The idea of an imperial church was born quite naturally, because the Christian figures of the era were not deprived of political consciousness. The first information about the idea of an imperial church, according to Prot. N. Afanasiev, can be traced back to the III century, when the Council of Antioch of 268 in the case of Paul of Samosata composed a message to all the bishops of the ecumenism (the entire inhabited known world), οἰκουμένη. When the Christian church became the state, this idea developed even more intensively, because the term “imperial church” did not exclude the term “universal-world” church, as the Roman Empire itself perceived itself as universal, universal.
In the imperial title in the third century, four types of titles can be distinguished. First, the old unfolded Flavian-Antoninian type; second, the title Imperator Caesar Augustus (for example, under the emperors Gallienus and Valerian); third, dominus noster (e.g., in Valerian and Gallienus) and, finally, a combination of the first and third types (e.g., under Emperor Diocletian and his co-rulers).
From Emperor Diocletian onwards, the predominance of the second and third types was sharply observed, and under Emperor Constantine dominus noster practically replaced all other variants, and from the 5th century it practically remained the only one. In literary sources, where short titles are often used, dominus and imperator are in circulation, names-titles “Caesar” and “Augustus” and rare in official documents, but common in literary texts title princeps, as statistically none of them is used only to denote the ruler, and some denote not only him. There are also deviations, as in the statement of Emperor Tiberius in Dion Cassius (Dio. 57, 8. 2): the rest – princeps). “A constituent element of Roman imperial self-consciousness is that the Imperium Romanum is the only empire in the world – there can be no two empires. And this empire is called to conquer the whole Orbis terrarium (οἰκουμμένη). If there were parts of the world that were not yet under Roman control, it was a temporary phenomenon. Sooner or later everything had to pass under Roman rule. The Roman world has no borders. It has border areas (σύνορα), but no borders (ὅρια).
It is interesting and useful for the construction of a full profile of the Arian statesman to trace in the numismatic artifacts not only the physical image of Emperor Constantius II, but also the Christian symbolism used in the fourth century in the imperial mints.
The Museum of Art and Archeology at the University of Missouri (USA) has a total of 39 Roman medallions, proto-offices and offices. Of these, one is an imperial coin embedded in a medallion frame/safe, two are real medallions, 15 are “protocontorniates” (regular coins, subsequently raised edges) and 21 are contorniates (or late Roman “medallions”, cast or minted, often representing former Roman emperors), which have an unspecified purpose – there are hypotheses that they were used as tokens in betting or as tickets for the circus or theater, or were distributed as gifts to the people during the New Year holidays (Latin: strenae). Many of these medallions, made of precious metals, are placed in cassettes/frames or fitted with eyelets on the top (the front with the image of the emperor, from the Latin adversus) for hanging, as is the case with the unique gold medallion of Emperor Constantius II ( museum catalog number 3). They are characterized by a much higher than that of ordinary coins quality of artistic workmanship of the details, high relief, providing high sculptural quality of the reliefs. On the reverse (reverse side) directly to a current event of historical or political significance. Very rare, imperial medallions were intended as direct or indirect imperial gifts to the aristocracy or military leaders as a reward for faithful service to the empire, and some were cut down on the occasion of special dynastic celebrations such as adoptions or marriages. The medallion has an additional “ear” soldered over the front portrait for hanging like a necklace. The seated personified image of Constantinople may be associated with the 1100th anniversary of Rome, as some researchers suggest, but was most likely cut off on the occasion of Constantinople’s passage under Emperor Constantius in 339 or its vicennalia, solemnly celebrated in 343-344. There are basically only 4 Christian symbols appearing on Roman coins in the fourth century: Hi-Ro, cross (square or elongated), Cross-Ro and the right hand of God (without or with a wreath).
The most popular of these is the Christogram Hi-Ro (), composed of the first two letters of the name “Christ” in Greek (chi = X and ro = P). In 348 a monetary reform was carried out, which introduced a new, larger denomination with the legend/dedication FEL TEMP REPARATIO (“Happy times are here again”) and several types, one of which is known as “the emperor standing to the left with a flag and two captives. ” On the “standard” there is a flag-flag (vexillum), decorated in three ways: with a cross, with Hi-Ro, or cross-ro (illustration of which we find on three coins of Constantius II, respectively minted in Antioch, Nicomedia and Antioch in the period 348-350.
Like his father, the great Constantine, who supported missionary work among the Goths in India ulterior, Axum, Ethiopia, Iberia, and Armenia, the monetization of the Christian cult was one form of Emperor Constantius’ policy in support of the Christian mission in the East.