Gainesville Coins presents authentic bronze coins of the first Christian Emperors of Rome!
Constantine the Great and his three sons were the first Christian Emperors of the Roman Empire. Through their efforts, Christianity went from a criminalized cult whose adherents were put to death, to the preferred religion of Caesars.
Constantine himself came to believe in the power of The Lord in the year 312, when he received a vision the day before the battle that would determine the ruler of the West Roman Empire. The vision was that of a cross above the sun, surrounded by the words in Greek “By this Sign, You will Conquer”. Constantine had his soldiers paint the Chi Ro symbol for Christ on their shields before the battle, which resulted in a crushing victory.
Constantine ordered the construction of many magnificent churches, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and the first great Christian cathedral, St John’s Lateran., and the Church of the Holy Apostles, Hagia Sophia, and Hagia Eirene in Constantinople. His convocation of the Council of Nicaea in 325 brought 300 bishops together from across the Empire to set forth the first orthodoxy of the Christian faith.
Constantine’s three sons, Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans, were the first Roman Emperors born as Christians. They continued their father’s work after splitting the Empire into thirds between them. This work included sponsoring the construction of new Christian churches throughout the Empire, as well as employing countless scribes to write new Bibles by hand for dissemination to these new churches.
Ruling the western-most provinces of Rome, stretching from Britain and Spain to the Rhine, Constantine II had to pursue a tolerant policy towards the pagan majority inhabiting his realm, though it did not preclude him from advancing the cause of Christianity. Constantius II, the middle brother, held dominion over Roman territory from the Balkans to Egypt. He set forth a policy of persecution of pagan faiths as brutal as Diocletian’s battle against Christianity had been. Constantius II adhered to the Arian branch of early Christianity, even though it had been declared “heretical” at the Council of Nicaea. The youngest brother, Constans, shared Constantius’ zeal in supporting the spread of Christianity, but was a follower of the Nicene Creed, which became the basis for the Orthodox, Catholic, and many Protestant denominations of Christianity.
Your Roman bronze coin will have been struck during the realm of Constantine the Great or one of his sons. As sole ruler of the Roman Empire, the coins of Constantine were struck at 18 different mints, from London to Alexandria. There are more than 400 different combinations of designs and mint marks in the coins of Constantine alone, making the collection of Constantinian bronze coins a pastime that can entertain for many years.