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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Constantinian Era| ▸ |Helena||View Options:  |  |  | 

Helena, Augusta 8 November 324 - 328 to 330 A.D.

Helena was the first wife of Constantius I and mother of Constantine I. Although abandoned by her husband, Helena was brought to the Imperial court by her son and was given many titles. She exercised immense influence over the government of the empire and was instrumental in the continued growth of Christianity. Famed for her piety, Helena is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches. Her feast day as a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church is celebrated with her son on May 21, the "Feast of the Holy Great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen, Equal to the Apostles." Her feast day in the Roman Catholic Church falls on August 18. Her feast day in the Coptic Orthodox Church is on 9 Pashons. Eusebius records the details of her pilgrimage to Palestine and other eastern provinces (though not her discovery of the True Cross). She is the patron saint of new discoveries.


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Helena is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches and famed for her piety. Her feast day as a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church is celebrated with her son on May 21, the "Feast of the Holy Great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen, Equal to the Apostles." Her feast day in the Roman Catholic Church falls on August 18. Her feast day in the Coptic Orthodox Church is on 9 Pashons. Eusebius records the details of her pilgrimage to Palestine and other eastern provinces (though not her discovery of the True Cross). She is the patron saint of new discoveries.
SH92346. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Alexandria 48 (R4), LRBC I 1417, SRCV IV 16631, Cohen VII 12, Hunter V -, Choice EF, perfect centering on a round flan, excellent portrait, sharp reverse, some golden toned silvering, flow lines, small closed flan crack, weight 3.369 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Alexandria mint, 327 - 328 A.D.; obverse FL HELENA AVGVSTA, diademed and mantled bust right wearing double necklace; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICE (security of the Republic), Securitas standing half left, branch pointed downward in right hand, raising pallium with left hand, wreath left, B right, SMAL in exergue; rare; $350.00 (€308.00)
 


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Helena is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches and famed for her piety. Her feast day as a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church is celebrated with her son on May 21, the "Feast of the Holy Great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen, Equal to the Apostles." Her feast day in the Roman Catholic Church falls on August 18. Her feast day in the Coptic Orthodox Church is on 9 Pashons. Eusebius records the details of her pilgrimage to Palestine and other eastern provinces (though not her discovery of the True Cross). She is the patron saint of new discoveries.
RL91943. Billon reduced centenionalis, cf. SRCV V 17492 ff., RIC VIII Trier 55, LRBC I 119, Cohen VII 4, Hunter V -, aVF, weight 1.667 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL IVL HELENA AVG, diademed and mantled bust right wearing necklace; reverse PAX PVBLICA, Pax standing left, olive branch pointed down in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, TRP[...] in exergue; $45.00 (€39.60)
 


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In the 12th century, Henry of Huntingdon included a passage in his Historia Anglorum that Constantine's mother Helena was a Briton, the daughter of King Cole of Colchester. Geoffrey of Monmouth expanded this story in his highly fictionalized Historia Regum Britanniae, an account of the supposed Kings of Britain from their Trojan origins to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. According to Geoffrey, Cole was King of the Britons when Constantius, here a senator, came to Britain. Afraid of the Romans, Cole submitted to Roman law so long as he retained his kingship. However, he died only a month later, and Constantius took the throne himself, marrying Cole's daughter Helena. They had their son Constantine, who succeeded his father as King of Britain before becoming Roman Emperor. Historically, this series of events is extremely improbable. Constantius had already left Helena by the time he left for Britain. Additionally, no earlier source mentions that Helena was born in Britain, let alone that she was a princess.
RL29307. Billon centenionalis, Hunter V 4 (also 2nd officina), RIC VII Trier 481, LRBC I 35, SRCV IV 16593, Cohen VII 12, Choice EF, sharp strike, nice patina, full circles centering, small edge defect, weight 2.346 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 326 A.D.; obverse FL HELENA AVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICE (security of the Republic), Securitas standing half left, branch pointed down in right, raising pallium with left, STR and dot over crescent in exergue; SOLD







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

FLHELENAAVGVSTA
FLIVLHELENAEAVG
FLAVIAHELENAAVGVSTA
HELENANF


REFERENCES|

Bruun, P. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VII, Constantine and Licinius A.D. 313 - 337. (London, 1966).
Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Carson, R., H. Sutherland & J. Kent. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol VIII, The Family of Constantine I, A.D. 337 - 364. (London, 1981).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 7: Carausius to Constantine & sons. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Dioclétien a Constantin I (284 - 337). (Wetteren, 1995).
Failmezger, V. Roman Bronze Coins From Paganism to Christianity, 294 - 364 A.D. (Washington D.C., 2002).
Milchev, S. The Coins of Constantine the Great. (Sophia, 2007).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. V. Diocletian (Reform) to Zeno. (Oxford, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. IV: The Tetrarchies and the Rise of the House of Constantine: The Collapse of Paganism and the Triumph of Christianity, Diocletian To Constantine I, AD 284 - 337. (London, 2011).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire: The Later Constantinian Dynasty and the Houses of Valentinian and Theodosius and Their Successors, Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
Voetter, O. Die Münzen der romischen Kaiser, Kaiserinnen und Caesaren von Diocletianus bis Romulus: Katalog der Sammlung Paul Gerin. (Vienna, 1921).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 22, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Helena