Helena





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HELENA (Flavia Julia), born at Drepanum, in Bithynia (A.D. 248), was the first wife of Constantius Chlorus, to whom she was married several years previously to his being invested with the rank of Caesar, and by whom she was divorced after his elevation to that high dignity, A.D. 292. Constantius immediatly afterwards took Theodora, daughter-in-law of Maximianus Hercules, for his second wife; and Helena retired into private life; but was subsequently honoured with the title of Augusta by her son Constantine the Great. She died A.D. 328. There are brass medallions (rare) of this empress, and third brass which are common, on these she is styled FLavia IVLia HELENA AVGusta.
Mionnet values SECVRITAS AVGVSTA, and PIETAS AVGVSTAE, two brass medallions of this empress, at 100 fr. each.
The coin illustrated above is from the FORVM Members' Collection of Anemicoak.


HELENA (Flavia), wife of Julian the Apostate, to whom she was united in marriage when that emperor was declared Caesar, A.D. 355. She was the daughter of Constantine the Great by the empress Fausta. Her death took place in 360, a short time after Julian had been proclaimed Augustus. The coins of this lady have been by mistake assigned to Helena, wife of Constantine I. The gold are of extreme rarity, but the third brass are common: on these she is styled FL. HELENA AVGVSTA.
An aureus, with legend SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE. Female standing; S. M. T. (Valued by Mionnet at 1000 fr.)
[This coin Eckhel (see his observations, D. N. V. vol. viii. p. 143), confidently assigns to Helena, wife of Julian. -- Mionnet (De la rareté des Med. vol. ii. p. 303), follows on this point the opinion of Eckhel. -- M. Le Baron Marchant (in his xviith Lettre Numismatique), at once repudiates the distinctions previously established between the coins of the three different Helenas, and ascribes all the pieces which bear that name to the mother of Constantine. -- In this absolute revolt against a part of the system of appropriation, laid down by the illustrious German, and for some time acquiesced in without further contest by the numismatic world, M. Ch. Lenormant has joined. And in vol. vi. p. 88 et seq. of Revue Numismatique, the latter has given his reasons in full for undertaking to corroborate and carry out the ideas of Baron Marchant. To this luminous dissertation the attention of the student is particularly directed.]


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