Helena. As nobilissima femina, Struck under Constantine I. 306-324 AD

Helena. As nobilissima femina, Struck under Constantine I. 306-324 AD

650.00

Thessalonica, c. 318/9. AE Follis, 3.12g (12h, 20mm). HELE NA N F, mantled bust right / Star of eight rays within laurel wreath.

References: RIC VII 51; LRBC 824

Grade:  Choice EF, dark green patina, light smoothing. Rare (re1011)

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Helena is remembered for her contribution to the early widespread acceptance of Christianity among the Romans. She was the concubine and later wife of the emperor Constantius I Chlorus (‘the pale’) and the mother of their son, Constantine I, the Great. For political reasons Constantius left Helena and married Theodora, the daughter of one of his fellow Tetrarchy emperors Maximian. 

After the murder of her favorite grandchild Crispus, Helena made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. During this life changing event, she directed the construction of churches on the sites where Jesus was born and lived. She also reputedly found the True Cross, the cross in which Jesus Christ was crucified. She and her son Constantine were instrumental in introducing and spreading Christianity to the Romans in Byzantium. 

Regardless of whether the stories are true, Helena has gone down in history as a crusader for Christendom.