Constantinopolis Coin, City of Constantinople

Date: c. 330 - 348 CE
Roman Empire

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Item Description:

See also: Roman Capital Cities Collection

These Constantinopolis commemorative coins, released under Emperor Constantine the Great, were issued to mark the relocation of the Roman Empire's capital from Rome to Constantinople.

In 324 CE, after reuniting the two halves of the Roman Empire, Constantine declared the city of Byzantium to be its new capital, initially calling it "Nova Roma" after the original capital city. Though it was situated in modern day Turkey, far from the city of Rome, this new capital was strategically selected for its political and economic advantages.

On May 11th, 330 CE, the city was renamed "Constantinople" in honor of the emperor. To commemorate this event, two distinct coin types were minted: one celebrating the new capital of Constantinople and the other celebrating old Rome. The obverse of these coins features portraits of the personified versions of the cities, known as Constantinopolis and Roma. They were used to represent the strength and power of the cities themselves, much like how Lady Liberty or Uncle Sam are used to represent the United States. The reverse side of the Urbs Roma depicted the legendary founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, being nursed by a she-wolf, honoring the city's mythical origins. Conversely, the Constantinopolis coins showcased the goddess Victory, symbolizing a hopeful and triumphant future for the new capital.

This celebration of past and future was a powerful propaganda move, through which Constantine sought to emphasize the continuity of the Roman Empire and its rich cultural heritage, despite the shift in political power to a new capital.

Each coin comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.


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