Coin of Constantine the Great
3/4 x 13/16 in. (1.9 x 2 cm)
Medium and Support:
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Alexander
Location: Currently on view
The reverse of this coin depicts a Roman army camp gate. The inscription translates as “To the Foresight of our Emperors” in honor of Constantine’s imperial ancestors.
[Gallery label text, 2009]
Constantine is depicted as the proud ruler, with three beaded strands tied around his head, rather than with the traditional laurel wreath of the victorious warrior. The inscription gives the Roman form of his name, Constantinus, with the abbreviation AVG for Augustus, the title conferred on emperors. Constantine, the first Christian emperor, chose the city of Byzantium (now Istanbul) as his capital and dedicated it to the Virgin Mary. He rebuilt it from 325 to 330 C.E. and decorated it with famous artworks from all over his dominions.
[Gallery label text, 1995]