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27. Constantine Supreme

Constantine HelenaCoin FaustaCoin LiciniusCoin2 LiciniusIICoin CrispusFausta Helena2 ConstantinopolisCoin ConstantinePontMaxCoin ConstantinesSons DalmatiusCoin HannibalianusCoin

Purposeful, clean-cut, honest, Constantine would take to 324 to become sole ruler, and while he did his mother Helena (coin above) remained a powerful influence. His second wife Fausta (coin below), daughter of Maximian, was a trouble-maker.

Constantine's rival Licinius (coin left above) and his unfortunate son, Licinius II (right above). Licinius made his general Valens (coin below) his imperial colleague in the West—a promotion that Constantine ensured was short-lived.

Right a coin celebrates the status of Constantinople as "Roma Nova."


In 326 Constantine's popular son from his

first marriage, Crispus (coin above) fell foul of

his jealous step-mother Fausta (right). Her plotting led to both their deaths.

The first Christian tourist, Helena popularized pilgrimage to the Holy Land, while her son Constantine was still celebrated as Pontifex Maximus on this coin below minted in Rome.


The young Caesars, Constantine's sons Constantine II (above), Constantius II (obverse and reverse) and Constans (right). After their father's death in 337, they would tear apart the empire.

Constantine's nephews, Dalmatius (above) and Hannibalianus, governor of Pontica.

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Illustrations © Oliver Frey; Maps © Roger M. Kean    © 2010–2016 Reckless Books, England