Author Topic: Transformation of Constantine on coins  (Read 1696 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Victor

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2197
  • Country: us
  • Date Nolite Rogare
    • Victor's Imperial Coins
Transformation of Constantine on coins
« on: August 06, 2012, 12:51:56 PM »
The image of Constantine on his coins had a makeover circa A.D. 327. Below are two obverse busts from Constantinople and both are Dafne reverses. These are great to demonstrate the change because they were issued about a year apart. The first, RIC 30, shows a bull-necked Constantine with sharp features and short hair. Constantine appears thick-necked on his statues and had a nickname of "bull-neck". This portrait is also reminiscent of the Tetrarchic imagery with close-cropped hair and stern features; which is imagery one might expect with a military man. The next bust, RIC 35 and 38, shows a Constantine that has transformed-- he has softened, even feminized. His features are not as sharp, his neck is thinner and more graceful and his hair is now beginning to curl down his neck. After he defeated Licinius, Constantine may have wanted to show the people that he was not only a soldier, but a spiritual man -- this physical transformation was symbolic of his spiritual transformation, manifest on the coinage of the Empire for all to see.