Biblical Coins from the time of Jesus Christ ~ Mark 12:41-44
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The Coins of Constantine the Great

Constantine the Great minted a significant variety of coins during his 30 year reign from 307-337 AD. Each coin was minted to send a message, to tell a story, and to communicate the victory and power that Constantine the Great held over the Roman Empire. Within each type of coin were many variations, mint locations and design changes.



Christian Influence of Constantine

Emperor Constantine I ruled the Roman Empire from 307-337AD, (sole ruler from 324 and 337 A.D). His reign was perhaps one of the most crucial of all the emperors in determining the future course of western civilization. By beginning the process of making Christianity the religious foundation of his realm, he set the religious course for the future of Europe which remains in place to this very day. Constantine began making Christianity the official state religion in place of paganism, a process completed in 391 during the reign of Theodosius I. In an attempt to resolve the Arian controversy, he convened the first Ecumenical Council of the church, which assembled at Nicaea in Bithynia during June 325. From this council we have the Nicene Creed which proclaims the DIETY OF CHRIST. The Nicene Creed is quoted every week in many churches around the world to this day.
Constantine minted a large variety of coins.

While Constantine was himself a Christian, he did not issue coins with overtly Christian symbols. What became apparent, however, was the lack of pagan symbols from his coins. Constantine was a very intelligent man in the symbols that he utilized on his coins. While he was the Emperor, he always realized the the Army put him in power, and the Army could remove him. He often gave tribute to the Army on his coins. Constantine also reassured his population base in the city of Rome after moving the capital city from the City of Rome to Constantinople in the east. These coins were issued to mark the foundation of Constantinople and to also to re-affirm Rome as the traditional center of the Empire. The wolf and twins type depict Romulus and Remus (the founders of Rome) being suckled by the she-wolf.

Of the many centuries of Roman coins minted over the great span of the Roman Empire, Constantine's Roman coins are unique from all the others. While all of the Roman emperors established their rule and authority through their coins, Constantine included, many of the other emperors were, in my opinion, more self-focused. Constantine the Great was more focused on the needs of the empire, he often gave credit to others in his coins, specifically the army and the City of Rome. What is really astounding was that the posthumous Roman coins were minted in his honor for 10 years after his death.
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312-315 AD
Jupiter the Savior

IMP CONSTANTINVS PF AVG IOVI CON-SERVATORI [To Jupiter,the saviour] Jupiter standing l., chlamys across l. shoulder, leaning on sceptre and holding Victory on globe in r. hand; eagle with wreath to left.

Note: This coin was minted earlier in Constantine's rule as Emperor right about the same time of his conversion to Christianity. Constantine converted to Christianty and issued the Edict of Milan in 313AD. He stopped minting this Jupiter coin in 315 AD.
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318-320 AD
JOYOUS VICTORY TO THE ETERNAL PRINCE

Vows of the Roman People
IMP CONST-ANTINVS AVG helmeted, laureate, cuirassed
VICTORIAE LAETAE PRINC PERP [ Joyous (well-earned) victory to the eternal Prince] two Victories stg., facing one another, together holding shield inscribed VOT PR [VOTA POPULI ROMANI (vows of the Roman people)] on altar.
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318-319 AD
20 Years Vow Repeat 30 Years XXX
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320-321 AD
Valor of t he Army
CONSTA-NTINVS AVG Helmeted, cuirassed VIRTVS-EXERCIT [Valor of the army] Standard inscribed VOT/XX with captive seated on ground on either side. S-F; in ex. dot PTR
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320-324 AD
20 Years Vows of our Lord, Constantine, the Greatest Emperor
VOT XX
CONSTAN-TINVS AVG Laureate head only
DN CONSTANTINI MAX AVG VOT XX [20 year vows of our Lord, Constantine, the greatest emperor]
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A.D. 325-9
30 Years Vows of our Lord, Constantine, the Greatest Emperor
VOT XXX
CONSTAN-TINVS AVG head with plain diadem
DN CONSTANTINI MAX AVG VOT XXX [30 year vows of our Lord, Constantine, the greatest emperor]
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326-329 AD
CAMP GATE
In honor of the foresight of the Emperors
sizes average 19-20mm
CONSTAN-TINVS AVG Laureate
PROVIDEN-TIAE AVGG [In honor of the foresight of the Emperors] camp gate, two turrets, no doors, star above.
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330-335 AD
THE GLORY OF THE ARMY
CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG rosette-diadem, draped, cuirassed
GLOR-IA EXERC-ITVS [The glory of the army] Two soldiers helmeted, stg. facing one another, reversed spear in outer hands, inner hands on shields resting on the ground; between them two standards.
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330-334 AD
City of Rome Commemorative Coin

Constantine and his sons issued a few different types of commemoratives from 330-346. These were issued to mark the foundation of Constantinople and to also re-affirm Rome as the traditional center of the Empire. The wolf and twins type depict Romulus and Remus (the founders of Rome) being suckled by the she-wolf. The two stars on the reverse represent the dioscuri ( the twins Castor and Pollux).
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337-347 AD
POSTHUMOUS CONSTANTINE COIN
Posthumous Issues of Constantine After Constantine died in 337, his sons issued posthumous coins in honor of their father. Constantine was the last Emperor to be consecrated and deified on coins. Eusebius also wrote about one of these posthumous coins: "At the same time coins were struck portraying the Blessed One on the obverse in the form of one with head veiled, on the reverse like a charioteer on a quadriga, being taken up by a right hand stretched out to him from above."
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