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Gold medallion showing Constantine the Great at prayer
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Constantine's reign (AD 306-37) marks a turning point in Roman history. He created the city that would become the capital of the Byzantine empire (Constantinople) and adopted Christianity as the official state religion.

Constantine is shown here gazing heavenwards, perhaps in an attitude of prayer or looking to make some sort of sacred contact. In ancient times both pagans and Christians prayed with arms outstretched and eyes raised to the sky. This is not a new or specifically Christian invention, as it can be seen on portraits of Alexander the Creat (336-323 вс). Constantine makes the connection with Alexander even clearer by showing himself crowned with a diadem, the Greek symbol of kingship, rather than the Roman laurel wreath. The reverse of the medal depicts Constantine brutally dealing with his enemies, the legend GLORIA CONSTANTINI AVG proclaiming this activity as glorious.

Gold medallion showing Constantine the Great at prayer


Roman, minted in Siscia (modern Sisak, Croatia),
AD .306-37 D. 2.4 cm
Wt 6.8g



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