Constantine the Great

The Farnese Hercules

HERCVLI VICTORI coin from Constantine the Great

Constantine I
Circa 312 A.D.
21mm   5gm
HERCVLI VICTORI [To Hercules, the victor] Hercules standing right, right hand behind back, left leaning on club covered by lionís skin.
In left field star above delta, in exergue SMN

This type is only listed in RIC VI for Maximinus, but examples are also known for Licinius and Constantine. It should be RIC VI Nicomedia 75c. Two of the tetrarchs, Maximianus and Constantius (the father of Constantine) were associated with Hercules. The other two, Diocletian and Galerius, were associated with Jupiter.

Farnese Hercules   The depiction of Hercules on the reverse of this coin was modeled from a statue made in the third century A.D. by Glykon, which copied an original of Lysippos. The statue shows Hercules leaning on a club draped with the skin of the Nemean lion. He is resting after performing one of the last of the Twelve Labors, and he is holding the apples of the Hesperides behind his back (roll over the picture to see). The statue was originally located in the baths of Caracalla, which were dedicated in 216 A.D. In 1546, the statue was recovered and moved to the  Palazzo Farnese in Rome. Alessandro Farnese, who built the Palazzo Farnese, was the future Pope Paul III. In 1787, the statue was moved to Naples. It is currently displayed at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale.
                 the pictures came from this site


last modified on 14 Nov 2007

Constantine the Great