Gold multiple medallion minted in Ticinum, 313 AD. Wt. 39.79 g.
Busts of Constantine with Sol Invictus. Cabinet des Médailles
(Bibliothèque nationale), Beistegui 233. Wt. 39.79 g. PD Courtesy
On this day in ancient history, in the year A.D. 337, Roman
died. He had declared religious tolerance for all, via the
Edict of Milan, but at the time, Christianity was the
persecuted religion. It wasn't long before the tables were
This Day in Ancient History - May 21:
St. Helena © Clipart.com
Saint Helena, mother of the first Christian emperor, Constantine I,
traveled to the Holy Land where some believe she discovered the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
It is possible that Helena was born Christian, but it is thought that she converted. Details about her early life and even her death are scanty. Helena (Flavia Iulia Helena) was born in about 250 and died when she was about 80, according to Eusebius, sometimes called the father of Church history. Helena is thought to have come from Drepanum, in the Roman province of Bithynia [see map] because of the honor her son paid to the area.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, St. Helena's saint's day is May 21. In the Roman Catholic Church, it's August 18.
Read more about St. Helena.
This Day in History
- May 20: On this day in 1912, Moses Finley was born in New York City. After studying law, during the McCarthy era, Finley moved to England and taught classics at Cambridge University. He died on June 23, in 1986.
Among other books, Finley wrote The World of Odysseus, The Ancient Economy, Politics in the Ancient World, and Land, Debt, and the Man of Property in Classical Athens.
Also on this day in history, in 1957, classical scholar Gilbert Murray (b. January 2, 1866) died.
In ancient history, this may have been the day the first Council of Nicaea started in 325 A.D. See: The Arian Controversy and the Council of Nicaea.