Constantine was the son of the Emperor Constantius I. When Constantius died in 306 AD in Eboracum (York), the soldiers declared Constantine Emperor, although this was against the Tetrarchic system laid down by Diocletian. For the time being, however, he was tolerated and the reigning Senior Augustus, Galerius, gave him the title of Caesar. Constantine married Fausta the daughter of the former Emperor Maximianus. When Galerius died, Constantine invaded Italy, the territory of his brother-in-law, Maxentius. He defeated him at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 AD, and it was at this battle that God apparently gave Constantine the sign of victory. Constantine took up the struggle of the Christian cause, and repealed many of Diocletian and Galerius' edicts against the new religion. Soon only Licinius was left out of the former Tetrarchy, and Constantine eventually defeated him to reign absolutely. Constantine moved the capital of the empire from Rome to Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinopolis. As Constantine lay dying, he was baptised and formally converted to the Christian faith. He left the empire divided between his three sons and several of his nephews
For explanations of many of the abbreviations used in Roman imperial obverse legends, click here.
Bronze follis issued AD 308.
Obv: IMP C CONSTANTINVS PF AVG, Laureate head facing right.
Rev: CONSERV VRB SVAE, Roma seated within hexastyle temple (AQS in ex.).<
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