c. 313-15, Constantine I
c. 313-15, Constantine I -

Roman Imperial Coinage, Constantine I, Solidus, Trier, c. 313-15, laureate bust right, CONSTANTINVS P F AVG, rev. VIRTVS AVGVSTI N, Emperor on horseback galloping right, two fallen figures and lozenge-shaped shield below horse, PTR in exergue, 4.43g (Calicó –; RIC 36). Very rare.

A metal detector find.

Found near Wanstrow (Somerset), 2019 (PAS SOM-A557C8). Images courtesy of DNW.

Flavius Valerius Constantine was born AD 272. He accompanied his father the western Emperor Constantius I to Britain in a hard fought campaign against the Picts in northern Britain. At Eboracum (York) on the 25th July AD 306 Constantius died from ill health and the soldiers proclaimed Constantine as their leader. He at first took the junior rank of Caesar to avoid conflict with the other rulers of the Roman tetrarchy, and he accepted the joint title of Augustus in 307, becoming sole ruler in 324 after deposing the eastern Roman emperor Licinius.
It was after the decisive victory over the usurper Maxentius at Milvian bridge that Constantine became supportive of the Christian religion with his edict of Milan in 313. Towards the end of his reign Constantine founded the new capital of Constantinople in 330. He was baptised on his deathbed on May 21st 337.

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