Solidus (Coin) Portraying Emperor Constantine I

A work made of gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gold.


Late 324/early 325, issued by Constantine I


Roman; minted in Antioch, Syria

About this artwork

In AD 313, Constantine I (c. 272–337, r. 306–37) and his coruler Licinius (c. 265–325, r. 308–24) jointly issued the Edict of Milan, which aimed to end religious intolerance by granting legal rights to Christians and ordering the return of their confiscated property. This solidus, bearing a large profile portrait of Constantine wearing a laurel crown, was issued during the period in which Constantine both defeated Licinius to become sole emperor and sponsored the First Council of Nicaea (325), whose goal was to establish the nature of Jesus and his relation to God the Father. Baptized on his deathbed, Constantine is honored as the first Christian emperor, and his reign marks the beginning of the Christianization of the empire. He transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to ancient Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople in his honor.

On View

Ancient and Byzantine Art, Gallery 153


Ancient Roman


Solidus (Coin) Portraying Emperor Constantine I




324 AD–325 AD




Obverse: CONSTANTINVS P F AVG (Pius et Felix - dutiful and happy) Reverse: AOVENTVS [sic] AVGVSTI N ; in exergue, SMAN* (mint mark signifying Sacra Moneta Antioch) "The coming of our Augustus"


Diam. 1.9 cm; 4.48 g

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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