The "Hand of God" Roman Bronze

The "Hand of God" Roman Bronze

Among all the ancient coins of the Roman Empire, there is one legendary bronze that literally bears "the Hand of God."  That's right, when Emperor Constantine the Great died in 337 AD, his sons decreed that posthumous bronze coins be struck that clearly depict Constantine being flown up to heaven in a Roman chariot called a Quadriga. The Quadriga was a chariot drawn by four animals, usually horses, which was the customary vehicle for triumphant processions to honor the victorious, as well as being used in the funeral ceremony of an Emperor's consecration.

The Story Behind God’s Hand

On this particular bronze of Constantine the Great, however, the truly amazing thing is that the right hand of God, Himself, is shown descending from heaven to welcome the great Emperor home!  This is significant in that it represents the first depiction of the Christian God on a Roman coin.  Known examples of this amazing coin bear dates from 337 – 340 BC.  The obverse of this coin contains the veiled head portrait of the deified Emperor Constantine.

Now over 1,600 years old, this "Hand of God" Roman bronze coin of Constantine the Great is an ancient heirloom that can be found in museum archives and some private collections around the world.

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