Roman Empire, Constantine I the Great, Solidus

This solidus documents the shift of power from Rome to Constantinople. The obverse shows a portrait of Emperor Constantine the Great (307-337), while the reverse depicts the goddess Roma handing over a globe to Constantine, the ruler of Constantinople.

Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Byzantium. The city was conveniently located, lay in a strategically important region and was surrounded by water on three sides. Constantine rebuilt it magnificently and renamed it Constantinople, Constantine's City. Today, the metropolis is called Istanbul.