sabines. The ensuing war ends with the joining of Sabines and Romans as one Roman people. Thanks to divine favour and Romulus’ inspired leadership, Rome becomes a dominant force, but Romulus himself becomes increasingly autocratic, and disappears or dies in mysterious circumstances. In later forms of the myth, he ascends to heaven, and is identified with Quirinus , the divine personification of the Roman people. The legend as a whole encapsulates Rome’s ideas of itself, its origins and moral values. For modern scholarship, it remains one of the most complex and problematic of all foundation myths, particularly in the matter and manner of Remus’ death. Ancient historians had no doubt that Romulus gave his name to the city. Most modern historians believe his name a back-formation from the name Rome; the basis for Remus’ name and role remain subjects of ancient and modern speculation. The myth was fully developed into something like an “official”, chronological version in the Late Republican and early Imperial era; Roman historians dated the city’s foundation to between 758 and 728 BC, and Plutarch reckoned the twins’ birth year as c. 27/28 March 771 BC. An earlier tradition that gave Romulus a distant ancestor in the semi-divine Trojan prince Aeneas was further embellished, and Romulus was made the direct ancestor of Rome’s first Imperial dynasty. Possible historical bases for the broad mythological narrative remain unclear and disputed. The image of the she-wolf suckling the divinely fathered twins became an iconic representation of the city and its founding legend, making Romulus and Remus preeminent among the feral children of ancient mythography. The legend in ancient sources. Modern scholarship approaches the various known stories of Romulus and Remus as cumulative elaborations and later interpretations of Roman foundation-myth. Particular versions and collations were presented by Roman historians as authoritative, an official history trimmed of contradictions and untidy variants to justify contemporary developments, genealogies and actions in relation to Roman morality. Other narratives appear to represent popular or folkloric tradition; some of these remain inscrutable in purpose and meaning. Wiseman sums the whole as the mythography of an unusually problematic foundation and early history. Cornell and others describe particular elements of the mythos as “shameful”. Nevertheless, by the 4th century BC, the fundamentals of the Romulus and Remus story were standard Roman fare, and by 269 BC the wolf and suckling twins appeared on one of the earliest, if not the earliest issues of Roman silver coinage. Rome’s foundation story was evidently a matter of national pride. It featured in the earliest known history of Rome , which was attributed to Diocles of Peparethus. The patrician senator Quintus Fabius Pictor used Diocles’ as a source for his own history of Rome, written around the time of Rome’s war with Hannibal and probably intended for circulation among Rome’s Greek-speaking allies. Fabius’ history provided a basis for the early books of Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita , which he wrote in Latin , and for several Greek-language histories of Rome, including Dionysius of Halicarnassus’s Roman Antiquities , written during the late 1st century BC, and Plutarch’s early 2nd century Life of Romulus. These three accounts provide the broad literary basis for studies of Rome’s founding mythography. They have much in common, but each is selective to its purpose. Livy’s is a dignified handbook, justifying the purpose and morality of Roman traditions observed in his own times. Dionysius and Plutarch approach the same subjects as interested outsiders, and include founder-traditions not mentioned by Livy, untraceable to a common source and probably specific to particular regions, social classes or oral traditions. A Roman text of the late Imperial era, Origo gentis Romanae (The origin of the Roman people) is dedicated to the many “more or less bizarre”, often contradictory variants of Rome’s foundation myth, including versions in which Remus founds a city named Remuria, five miles from Rome, and outlives his brother Romulus. Stories of ancestry and parentage. There are several variations on the basic legendary tale. Plutarch presents Romulus and Remus’ ancient descent from prince Aeneas , fugitive from Troy after its destruction by the Achaeans. Their maternal grandfather is his descendant Numitor , who inherits the kingship of Alba Longa. Numitors brother Amulius inherits its treasury, including the gold brought by Aeneas from Troy. Amulius uses his control of the treasury to dethrone Numitor, but fears that Numitor’s daughter, Rhea Silvia , will bear children who could overthrow him. Amulius forces Rhea Silvia into perpetual virginity as a Vestal priestess, but she bears children anyway. In one variation of the story, Mars , god of war, seduces and impregnates her: in another, Amulius himself seduces her, and in yet another, Hercules. The king sees his niece’s pregnancy and confines her. She gives birth to twin boys of remarkable beauty; her uncle orders her death and theirs. One account holds that he has Rhea buried alive the standard punishment for Vestal Virgins who violated their vow of celibacy and orders the death of the twins by exposure ; both means would avoid his direct blood-guilt. In another, he has Rhea and her twins thrown into the River Tiber. In every version, a servant is charged with the deed of killing the twins, but cannot bring himself to harm them. He places them in a basket and leaves it on the banks of the Tiber. The river rises in flood and carries the twins downstream, unharmed. Altar from Ostia showing the discovery of Romulus and Remus (now at the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme). The river deity Tiberinus makes the basket catch in the roots of a fig tree that grows in the Velabrum swamp at the base of the Palatine Hill. The twins are found and suckled by a she-wolf (Lupa) and fed by a woodpecker (Picus). A shepherd of Amulius named Faustulus discovers them and takes them to his hut, where he and his wife Acca Larentia raise them as their own children. Faustulus (to the right of picture) discovers Romulus and Remus with the she-wolf and woodpecker. Their mother Rhea Silvia and the river-god Tiberinus witness the moment. Painting by Peter Paul Rubens , c. In another variant, Hercules impregnates Acca Larentia and marries her off to the shepherd Faustulus. She has twelve sons; when one of them dies, Romulus takes his place to found the priestly college of Arval brothers Fratres Arvales. Acca Larentia is therefore identified with the Arval goddess Dea Dia , who is served by the Arvals. In later Republican religious tradition, a Quirinal priest (flamen) impersonated Romulus (by then deified as Quirinus) to perform funerary rites for his foster mother (identified as Dia). Another and probably late tradition has Acca Larentia as a sacred prostitute one of many Roman slangs for prostitute was lupa (she-wolf). Yet another tradition relates that Romulus and Remus are nursed by the Wolf-Goddess Lupa or Luperca in her cave-lair (lupercal). Luperca was given cult for her protection of sheep from wolves and her spouse was the Wolf-and-Shepherd-God Lupercus , who brought fertility to the flocks. She has been identified with Acca Larentia. In all versions of the founding myth, the twins grew up as shepherds. While tending their flocks, they came into conflict with the shepherds of Amulius. Remus was captured and brought before Amulius, who eventually discovers his identity. Romulus raised a band of shepherds to liberate his brother and Amulius was killed. Romulus and Remus were conjointly offered the crown but they refused it and restored Numitor to the throne. They left to found their own city, but could not agree on its location; Romulus preferred the Palatine Hill , Remus preferred the Aventine Hill. They agreed to seek the will of the gods in this matter, through augury. Each took position on his respective hill and prepared a sacred space there. Remus saw six auspicious birds; but Romulus saw twelve. Romulus claimed superior augury as the divine basis of his right to decide. Remus made a counterclaim: he saw his six vultures first. Romulus set to work with his supporters, digging a trench (or building a wall, according to Dionysius) around the Palatine to define his city boundary. Livy gave two versions of Remus’ death. In the one “more generally received”, Remus criticized and belittles the new wall, and in a final insult to the new city and its founder alike, he leapt over it. Romulus killed him, saying “So perish every one that shall hereafter leap over my wall”. In the other version, Remus was simply stated as dead; no murder was alleged. Two other, lesser known accounts have Remus killed by a blow to the head with a spade, wielded either by Romulus’ commander Fabius according to St. Jerome’s version or by a man named Celer. Romulus buried Remus with honour and regret. The Roman ab urbe condita began from the founding of the city, and places that date as 21 April 753 BC. Romulus completed his city and named it Roma after himself. Then he divided his fighting men into regiments of 3000 infantry and 300 cavalry, which he called “legions”. From the rest of the populace he selected 100 of the most noble and wealthy fathers to serve as his council. He called these men Patricians : they were fathers of Rome, not only because they cared for their own legitimate citizen-sons but because they had a fatherly care for Rome and all its people. They were also its elders, and were therefore known as Senators. Romulus thereby inaugurated a system of government and social hierarchy based on the patron-client relationship. Rome drew exiles, refugees, the dispossessed, criminals and runaway slaves. The city expanded its boundaries to accommodate them; five of the seven hills of Rome were settled: the Capitoline Hill , the Aventine Hill , the Caelian Hill , the Quirinal Hill , and the Palatine Hill. As most of these immigrants were men, Rome found itself with a shortage of marriageable women. Romulus invited the neighboring Sabines and Latins , along with their womenfolk, to a festival at the Circus Maximus , in honour of Consus (or of Neptune). While the men were distracted by the games and befuddled with wine, the Romans seized their daughters and took them into the city. Most were eventually persuaded to marry Roman men. War with the Sabines. The Sabine and Latin men demanded the return of their daughters. The inhabitants of three Latin towns (Caenina, Antemnae and Crustumerium) took up arms one after the other but were soundly defeated by Romulus, who killed Acron, the king of Caenina, with his own hand and celebrates the first Roman triumph shortly after. Romulus was magnanimous in victory most of the conquered land was divided among Rome’s citizens but none of the defeated are enslaved. The Sabine king Titus Tatius marched on Rome to assault its Capitoline citadel. The citadel commander’s daughter Tarpeia opened the gates for them, in return for “what they wear on their left arms”. She expected their golden bracelets. Once inside, the Sabines crushed her to death under a pile of their shields. Romulus, Victor over Acron, hauls the rich booty to the temple of Jupiter, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. The Sabines left the citadel to meet the Romans in open battle in the space later known as the comitium. The outcome hung in the balance; the Romans retreated to the Palatine Hill, where Romulus called on Jupiter for help traditionally at the place where a Stator temple to Jupiter (“the stayer”) was built. The Romans drove the Sabines back to the point where the Curia Hostilia later stood. The Sabine Women, by Jacques-Louis David. The Sabine women themselves then intervened to beg for unity between Sabines and Romans. A truce was made, then peace. The Romans based themselves on the Palatine and the Sabines on the Quirinal , with Romulus and Tatius as joint kings and the Comitium as the common centre of government and culture. 100 Sabine elders and clan leaders joined the Patrician Senate. The Sabines adopted the Roman calendar, and the Romans adopted the armour and oblong shield of the Sabines. The legions were doubled in size. Romulus and Tatius ruled jointly for five years and subdued the Alban colony of the Camerini. Then Tatius sheltered some allies who had illegally plundered the Lavinians, and murdered ambassadors sent to seek justice. Romulus and the Senate decided that Tatius should go to Lavinium to offer sacrifice and appease his offence. At Lavinium, Tatius was assassinated and Romulus became sole king. As king, Romulus held authority over Rome’s armies and judiciary. He organises Rome’s administration according to tribe; one of Latins (Ramnes), one of Sabines (Titites), and one of Luceres. Each elected a tribune to represented their civil, religious, and military interests. The tribunes were magistrates of their tribes, performed sacrifices on their behalf, and commanded their tribal levies in times of war. Romulus divided each tribe into ten curiae to form the Comitia Curiata. The thirty curiae derived their individual names from thirty of the kidnapped Sabine women. The individual curiae were further divided into ten gentes , held to form the basis for the nomen in the Roman naming convention. Proposals made by Romulus or the Senate were offered to the Curiate assembly for ratification; the ten gentes within each curia cast a vote. Votes were carried by whichever gens has a majority. Romulus formed a personal guard called the Celeres ; these were three hundred of Rome’s finest horsemen. They were commanded by a tribune of the Ramnes; in one version of the founding tale, Celer killed Remus and helped Romulus found the city of Rome. The provision of a personal guard for Romulus helped justify the Augustan development of a Praetorian Guard , responsible for internal security and the personal safety of the Emperor. The relationship between Romulus and his Tribune resembled the later relation between the Roman Dictator and his Magister Equitum. Celer, as the Celerum Tribune , occupied the second place in the state, and in Romulus’ absence had the rights of convoking the Comitia and commanding the armies. For more than two decades, Romulus waged wars and expands Rome’s territory. He subdues Fidenae , which seized Roman provisions during a famine, and founded a Roman colony there. Then he subdued the Crustumini, who had murdered Roman colonists in their territory. The Etruscans of Veii protested the presence of a Roman garrison at Fidenae, and demanded the return of the town to its citizens. When Romulus refused, they confronted him in battle and were defeated. They agreed to a hundred-year truce and surrendered fifty noble hostages: Romulus celebrated his third and last triumph. When Romulus’ grandfather Numitor died, the people of Alba Longa offered him the crown as rightful heir. Romulus adapted the government of the city to a Roman model. Henceforth, the citizens held annual elections and choose one of their own as Roman governor. In Rome, Romulus began to show signs of autocratic rule. The Senate becomes less influential in administration and lawmaking; Romulus ruled by edict. He divided his conquered territories among his soldiers without Patrician consent. Senatorial resentment grew to hatred. According to the legend, Romulus mysteriously disappeared in a storm or whirlwind, during or shortly after offering public sacrifice at or near the Quirinal Hill. A “foul suspicion” arises that the Senate, weary of kingly government, and exasperated of late by the imperious deportment of Romulus toward them, had plotted against his life and made him away, so that they might assume the authority and government into their own hands. This suspicion they sought to turn aside by decreeing divine honors to Romulus, as to one not dead, but translated to a higher condition. And Proculus, a man of note, took oath that he saw Romulus caught up into heaven in his arms and vestments, and heard him, as he ascended, cry out that they should hereafter style him by the name of Quirinus. Livy repeats more or less the same story, but shifts the initiative for deification to the people of Rome. Then a few voices began to proclaim Romulus’s divinity; the cry was taken up, and at last every man present hailed him as a god and son of a god, and prayed to him to be forever gracious and to protect his children. However, even on this great occasion there were, I believe, a few dissenters who secretly maintained that the king had been torn to pieces by the senators. At all events the story got about, though in veiled terms; but it was not important, as awe, and admiration for Romulus’s greatness, set the seal upon the other version of his end, which was, moreover, given further credit by the timely action of a certain Julius Proculus, a man, we are told, honored for his wise counsel on weighty matters. The loss of the king had left the people in an uneasy mood and suspicious of the senators, and Proculus, aware of the prevalent temper, conceived the shrewd idea of addressing the Assembly. Romulus’, he declared,’the father of our city descended from heaven at dawn this morning and appeared to me. In awe and reverence I stood before him, praying for permission to look upon his face without sin. Go , he said, and tell the Romans that by heaven’s will my Rome shall be capital of the world. Let them learn to be soldiers. Let them know, and teach their children, that no power on earth can stand against Roman arms. Having spoken these words, he was taken up again into the sky. Livy infers Romulus’ murder as no more than a dim and doubtful whisper from the past; in the circumstances, Proculus’ declaration is wise and practical because it has the desired effect. Cicero’s seeming familiarity with the story of Romulus’ murder and divinity must have been shared by his target audience and readership. Dio’s version, though fragmentary, is unequivocal; Romulus is surrounded by hostile, resentful senators and “rent limb from limb” in the senate-house itself. An eclipse and sudden storm, “the same sort of phenomenon that had attended his birth”, conceal the deed from the soldiers and the people, who are anxiously seeking their king. Proculus fakes a personal vision of Romulus’ spontaneous ascent to heaven as Quirinus and announces the message of Romulus-Quirinus; a new king must be chosen at once. A dispute arises: should this king be Sabine or Roman? The debate goes on for a year. During this time, the most distinguished senators rule for five days at a time as interreges. Plutarch says that Romulus was 53 (“in the fifty-fourth year of his age”) when he “vanished” in 717 BC; this gives the twins a birth-date in the year 771 BC, and Romulus’ founding of Rome at the age of 18. Dionysius of Halicarnassus says that Romulus began his reign at 18, ruled for 37 years and died at 55 years old. 180s BC refers to Romulus as a divinity without reference to Quirinus, whom Roman mythographers identified as an originally Sabine war-deity, and thus to be identified with Roman Mars. Lucilius lists Quirinus and Romulus as separate deities, and Varro accords them different temples. Images of Quirinus showed him as a bearded warrior wielding a spear as a god of war, the embodiment of Roman strength and a deified likeness of the city of Rome. He had a Flamen Maior called the Flamen Quirinalis , who oversaw his worship and rituals in the ordainment of Roman religion attributed to Romulus’ royal successor, Numa Pompilius. There is however no evidence for the conflated Romulus-Quirinus before the 1st century BC. Ovid in Book 14, lines 812-828, of the Metamorphoses gives a description of the deification of Romulus and his wife Hersilia , who are given the new names of Quirinus and Hora respectively. Mars, the father of Romulus, is given permission by Jupiter to bring his son up to Olympus to live with the Olympians. Ovid uses the words of Ennius as a direct quote and puts them into the mouth of the King of the Gods, “There shall be one whom you shall raise to the blue vault of heaven”. Ovid then uses a simile to describe the change that Romulus undertakes as he ascends to live with the Olympians, as leaden balls from a broad sling melt in mid sky: Finer his features now and worthier of heavens high-raised couch, his lineaments those of Quirinus in his robe of state. Silver didrachm (6.44 g). Ancient pictures of the Roman twins usually follow certain symbolic traditions, depending on the legend they follow: they either show a shepherd, the she-wolf, the twins under a fig tree, and one or two birds (Livy , Plutarch); or they depict two shepherds, the she-wolf, the twins in a cave, seldom a fig tree, and never any birds (Dionysius of Halicarnassus). Also there are coins with Lupa and the tiny twins placed beneath her. The Franks Casket , an Anglo-Saxon ivory box (early 7th century AD) shows Romulus and Remus in an unusual setting, two wolves instead of one, a grove instead of one tree or a cave, four kneeling warriors instead of one or two gesticulating shepherds. According to one interpretation, and as the runic inscription (“far from home”) indicates, the twins are cited here as the Dioscuri , helpers at voyages such as Castor and Polydeuces. Their descent from the Roman god of war predestines them as helpers on the way to war. The carver transferred them into the Germanic holy grove and has Woden s second wolf join them. Thus the picture served along with five other ones to influence ” wyrd “, the fortune and fate of a warrior king. Romolo e Remo : a 1961 film starring Steve Reeves and Gordon Scott as the two brothers. The Rape of the Sabine Women : a 1962 film starring Wolf Ruvinskis as Romulus. In the Star Trek universe, Romulus and Remus are neighbouring planets with Remus being tidally locked to the star. Romulus is the capital of the Romulan Star Empire , which is loosely based on the Roman Empire. The novel Founding Fathers by Alfred Duggan describes the founding and first decades of Rome from the points of view of Marcus, one of Romulus’s Latin followers, Publius, a Sabine who settles in Rome as part of the peace agreement with Tatius, Perperna, an Etruscan fugitive who is accepted into the tribe of Luceres after his own city is destroyed, and Macro, a Greek seeking purification from blood-guilt who comes to the city in the last years of Romulus’ reign. Publiusa and Perpernia become senators. Romulus is portrayed as a gifted leader though a remarkably unpleasant person, chiefly distinguished by his luck; the story of his surreptitious murder by the senators is adopted, but although the story of his deification is fabricated, his murderers themselves think he may indeed have become a god. The novel begins with the founding of the city and the killing of Remus, and ends with the accession of Numa Pompilius. In the game Undead Knights , the main characters are brothers named Romulus and Remus. Constantine the Great Latin. Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus. 272 22 May 337, also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine , was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to be converted to Christianity , Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed tolerance of all religions throughout the empire. Constantine defeated the emperors Maxentius and Licinius during civil wars. He also fought successfully against the Franks , Alamanni , Visigoths , and Sarmatians during his reign even resettling parts of Dacia which had been abandoned during the previous century. Constantine built a new imperial residence at Byzantium , naming it New Rome. However, in Constantine’s honor, people called it Constantinople , which would later be the capital of what is now known as the Byzantine Empire for over one thousand years. Because of this, he is thought of as the founder of the Byzantine Empire. Flavius Valerius Constantinus, as he was originally named, was born in the city of Naissus, Dardania province of Moesia , in present-day Ni , Serbia , on 27 February of an uncertain year, probably near 272. His father was Flavius Constantius , a native of Dardania province of Moesia (later Dacia Ripensis). Constantius was a tolerant and politically skilled man. Constantine probably spent little time with his father. Constantius was an officer in the Roman army, part of the Emperor Aurelian’s imperial bodyguard. Constantius advanced through the ranks, earning the governorship of Dalmatia from Emperor Diocletian , another of Aurelian’s companions from Illyricum , in 284 or 285. Helena gave birth to the future emperor Constantine I on 27 February of an uncertain year soon after 270 (probably around 272). At the time, she was in Naissus (Ni , Serbia). In order to obtain a wife more consonant with his rising status, Constantius divorced Helena some time before 289, when he married Theodora , Maximian’s daughter. (The narrative sources date the marriage to 293, but the Latin panegyric of 289 refers to the couple as already married). Helena and her son were dispatched to the court of Diocletian at Nicomedia, where Constantine grew to be a member of the inner circle. Helena never remarried and lived for a time in obscurity, though close to her only son, who had a deep regard and affection for her. She received the title of Augusta in 325 and died in 330 with her son at her side. She was buried in the Mausoleum of Helena , outside Rome on the Via Labicana. Her sarcophagus is on display in the Pio-Clementine Vatican Museum , although the connection is often questioned, next to her is the sarcophagus of her granddaughter Saint Constantina (Saint Constance). The elaborate reliefs contain hunting scenes. During her life, she gave many presents to the poor, released prisoners and mingled with the ordinary worshippers in modest attire. Constantine received a formal education at Diocletian’s court, where he learned Latin literature, Greek, and philosophy. On 1 May 305, Diocletian, as a result of a debilitating sickness taken in the winter of 3045, announced his resignation. In a parallel ceremony in Milan, Maximian did the same. Lactantius states that Galerius manipulated the weakened Diocletian into resigning, and forced him to accept Galerius’ allies in the imperial succession. According to Lactantius, the crowd listening to Diocletian’s resignation speech believed, until the very last moment, that Diocletian would choose Constantine and Maxentius (Maximian’s son) as his successors. It was not to be: Constantius and Galerius were promoted to Augusti, while Severus and Maximin were appointed their Caesars respectively. Constantine and Maxentius were ignored. Constantine recognized the implicit danger in remaining at Galerius’ court, where he was held as a virtual hostage. His career depended on being rescued by his father in the west. Constantius was quick to intervene. In the late spring or early summer of 305, Constantius requested leave for his son, to help him campaign in Britain. After a long evening of drinking, Galerius granted the request. Constantine’s later propaganda describes how he fled the court in the night, before Galerius could change his mind. Constantine joined his father in Gaul , at Bononia (Boulogne) before the summer of 305. From Bononia they crossed the Channel to Britain and made their way to Eboracum (York), capital of the province of Britannia Secunda and home to a large military base. Constantine was able to spend a year in northern Britain at his father’s side, campaigning against the Picts beyond Hadrian’s Wall in the summer and autumn. Constantius’s campaign, like that of Septimius Severus before it, probably advanced far into the north without achieving great success. Constantius had become severely sick over the course of his reign, and died on 25 July 306 in Eboracum (York). Before dying, he declared his support for raising Constantine to the rank of full Augustus. The Alamannic king Chrocus , a barbarian taken into service under Constantius, then proclaimed Constantine as Augustus. The troops loyal to Constantius’ memory followed him in acclamation. Gaul and Britain quickly accepted his rule; Iberia, which had been in his father’s domain for less than a year, rejected it. Constantine sent Galerius an official notice of Constantius’s death and his own acclamation. Along with the notice, he included a portrait of himself in the robes of an Augustus. The portrait was wreathed in bay. He requested recognition as heir to his father’s throne, and passed off responsibility for his unlawful ascension on his army, claiming they had “forced it upon him”. Galerius was put into a fury by the message; he almost set the portrait on fire. His advisers calmed him, and argued that outright denial of Constantine’s claims would mean certain war. Galerius was compelled to compromise: he granted Constantine the title “Caesar” rather than “Augustus” (the latter office went to Severus instead). Wishing to make it clear that he alone gave Constantine legitimacy, Galerius personally sent Constantine the emperor’s traditional purple robes. Constantine accepted the decision. Constantine’s share of the Empire consisted of Britain, Gaul, and Spain. Because Constantine was still largely untried and had a hint of illegitimacy about him, he relied on his father’s reputation in his early propaganda: the earliest panegyrics to Constantine give as much coverage to his father’s deeds as to those of Constantine himself. Constantine’s military skill and building projects soon gave the panegyrist the opportunity to comment favorably on the similarities between father and son, and Eusebius remarked that Constantine was a “renewal, as it were, in his own person, of his father’s life and reign”. Constantinian coinage, sculpture and oratory also shows a new tendency for disdain towards the “barbarians” beyond the frontiers. After Constantine’s victory over the Alemanni, he minted a coin issue depicting weeping and begging Alemannic tribesmen”The Alemanni conquered”beneath the phrase “Romans’ rejoicing”. There was little sympathy for these enemies. As his panegyrist declared: It is a stupid clemency that spares the conquered foe. In 310, a dispossessed and power-hungry Maximian rebelled against Constantine while Constantine was away campaigning against the Franks. Maximian had been sent south to Arles with a contingent of Constantine’s army, in preparation for any attacks by Maxentius in southern Gaul. He announced that Constantine was dead, and took up the imperial purple. In spite of a large donative pledge to any who would support him as emperor, most of Constantine’s army remained loyal to their emperor, and Maximian was soon compelled to leave. Constantine soon heard of the rebellion, abandoned his campaign against the Franks, and marched his army up the Rhine. At Cabillunum (Chalon-sur-Saône), he moved his troops onto waiting boats to row down the slow waters of the Saône to the quicker waters of the Rhone. He disembarked at Lugdunum (Lyon). Maximian fled to Massilia (Marseille), a town better able to withstand a long siege than Arles. It made little difference, however, as loyal citizens opened the rear gates to Constantine. Maximian was captured and reproved for his crimes. Constantine granted some clemency, but strongly encouraged his suicide. In July 310, Maximian hanged himself. The death of Maximian required a shift in Constantine’s public image. Breaking away from tetrarchic models, the speech emphasizes Constantine’s ancestral prerogative to rule, rather than principles of imperial equality. The new ideology expressed in the speech made Galerius and Maximian irrelevant to Constantine’s right to rule. Indeed, the orator emphasizes ancestry to the exclusion of all other factors: “No chance agreement of men, nor some unexpected consequence of favor, made you emperor, ” the orator declares to Constantine. A gold multiple of “Unconquered Constantine” with Sol Invictus, struck in 313. The use of Sol’s image appealed to both the educated citizens of Gaul, who would recognize in it Apollo’s patronage of Augustus and the arts; and to Christians, who found solar monotheism less objectionable than the traditional pagan pantheon. The oration also moves away from the religious ideology of the Tetrarchy, with its focus on twin dynasties of Jupiter and Hercules. Instead, the orator proclaims that Constantine experienced a divine vision of Apollo and Victory granting him laurel wreaths of health and a long reign. In the likeness of Apollo Constantine recognized himself as the saving figure to whom would be granted “rule of the whole world”, as the poet Virgil had once foretold. The oration’s religious shift is paralleled by a similar shift in Constantine’s coinage. In his early reign, the coinage of Constantine advertised Mars as his patron. From 310 on, Mars was replaced by Sol Invictus , a god conventionally identified with Apollo. By the middle of 310, Galerius had become too ill to involve himself in imperial politics. His final act survives: a letter to the provincials posted in Nicomedia on 30 April 311, proclaiming an end to the persecutions, and the resumption of religious toleration. He died soon after the edict’s proclamation, destroying what little remained of the tetrarchy. Maximin mobilized against Licinius, and seized Asia Minor. A hasty peace was signed on a boat in the middle of the Bosphorus. While Constantine toured Britain and Gaul, Maxentius prepared for war. He fortified northern Italy, and strengthened his support in the Christian community by allowing it to elect a new Bishop of Rome , Eusebius. Constantine’s advisers and generals cautioned against preemptive attack on Maxentius; even his soothsayers recommended against it, stating that the sacrifices had produced unfavorable omens. Constantine, with a spirit that left a deep impression on his followers, inspiring some to believe that he had some form of supernatural guidance, ignored all these cautions. Early in the spring of 312, Constantine crossed the Cottian Alps with a quarter of his army, a force numbering about 40,000. The first town his army encountered was Segusium (Susa , Italy), a heavily fortified town that shut its gates to him. Constantine ordered his men to set fire to its gates and scale its walls. He took the town quickly. Constantine ordered his troops not to loot the town, and advanced with them into northern Italy. At the approach to the west of the important city of Augusta Taurinorum (Turin , Italy), Constantine met a large force of heavily armed Maxentian cavalry. In the ensuing battle Constantine’s army encircled Maxentius’ cavalry, flanked them with his own cavalry, and dismounted them with blows from his soldiers’ iron-tipped clubs. Constantine’s armies emerged victorious. Turin refused to give refuge to Maxentius’ retreating forces, opening its gates to Constantine instead. Other cities of the north Italian plain sent Constantine embassies of congratulation for his victory. He moved on to Milan, where he was met with open gates and jubilant rejoicing. Constantine rested his army in Milan until mid-summer 312, when he moved on to Brixia (Brescia). Brescia’s army was easily dispersed, and Constantine quickly advanced to Verona , where a large Maxentian force was camped. Ruricius Pompeianus, general of the Veronese forces and Maxentius’ praetorian prefect, was in a strong defensive position, since the town was surrounded on three sides by the Adige. Constantine sent a small force north of the town in an attempt to cross the river unnoticed. Ruricius sent a large detachment to counter Constantine’s expeditionary force, but was defeated. Constantine’s forces successfully surrounded the town and laid siege. Constantine refused to let up on the siege, and sent only a small force to oppose him. In the desperately fought encounter that followed, Ruricius was killed and his army destroyed. Verona surrendered soon afterwards, followed by Aquileia , Mutina (Modena). The road to Rome was now wide open to Constantine. Maxentius prepared for the same type of war he had waged against Severus and Galerius: he sat in Rome and prepared for a siege. He still controlled Rome’s praetorian guards, was well-stocked with African grain, and was surrounded on all sides by the seemingly impregnable Aurelian Walls. He ordered all bridges across the Tiber cut, reportedly on the counsel of the gods, and left the rest of central Italy undefended; Constantine secured that region’s support without challenge. Constantine progressed slowly along the Via Flaminia , allowing the weakness of Maxentius to draw his regime further into turmoil. Maxentius’ support continued to weaken: at chariot races on 27 October, the crowd openly taunted Maxentius, shouting that Constantine was invincible. Maxentius, no longer certain that he would emerge from a siege victorious, built a temporary boat bridge across the Tiber in preparation for a field battle against Constantine. On 28 October 312, the sixth anniversary of his reign, he approached the keepers of the Sibylline Books for guidance. The keepers prophesied that, on that very day, “the enemy of the Romans” would die. Maxentius advanced north to meet Constantine in battle. Maxentius organized his forcesstill twice the size of Constantine’sin long lines facing the battle plain, with their backs to the river. Constantine’s army arrived at the field bearing unfamiliar symbols on either its standards or its soldiers’ shields. Eusebius describes the sign as Chi traversed by Rho : , a symbol representing the first two letters of the Greek spelling of the word Christos or Christ. Constantine deployed his own forces along the whole length of Maxentius’ line. He ordered his cavalry to charge, and they broke Maxentius’ cavalry. He then sent his infantry against Maxentius’ infantry, pushing many into the Tiber where they were slaughtered and drowned. The battle was brief: Maxentius’ troops were broken before the first charge. Maxentius’ horse guards and praetorians initially held their position, but broke under the force of a Constantinian cavalry charge; they also broke ranks and fled to the river. Maxentius rode with them, and attempted to cross the bridge of boats, but he was pushed by the mass of his fleeing soldiers into the Tiber, and drowned. Constantine entered Rome on 29 October. He staged a grand adventus in the city, and was met with popular jubilation. Maxentius’ body was fished out of the Tiber and decapitated. His head was paraded through the streets for all to see. Unlike his predecessors, Constantine neglected to make the trip to the Capitoline Hill and perform customary sacrifices at the Temple of Jupiter. He issued decrees returning property lost under Maxentius, recalling political exiles, and releasing Maxentius’ imprisoned opponents. In the following years, Constantine gradually consolidated his military superiority over his rivals in the crumbling Tetrarchy. In 313, he met Licinius in Milan to secure their alliance by the marriage of Licinius and Constantine’s half-sister Constantia. During this meeting, the emperors agreed on the so-called Edict of Milan , officially granting full tolerance to Christianity and all religions in the Empire. The document had special benefits for Christians, legalizing their religion and granting them restoration for all property seized during Diocletian’s persecution. In the year 320, Licinius reneged on the religious freedom promised by the Edict of Milan in 313 and began to oppress Christians anew, generally without bloodshed, but resorting to confiscations and sacking of Christian office-holders. That became a challenge to Constantine in the West, climaxing in the great civil war of 324. Licinius, aided by Goth mercenaries , represented the past and the ancient Pagan faiths. Constantine and his Franks marched under the standard of the labarum , and both sides saw the battle in religious terms. Outnumbered, but fired by their zeal, Constantine’s army emerged victorious in the Battle of Adrianople. Licinius fled across the Bosphorus and appointed Martius Martinianus , the commander of his bodyguard, as Caesar, but Constantine next won the Battle of the Hellespont , and finally the Battle of Chrysopolis on 18 September 324. Licinius and Martinianus surrendered to Constantine at Nicomedia on the promise their lives would be spared: they were sent to live as private citizens in Thessalonica and Cappadocia respectively, but in 325 Constantine accused Licinius of plotting against him and had them both arrested and hanged; Licinius’s son (the son of Constantine’s half-sister) was also killed. Thus Constantine became the sole emperor of the Roman Empire. Licinius’ defeat came to represent the defeat of a rival center of Pagan and Greek-speaking political activity in the East, as opposed to the Christian and Latin-speaking Rome, and it was proposed that a new Eastern capital should represent the integration of the East into the Roman Empire as a whole, as a center of learning, prosperity, and cultural preservation for the whole of the Eastern Roman Empire. Among the various locations proposed for this alternative capital, Constantine appears to have toyed earlier with Serdica (present-day Sofia), as he was reported saying that ” Serdica is my Rome “. Sirmium and Thessalonica were also considered. Eventually, however, Constantine decided to work on the Greek city of Byzantium , which offered the advantage of having already been extensively rebuilt on Roman patterns of urbanism, during the preceding century, by Septimius Severus and Caracalla , who had already acknowledged its strategic importance. The city was then renamed Constantinopolis (“Constantine’s City” or Constantinople in English), and issued special commemorative coins in 330 to honor the event. The new city was protected by the relics of the True Cross , the Rod of Moses and other holy relics , though a cameo now at the Hermitage Museum also represented Constantine crowned by the tyche of the new city. The figures of old gods were either replaced or assimilated into a framework of Christian symbolism. Constantine built the new Church of the Holy Apostles on the site of a temple to Aphrodite. Generations later there was the story that a divine vision led Constantine to this spot, and an angel no one else could see, led him on a circuit of the new walls. The capital would often be compared to the’old’ Rome as Nova Roma Constantinopolitana , the “New Rome of Constantinople”. Constantine the Great , mosaic in Hagia Sophia, c. Constantine is perhaps best known for being the first “Christian” Roman emperor. Scholars debate whether Constantine adopted his mother. S Christianity in his youth, or whether he adopted it gradually over the course of his life. Constantine was over 40 when he finally declared himself a Christian, writing to Christians to make clear that he believed he owed his successes to the protection of the Christian High God alone. Throughout his rule, Constantine supported the Church financially, built basilicas, granted privileges to clergy e. His most famous building projects include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre , and Old Saint Peter’s Basilica. However, Constantine certainly did not patronize Christianity alone. After gaining victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312), a triumphal archthe Arch of Constantine was built (315) to celebrate his triumph. The arch is most notably decorated with images of the goddess Victoria and, at the time of its dedication, sacrifices to gods like Apollo , Diana , and Hercules were made. Most notably absent from the Arch are any depictions whatsoever regarding Christian symbolism. Later in 321, Constantine instructed that Christians and non-Christians should be united in observing the venerable day of the sun , referencing the sun-worship that Aurelian had established as an official cult. Furthermore, and long after his oft alleged “conversion” to Christianity, Constantine’s coinage continued to carry the symbols of the sun. Even after the pagan gods had disappeared from the coinage, Christian symbols appeared only as Constantine’s personal attributes: the chi rho between his hands or on his labarum , but never on the coin itself. Even when Constantine dedicated the new capital of Constantinople, which became the seat of Byzantine Christianity for a millennium, he did so wearing the Apollonian sun-rayed Diadem ; no Christian symbols were present at this dedication. Constantine made new laws regarding the Jews. They were forbidden to own Christian slaves or to circumcise their slaves. Beginning in the mid-3rd century the emperors began to favor members of the equestrian order over senators, who had had a monopoly on the most important offices of state. Senators were stripped of the command of legions and most provincial governorships (as it was felt that they lacked the specialized military upbringing needed in an age of acute defense needs), such posts being given to equestrians by Diocletian and his colleaguesfollowing a practice enforced piecemeal by their predecessors. The emperors however, still needed the talents and the help of the very rich, who were relied on to maintain social order and cohesion by means of a web of powerful influence and contacts at all levels. Exclusion of the old senatorial aristocracy threatened this arrangement. In 326, Constantine reversed this pro-equestrian trend, raising many administrative positions to senatorial rank and thus opening these offices to the old aristocracy, and at the same time elevating the rank of already existing equestrians office-holders to senator, eventually wiping out the equestrian orderat least as a bureaucratic rankin the process. One could become a senator, either by being elected praetor or (in most cases) by fulfilling a function of senatorial rank: from then on, holding of actual power and social status were melded together into a joint imperial hierarchy. At the same time, Constantine gained with this the support of the old nobility, as the Senate was allowed itself to elect praetors and quaestors , in place of the usual practice of the emperors directly creating new magistrates (adlectio). The Senate as a body remained devoid of any significant power; nevertheless, the senators, who had been marginalized as potential holders of imperial functions during the 3rd century, could now dispute such positions alongside more upstart bureaucrats. Some modern historians see in those administrative reforms an attempt by Constantine at reintegrating the senatorial order into the imperial administrative elite to counter the possibility of alienating pagan senators from a Christianized imperial rule. Constantine’s reforms had to do only with the civilian administration: the military chiefs, who since the Crisis of the Third Century had risen from the ranks, remained outside the senate, in which they were included only by Constantine’s children. The failure of the various Diocletianic attempts at the restoration of a functioning silver coin resided in the fact that the silver currency was overvalued in terms of its actual metal content, and therefore could only circulate at much discounted rates. Minting of the Diocletianic “pure” silver argenteus ceased, therefore, soon after 305, while the billon currency continued to be used until the 360s. From the early 300s on, Constantine forsook any attempts at restoring the silver currency, preferring instead to concentrate on minting large quantities of good standard gold piecesthe solidus , 72 of which made a pound of gold. New (and highly debased) silver pieces would continue to be issued during Constantine’s later reign and after his death, in a continuous process of retariffing, until this billon minting eventually ceased, de jure , in 367, with the silver piece being de facto continued by various denominations of bronze coins, the most important being the centenionalis. Later emperors like Julian the Apostate tried to present themselves as advocates of the humiles by insisting on trustworthy mintings of the bronze currency. Constantine’s monetary policy were closely associated with his religious ones, in that increased minting was associated with measures of confiscationtaken since 331 and closed in 336of all gold, silver and bronze statues from pagan temples, who were declared as imperial property and, as such, as monetary assets. Two imperial commissioners for each province had the task of getting hold of the statues and having them melded for immediate mintingwith the exception of a number of bronze statues who were used as public monuments for the beautification of the new capital in Constantinople. Constantine considered Constantinople as his capital and permanent residence. He lived there for a good portion of his later life. He rebuilt Trajan’s bridge across the Danube, in hopes of reconquering Dacia , a province that had been abandoned under Aurelian. In the late winter of 332, Constantine campaigned with the Sarmatians against the Goths. The weather and lack of food cost the Goths dearly: reportedly, nearly one hundred thousand died before they submitted to Rome. In 334, after Sarmatian commoners had overthrown their leaders, Constantine led a campaign against the tribe. He won a victory in the war and extended his control over the region, as remains of camps and fortifications in the region indicate. Constantine resettled some Sarmatian exiles as farmers in Illyrian and Roman districts, and conscripted the rest into the army. Constantine took the title Dacicus maximus in 336. Constantine had known death would soon come. Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother’s city of Helenopolis (Altinova), on the southern shores of the Gulf of zmit. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. Seeking purification, he became a catechumen , and attempted a return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan , where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away. The bishops, Eusebius records, “performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom”. He chose the Arianizing bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia , bishop of the city where he lay dying, as his baptizer. In postponing his baptism, he followed one custom at the time which postponed baptism until after infancy. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on the last day of the fifty-day festival of Pentecost directly following Pascha (or Easter), on 22 May 337. Following his death, his body was transferred to Constantinople and buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles there. He was succeeded by his three sons born of Fausta, Constantine II , Constantius II and Constans. A number of relatives were killed by followers of Constantius, notably Constantine’s nephews Dalmatius (who held the rank of Caesar) and Hannibalianus , presumably to eliminate possible contenders to an already complicated succession. He also had two daughters, Constantina and Helena , wife of Emperor Julian. The Byzantine Empire considered Constantine its founder and the Holy Roman Empire reckoned him among the venerable figures of its tradition. In the later Byzantine state, it had become a great honor for an emperor to be hailed as a “new Constantine”. Ten emperors, including the last emperor of Byzantium, carried the name. Most Eastern Christian churches consider Constantine a saint (, Saint Constantine). In the Byzantine Church he was called isapostolos an equal of the Apostles. Ni airport is named Constantine the Great in honor of his birth in Naissus. 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 “Constantine I The Great Ancient Roman Coin Romulus & Remus Mother wolf i40081″ is in sale since Monday, May 5, 2014. 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.
- Ruler: Constantine I
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