The Story: The Constantinian dynasty ruled from the rise of Diocletian in 285 to the death of Julian the Apostate in 364. Constantine I “The Great”, was one of the most (if not the most) influential of the Roman emperors, and his actions and deeds are still affecting people to this day. Constantine began the Roman Empire's unofficial sponsorship of Christianity, which was a major factor in the faith's spread. His reputation as the "first Christian Emperor" gained ground in the succeeding generations.
His influence on Christian history arose out of conflict. Constantine I was inspired by a vision of a Christian symbol on the eve of battle at Milvian Bridge outside Rome in 312 AD, where he defeated a persistent usurper. Constantine I the Great associated the Christian symbol with the victory which led him to issue the Edict of Milan in 313 AD. The edict stated that Christians should be allowed to follow the faith of their choosing. Christianity and other religions were thereafter tolerated, and the Church was given legal rights and large financial settlements. For his contributions to Christianity the Roman Catholics honored him the title "The Great" and the Eastern Orthodox Christians proclaimed him and his mother Saints of the Church.
During his rule, which had lasted for more than 30 years, Constantine I the Great reunited the divided Roman Empire, reorganized the army and restored the civil powers of government and the Senate. Constantine also transformed the ancient Greek city of Byzantium into a new imperial residence, Constantinople, which became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire for over one thousand years. He is often considered the first in the line of Byzantine emperors.
The Coins: These are authentic genuine ancient Roman bronze coins minted in the fourth century A.D. They are genuine antiquities. Historians know only very little about the coinage of this period due to the chaos of the era. It is known that bronze coins eventually replaced silver coins as the most commonly used money after a long gradual reduction of the silver content of coins. The size, weight and the names of bronze coins also changed over time. Many emperors instituted monetary reforms in an effort to stem the confusion, but typically contributed to the problems. There were at least 15 different denominations minted since the early days of the Roman Republic.
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