Early symbols similar to the chi rho were the staurogram and the ix monogram. Constantius ii constantine the great son roman coin christ. Skip past the newest and jump down to constantinian in. Latin rulers of constantinople 12041261ad byzantine coin. Constantine ii jr 337ad ancient roman coin legion labarum chi. Valens w christian chirho labarum ancient 367ad authentic roman coin.
The chirho emblem can be viewed as the first christian cross as a prechristian symbol, the chirho signified good fortune. Interestingly though, the chi rho symbol which played such an important role in establishing constantine as sole heir of the empire did not feature as a dominant motif on his coins. Chirho coins roman page 6 constantine i to constantius ii. Prophetic interpretations of constantines labarum coin. The usurper magnentius appears to have been the first to use the chi rho monogram flanked by alpha and omega, on the reverse of some coins minted in 353. Project thousands of online numismatic books, articles and pages. Alexander maximinusicarinus diocletianlicinius family of constantine jovianzeno byzantine judeanbiblical specials books. The labarum was a vexillum military standard that displayed the chirho symbol. The labarum was a vexillum military standard that displayed the chirho. However, there was no mention of any vision or dream, nor the chirho symbol before 325 ad. There have been so many threads on constantine and christian symbols like this recent one that im somewhat reticent to begin another.
Constans with chirho, scarce at the top, three crispus pieces. Buy constantine ii jr 337ad ancient roman coin legion labarum chi rho christ rare. Despite founding constantinople to serve as his new capital, constantine did create several buildings in rome and repurposed others. Etsy is the home to thousands of handmade, vintage, and oneofakind products and gifts related to your search. Valens 367ad ancient roman coin labarum chirho chist. While it is true that siscia did not mint one standard chirhos for constantine i, you first have to figure that out by looking at coins from constantine iis brothers in conjunction with his to verify that it is indeed constantine ii. This symbol was said by this sign i shall conquer used by constantine i the great.
No matter what youre looking for or where you are in the world, our global marketplace of sellers can help you find unique and affordable options. As jacob burkhardt in the age of constantine the great univ. To see the other pages of chi rho coin offerings, click these pages. List of books and articles about constantine i, roman. The symbol of the chi rho as centurion must have been known to the greek east in the rule of constantine.
The first instance of a chi rho on a coin of constantine is on a rare silver medallion issued from ticinum in 315. The chi rho symbol is frequently found on the reverse of coins. Spes pvblic, standard with three dots, chi rho above, serpent below, officina letter a in left field. There are only four christian symbols on roman coins of the fourth century. Buy constantine ii jr 337ad ancient roman coin legion labarum chirho christ rare. Prophetic interpretations of constantines labarum coin the. Eusebius even stated that constantine was in the habit of wearing on his helmet the chirho at a later period. Notice how in the coin on the right, the emperor holds a captive by the head, while holding the standard with the chirho, called the labarum. Chi rho, chrismon, monogram of christ, or labarum early. Constantine s faith was still imprecise, but few questioned its authenticity.
To see the other pages of chirho coin offerings, click these pages. The life of constantine, book i, chapters 28,30,31. Christian symbolism on coins of constantine the great. It was first used by the roman emperor constantine i. Flavius valerius constantinus, constantine the great, was the son of helena and the first tetrarchic ruler constantius i. I guess the term lifetime here is unnecessary since any coin struck for constantine featuring the chirho was struck during his lifetime. Two rolls average circulated morgan silver dollars need a new home for sale. Labarum of constantine i, displaying the chirho symbol above. Chirho, the first two letters of jesus christ in greek, which constantine saw in a vision. Spes pvblic across the field with a in the lower left field, a chi rho topping a standard with three dots on the vexillum flaglike object, planted in a serpent with head downward.
Obverse of a bronze coin issued in 353 ad by magnentius with the chirho symbol. The book of kells, folio 34r, containing the chirho monogram ca. He was the son of constantius i and helena and was named in full flavius valerius constantinus. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence demonstrating that the chirho was emblazoned on the helmets of some late roman soldiers. The chirho can represent either christ or christianity and is also known as a christogram. However, there was no mention of any vision or dream, nor the chi rho symbol before 325 ad. The reverse of this issue bears the legend spes publica, and portrays a serpent being pierced by a chirho topped labarum. The first instance of a chirho on a coin of constantine is on a rare silver. Valens last true roman w labarum 367ad ancient roman coin christ. Constantine, roman imperial coinage reference, thumbnail.
The history of roman coins can be divided into three distinct periods. The early symbols are either a cross or a chirho chirho. Constans i roman imperial coins 27 bc476 ad for sale ebay. Constantines damage to christianity jesus words only. The chirho is used far more commonly than the cross or crossrho, but on one issue they are. After constantine, the chirho became part of the official imperial insignia. Constantius ii ae3 soldier holding globe and spear. The usurper magnentius appears to have been the first to use the chirho monogram flanked by alpha and omega, on the reverse of some coins minted in 353. List of books and articles about constantine i, roman emperor. The pronunciation of those two letters was actually chi for x and rho for the p. Constantine was told to have his soldiers paint the greek letters chi and rho on their shields.
In 3 ad, constantine issued the edict of milan which announced religious toleration throughout the empire. Constantius ii constantine the great son ae2 ancient roman. Ancient bible coins biblical christianity jesus christ. But id like to focus on a narrow topic, which might yield a short thread indeed. Mar 17, 2015 the chirho pronounced keeroe is a christian symbol consisting of the intersection of the capital greek letters chi. This may or may not have had christian significance, but constantine first used this symbolism in a. Constantinople ric vii 19 2 constantine i ae follis, constantinople. A medallion was issued at ticinum in 315 ad which shows constantine wearing a helmet emblazoned with the chi rho, and coins issued at siscia in 317318 ad repeat the image. One of the most sacred greek name codes in the bible is known as chirho. It is formed by superimposing the first two capital letters chi and rho of the greek word. By the year 350, the chirho began to be used on christian sarcophagi. Dec 05, 2018 while it is true that siscia did not mint one standard chi rho s for constantine i, you first have to figure that out by looking at coins from constantine iis brothers in conjunction with his to verify that it is indeed constantine ii. The labarum was a vexillum military standard that displayed the chirho symbol a, formed from the first two greek letters of the word christ a chi and rho. By the year 350, the chirho began to be used on christian sarcophagi and frescoes.
Rise to power when his father was made caesar subemperor, constantine was left at the court of the emperor diocletian, where he was under the watchful eye of galerius. Constans constantine the great son 337ad ancient roman coin phoenix i44293. The original labarum, designed under the emperors direction on the day subsequent to the appearance of the cross of light, is described by eusebius vita. In prechristian times, the chirho symbol was also to mark. The chirho pronounced keeroe is a christian symbol consisting of the intersection of the capital greek letters chi. Cons indicating the mint of constantinople in exergue. By the year 350, the chi rho began to be used on christian sarcophagi and frescoes. Christian symbolism on coins of constantine part ii. Constantine the great the coins speak by bungy issuu. Both authors agree that the sign was not readily understandable as denoting christ, which corresponds with the fact that there is no certain evidence of the use of the letters chi and rho as a. It was first used by the roman emperor constantine.
This coin is important, because it shows a clear chi rho and was issued shortly after a. Ad 337 showing a depiction of his labarum spearing a serpent with the chi rho symbol, via wikipedia. The first instance of a chirho on a coin of constantine is on a rare silver medallion issued from ticinum in 315. The coins of constantine the great ancient coin rings of. The constantinian era coins for sale online coin dealers. Kent for his assistance with regard to the coin material. Since the vexillum consisted of a flag suspended from the crossbar of a cross, it was ideally suited. While it was used very early by persecuted christians in the catacombs, when constantine i was struggling to become emperor, he used the symbol at the front of his armies and was victorious see below. On some coins, constantinopolis is holding what might be considered a cross scepter with a globe often topped with a smaller globe. See more ideas about constantine the great, roman empire and roman emperor. In 314 constantine sent a message to the assembled bishops at the council of arles.
The sign that changed the world forum ancient coins. A small 18 mm coin of constantine emperor, 307337 ad with an. Constantines faith was still imprecise, but few questioned its authenticity. Virtvsexercit, standard inscribed vot xx in two lines, two bound captives seated at its base. Chi and rho are the first two letters of christ in greek christos. Constantine is most famous for his conversion to christianity after the battle of the milvian bridge where he defeated emperor maxentius. The story goes that in in 312 ad, constantine ruled 306 337 was about to lead. Chirho labarum, constantines cross, christogram, monogram. Of approximately 1,363 coins of constantine i in ric vii, covering the period of 3337, roughly one percent might be classified as having christian symbols. Notice how in the coin on the right, the emperor holds a captive by the head, while holding the standard with the chi rho, called the labarum. Coin collecting free delivery possible on eligible purchases. Although not technically a christian cross, the chirho invokes the crucifixion of jesus, as well as symbolizing his status as the christ. What matters, however, is that constantine incontrovertibly adopted it as a token of his christian allegiance.
Chi rho symbol seen at center on constantines victory arch it appeared to constantine on the eve of his memorable battle against maxentius at the milvian bridge on october 28 th ad 312. Constantius ii constantine the great son ancient roman coin battle horse. Discussion in ancient coins started by shrews1994, dec 5. Chi and rho are the first two letters of christ in greek. Coins and medallions minted during emperor constantines reign also bore the chirho. Constantine in rome american insitute for roman culture. The symbol of the chirho as centurion must have been known to the greek east in the rule of constantine. This site is the labor of love for tom and luanne wood tom because he loves to do the work and luanne for putting up with it. The chirho symbol was used by the roman emperor constantine i r. One of the most sacred greek name codes in the bible is known as chi rho. He defeated his brother constantine ii in 340, but anger in the army over his personal life and preference for his barbarian bodyguards led the general magnentius to rebel, resulting in the assassination of constans in 350. These letters represented chr of the greek word christos for jesus christ. But the fact that its a constantine i with a chirho standard makes it one of the few constantine i coins issued during his lifetime that bears the chirho.
Eusebius even stated that constantine was in the habit of wearing on his helmet the chi rho at a later period. Sometimes it is called the monogram of christ or chrismon or labarum. Constans with chi rho, scarce at the top, three crispus pieces. One of my favorites, constantine i chirho on helmet. The bruce metzgers book manuscripts of the greek bible lists 15 such expressions. A page about christian symbolism on bronze coins of constantine the great. In fact only a few, somewhat rare bronze coins minted in constantinople in about 327 ad feature this mark. Coins and medallions minted during emperor constantine s reign also bore the chi rho. I had been a us coin collector for almost 30 years, then several years ago found myself picking up an ancient commemorative issue of constantine the great at a gem and mineral show. This coin is important, because it shows a clear chirho and was issued shortly after a. The chi rho is one of the earliest forms of christogram, and is used by christians.1336 633 458 784 543 1193 681 865 1109 388 857 541 861 703 1053 1020 90 344 855 788 247 1022 201 807 741 1292 1007 241 912 434 1063 335 1260 268 1327 1117 165 933 1016 488 1314 725 1212 1145 752 724 247