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Constantine (Flavius Valerius Constantinus) was the son of Constantius
Chlorus and Helena. He was born on the 27th of February circa 272 A.D.
in Naissus in Upper Moesia. Constantine(who was serving under Galerius)
grudgingly received permission from Galerius to go and be with his father
in Britain.Constantine served with his father on many campaigns and rose
quickly in the army. In 306 Constantius Chlorus fell ill in York after
a campaign against the Picts.
Constantius Chlorus died. On his deathbed, he supposedly appointed his
son as his successor. Constantine was proclaimed Augustus by the Gallic
and British legions. Galerius had appointed Severus as Augustus and only
recognized Constantine as Caesar. Constantine did retain all the territories
of his father:Britain, Gaul, Spain and part of north-western Africa.
On 27 Oct., Maxentius rebelled against Severus and assumed the title of
Augustus in Rome.
Maxentius persuaded his father, Maximian, to resume the purple. Severus
marched against Rome, but was defeated by Maxentius.. He fled to Ravenna,
but surrendered and was eventually executed.Constantine was acknowledged
as Augustus by Maxentius and Maximian. He married the daughter of Maximian,Fausta
(his former wife,Minervina who was the mother of Crispus, had died). Galerius
then gave Licinius the title of Augustus. Galerius also had to recognize
the claims of his nephew Maximinus Daza,made Caesar in 306, after the abdication
of Diocletian. He also had to recognize the claims of Constantine. He made
the title Fili Augusti (son of Augustus) for them, but had to recognize
both as emperors in 308. Maxentius rebuilt the temple of Roma in Rome and
in the name of Constantine.
There were six emperors in 308. This would not last for long- there
can be only one (line from the movie Highlander!). The army in Africa
rejected Maxentius and proclaimed Alexander as Augustus. This made Alexander
an ally of Constantine, at least as far as they both had a common enemy-
Maxentius. (Alexander was defeated and killed circa 311).
quarreled with his son Maxentius and was driven out of Italy. Constantine
headed to Gaul to deal with his father-in-law,Maximian, and had his first
heavenly vision at the shrine of Apollo. He was promised thirty years of
rule and he struck many coins
in honor of Sol. Constantine laid siege to Maximian. Maximian committed
suicide. A coin
issued which may commemorate this victory, but possibly only marks a visit
by Constantine to London.
Galerius died and his territory was divided between Licinius
(Europe) and Maximinus Daza (Asiatic part). Shortly before his death, Galerius
issued an edict that Christians did not have to sacrifice to the emperor.
Constantine became determined to stop what he called the tyranny of Maxentius.
Constantine prayed and saw a sign in the heavens, a trophy of a cross of
light bearing the inscription,
BY THIS CONQUER. Constantine made
a standard with the sign (the letter P marked diagonally with X at the
center).Constantine advanced against Maxentius and defeated him on the
28th of October. Maxentius drowned in the Tiber River while trying to escape
across the Milvian bridge. After Constantine entered Rome, he drew up an
edict (in conjunction with Licinius) in favor of Christians; and he sent
it to Maximin, ruler in the East. Maximin, who feared rejecting it, approved;
and the Roman people received Constantine as their savior. The senate passed
a decree assigning Constantine first rank among the three Augusti.
Constantine and Licinius were at Milan, where Licinius married Constantia,
the half sister of Constantine. Both men issued a second edict (The
Edict of Milan) giving liberty to Christians in particular, and to
all men in general, the freedom to worship any deity. Constantine issued
commemorated his victory over Maxentius at the battle of Milvian bridge
and only out of mints he had just won - Rome and Ostia (then Arles after
the transfer of the mint). Maximin took advantage of the marriage festivities
and marched from Syria into Bythnia and then into Thrace. Licinius pursued
him and defeated him at Adrianople. Maximin fled to Heraclea and committed
suicide. Licinius became the sole ruler of the East. Delmatius was born.
went to Nicomedia and gave thanks to God for his victory and repeated the
edict from Milan in favor of Christians.
It is likely that the title of Maximus and the diadem were officially
decreed to Constantine by the Senate. Constantine celebrated his decennalia
(tenth anniversary) in Rome. Hanniballus was born.
The friendship between Constantine and Licinius did not last, though. Open
war broke out in 316. Two battles were fought, one at Cibalae in Pannonia,
where Licinius was defeated. The second was at Campus Ardiensis in Thrace,
where Licinius asked for peace. Constantine added Illyricum and Greece
to his territories, but left Thrace to Licinius. Constantine II was born.
The First Civil War ended with a treaty at Sirmium.Crispus and Constantine
II, sons of Constantine, and Licinius II, son of Licinius, were made Caesars.
Crispus was made commander of the Roman forces in Gaul. Constantius II
was born this year.
Crispus defeated the Franks. Constantine celebrated his quindecennalia
(15 year anniversary) in Rome.
Constantine asked all his subjects in the Roman Empire to observe the "Lord's
Day" and passed an edict for the solemn observance of Sunday, which he
called dies Solis (literally day of the sun). Even though coins
were issued which assured "blessed calm", Constantine had many troubles
along the frontiers with Germanic
tribes. Licinius issued a series of radiate
coinage from 321-4.These were issued as part of a coin reform by Licinius
in his territories (mints of Heraclea, Nicomedia, Cyzicus, Antioch, and
Alexandria) and were reduced in value (from 25 to 12 and a half). He struck
these in the names of all the rulers but this reduction was not recognized
outside his territories.
Constantine defeated the Sarmatians.
This victory was a big reason for the upcoming civil war with Licinius,
since the territory fought in was under the control of Licinius.
Constans was born
A second war broke out. A battle fought at Adrianople was lost by Licinius
on July 3. Licinius fled to Byzantium. Crispus attacked the fleet of Licinius
and he had a brilliant victory.(this victory would be alluded to on later
The armies of the two emperors met again at Chrysopolis. Licinius was utterly
defeated and surrendered. Licinius was confined at Thessalonica.With this
victory, Constantine became the sole master of the Roman Empire.
Licinius was executed. Constantine summoned
the Council of Nicaea. Constantine celebrated his vicennalia
(twenty year celebration). Constantine issued an edict to abolish gladiators
(they continued until the reign of Honorius circa 455 A.D.). Constantius
Gallus was born. The Langtoft
II hoard is believed to have been deposited circa 325 A.D.
Constantine celebrated his vicennalia in Rome (it was his last visit to
Rome). Constantine began to create a new capitol city in Byzantium. On
November 4, Constantine traced the city limits (it would soon be known
as Constantinople). Constantine ordered the death of Crispus.Constantine
ordered the death of Fausta. Constantine issued an edict against heretics.
A series of anepigraphic
coins was issued ten mints (Antioch, Nicomedia, Cyzicus, Constantinople,
Heraclea, Thessalonica, Siscia, Rome, Ticinum and Trier), probably in reference
to imperial visits after Constantine defeated Licinius.
The mint at Constantinople opened and began minting coins
commemorating the victory over Licinius and Dafne
coinage is struck possibly as early as mid 327.
A bridge across the Danube was completed, marking the start of a Gothic
campaign. Construction on the Dafne fortress began. Helena, the
mother of Constantine, died at the age of 80.
Constantinople was dedicated on May 11. Idolatry was abolished in Constantinople
and Constantine built many churches.In 330 A.D., the nummus was reduced
in weight and struck at 132 to the pound.
Constantine II fought a war against the Goths. Julian II was born in Constantinople.
Constans was made Caesar.
Constantine celebrated his tricennalia (30 year celebration). Council of
Tyre and Jerusalem were held. Delmatius was made Caesar and Hanniballus
was made a King. Delmatius ruled Eastern Illyricum, Greece and Thrace;
Hanniballus ruled Pontus, Lesser Armenia and Cappadocia. Constantine I
and his son, Constantius II, administered the remaining provinces of the
Eastern Empire. The Western Empire was divided between Constantine II and
Constans. Constantine II took the old lands of his grandfather, Constantius
Chlorus,- Britain, Gaul, Spain, and Mauretania Tingitana. Constans was
given control of Italy, Africa, Rhaetia, and Western Illyricum.In 335 A.D.,
the number of nummus to a pound was raised to 192. The reverse of the GLORIA
EXERCITVS coins now only have one banner since they are smaller.
Constantius II was married.
Constantine I began to feel signs of his failing health. He went to Nicomedia
and was baptized by the bishop Eusebius. Constantine died at noon on the
Feast of Pentecost (May 22, 337). Murder of Delmatius, Hanniballus and
other members of the Imperial family (maybe ordered by Constantius II).
Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans were declared Augusti.
is compiled from several sources, but mainly
Christian Emblems on the
Coins of Constantine I. the Great, His Family, and His Successors
last modified on 31 July