501 Treasures of Byzantium: No.50 Gold medallion of Ticinum with Emperor Constantine I and the sun god Sol Invictus, 313 CE, Paris Cabinet des Medailles.

The sun god Sol Invictus slowly began to appear on Constantine’s coins and medallions from at least 310 to until 325 CE. His devotion to the Sun God is especially evident here on the observe of this medallion. It shows Constantine shadowed by the sun god Sol Invictus as his twin. Interestingly, Constantine is dressed in a military uniform wearing a diadem-like laurel wreath and holding a spear and a richly decorated shield, that features a chariot drawn by four horses of the sun god.

With the issue of this medallion, Constantine is perhaps making it clear that although he gave Christians religious tolerance in 313 CE, by no means did he want to rely solely on the Christian’s god to secure and validated his position as sole ruler. He kept his faith in many of Rome’s gods, especially Sol Invictus and the goddess Victoria. It was only in his last ten years or so, as sole ruler that he truly began to favour the Christian god. Interestingly, Constantine did almost everything he could to promote tolerance and the endeavors of the Christian church, but didn’t convert to Christianity himself until his deathbed.