Life His coins give his name as M. Helenaa woman of humble extraction but remarkable character and unusual ability. The date of his birth is not certainbeing given as early as and as late as
Sources[ edit ] Constantine was a ruler of major importance, and he has always been a controversial figure.
These are abundant and detailed,  but they have been strongly influenced by the official propaganda of the period  and are often one-sided;  no contemporaneous histories or biographies dealing with his life and rule have survived. Each emperor would have his own court, his own military and administrative faculties, and each would rule with a separate praetorian prefect as chief lieutenant.
The division was merely pragmatic: Each would be subordinate to their respective Augustus senior emperor but would act with supreme authority in his assigned lands. This system would later be called the Tetrarchy.
According to Lactantius, Galerius was a brutal, animalistic man. He may have attended the lectures of Lactantius, a Christian scholar of Latin in the city.
Constantine was nonetheless a prominent member of the court: In the months that followed, churches and scriptures were destroyed, Christians were deprived of official ranks, and priests were imprisoned. In a parallel ceremony in Milan, Maximian did the same.
Constantine and Maxentius were ignored. They assert that Galerius assigned Constantine to lead an advance unit in a cavalry charge through a swamp on the middle Danubemade him enter into single combat with a lion, and attempted to kill him in hunts and wars.
Constantine always emerged victorious: His career depended on being rescued by his father in the west. Constantius was quick to intervene. After a long evening of drinking, Galerius granted the request. He rode from post-house to post-house at high speed, hamstringing every horse in his wake.
Before dying, he declared his support for raising Constantine to the rank of full Augustus. The Alamannic king Chrocusa barbarian taken into service under Constantius, then proclaimed Constantine as Augustus. Along with the notice, he included a portrait of himself in the robes of an Augustus.
He strengthened the circuit wall around the city with military towers and fortified gates, and he began building a palace complex in the northeastern part of the city. To the south of his palace, he ordered the construction of a large formal audience hall and a massive imperial bathhouse.
He sponsored many building projects throughout Gaul during his tenure as emperor of the West, especially in Augustodunum Autun and Arelate Arles.
He probably judged it a more sensible policy than open persecution  and a way to distinguish himself from the "great persecutor" Galerius. Galerius refused to recognize him but failed to unseat him. He offered to marry his daughter Fausta to Constantine and elevate him to Augustan rank.
Constantine now gave Maxentius his meagre support, offering Maxentius political recognition. Over the spring and summer of AD, he had left Gaul for Britain to avoid any involvement in the Italian turmoil;  now, instead of giving Maxentius military aid, he sent his troops against Germanic tribes along the Rhine.
In AD, he marched to the northern Rhine and fought the Franks. When not campaigning, he toured his lands advertising his benevolence and supporting the economy and the arts. His refusal to participate in the war increased his popularity among his people and strengthened his power base in the West.
In attendance were Diocletian, briefly returned from retirement, Galerius, and Maximian. Maximian was forced to abdicate again and Constantine was again demoted to Caesar. The new system did not last long: Constantine refused to accept the demotion and continued to style himself as Augustus on his coinage, even as other members of the Tetrarchy referred to him as a Caesar on theirs.
Maximinus Daia was frustrated that he had been passed over for promotion while the newcomer Licinius had been raised to the office of Augustus and demanded that Galerius promote him.
Galerius offered to call both Maximinus and Constantine "sons of the Augusti",  but neither accepted the new title. He announced that Constantine was dead, and took up the imperial purple.
Constantine soon heard of the rebellion, abandoned his campaign against the Franks, and marched his army up the Rhine. He disembarked at Lugdunum Lyon. It made little difference, however, as loyal citizens opened the rear gates to Constantine.
Maximian was captured and reproved for his crimes.A page about Constantine the Great and his bronze coinage with many resources.
Constantine the Great.
Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download. Includes the Catholic. Constantine never pretended to be a Christian, however, he remained the high priest for the Roman Empire. Constantine did issue the Edict of Toleration which ended the persecution of Christians and allowed them free worship as they chose.
on bronze coins of Constantine the Great Some ancient sources (Eusebius. The History of the Church ) say that Philip, Roman emperor from A.D. , was the first Christian emperor. This passage is from the Origo Constantini -- "This Constantine was the first Christian Emperor except for Philip (the Arab) who, or so it seems to me, became Christian .
Prior to Constantine’s rule, and while he was rising through the ranks, the Romans had become dismayed with the Christian faith; persecution ensued. To the church of Smyrna, God wrote through John, in Revelation 2, that they would be tried for 10 days. Of Constantine's early years, we know only that he was born in Illyria, a region in the Balkans.
His father, Constantius Chlorus, was already a Roman official on the rise.