Description:These coins were minted to commemorate the founding of the great city of Constantinople in AD 330 by the Emperor Constantine the Great. The obverse features the helmeted bust of the city Goddess Constantinopolis holding a scepter. The reverse shows Victoria, the personification of victory adopted from the Greeks, as she was the Roman equivalent of Nike.
Constantine, having restored the unity of the Eastern and Western Empire, was well aware that Rome was an unsatisfactory capital being too far from the frontiers. Constantine prized the strategic location of the ancient city of Byzantium that lay along the land route from Europe to Asia. It was also centered along the seaway from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, in addition to having an excellent harbor. Constantinople was built over six years and was consecrated on 11 May 330.
Constantine, son of St. Helena, had announced the toleration of Christianity 17 years earlier in the Edict of Milan, which removed penalties for professing Christianity and returned confiscated Church property. His legalizing of Christianity enabled Constantinople to became the capital of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The city would remain the capital of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire and bastion of Christianity for over one thousand years.