Numismatic and History Discussions > Coin of the Day

Constantine/Augustus Portraits

(1/2) > >>

Mayadigger:
Has anyone ever noticed how the portraits of Constantine I radically altered after his defeat of Licinus? As Caesar and Emperor of the West, we see him portayed with a beard and mustache, or in this case, just a mustache.



Or, in this Commemorative coin issued by Trajan Decius, where Augustus looks suspiciously unlike his own portrait?



But, not long after he assumed the sole reign of the Roman Empire, we begin to see him clean-shaven and looking very much like Augustus, as seen below.



Below, is seen the "new" representation of Constantine.



Coincidence? I don't think so.

To my thinking, Constantine was obviously using his political machine to portray himself as the "new" Augustus, a fact that was not lost on the Roman populous.

I am sure that there are many other examples of emperors who used this same example to tie into the "Golden Reign" of Augustus.

Please add to this thread any other examples that you may find.

Kevin

sejanus:
Trajan Decius had the portrait of Augustus have some of the same traits as his own portrait.  Nerva did the exact same thing with his Augustus restorations. ;)  It was a political move, more than anything, to show that they were "similar" to Augustus and thus could be the finest emperor Rome had ever seen if they let him live a bit longer.....

LordBest:
Even Napoleon did it. ;) The style of later Constantine portraits is supposed to be based on the portraits of Alexander III as well. :) Remember when Constantine was a tetrarch he was depicted as a tetrarch, snubby portraits with cute beards and all. ;)
                                            LordBest. 8)

Laetvs:
I notice that this siliqua has the "eyes to heaven" portrait of Constantine.  Was he the first to have this kind of pose?  

sejanus:
Perhaps, but I seem to recall Augustus having a similar portrait. :)  Of course, I may be wrong. ;)
Either way it wouldn't be heaven that he would be staring up to.  Remember - he was a follower of Sol Invictus - and only converted to Christianity on his deathbed. ;)

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version