Coins and Religion

Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity.  He decreed it as the state religion and pronounced tolerance for its followers.  This large bronze coin, or Christ Follis, was issued in the Middle Ages.  Instead of depicting the emperor, it features a likeness of Christ seated on a throne wearing a crown and vestments, his right hand raised in a blessing.  The first coins with Christ’s likeness were gold, and as the empire began to struggle financially, the coins were later minted in bronze.        












 Christ Follis                                      Bronze                                                   8 – 9th century C.E.                           2015.16.0018                                       Gift of Ron D’Argenio