When founded by Constantine the Great in AD 330, the city that bears his name - Constantinopolis in Latin - was the first in the world established as a Christian capital. To commemorate the occasion, the Emperor minted special coins, bearing on the reverse a figure familiar to modern eyes: a winged seraph, bearing scepter and shield, gazing down to offer protections from on high. Although the figure is nominally identified as Victory, Constantine had bequeathed the world the first Guardian Angel.
This bronze reduced centenionalis was struck from 330 until the death of Constantine in 337; his sons continued to issue the coin for a decade after that. Obverse shows the helmeted bust of the city protector Constantinopolis, wearing imperial cloak, below the inscription CONSTANTINOPOLIS. Reverse is the guardian angel.
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