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When Constantine the Great put on the Diadem?
Mirolyubov Ivan Andreevich

MIROLYUBOV Ivan Andreevich – PhD Candidate, Section of Ancient History, History Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University;

History Department of MSU, Lomonosovsky prospekt 27-4, Moscow 119991 Russia;
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The present article is devoted to the problem of using a diadem in the reign of Constantine the Great (306-337). This emperor ended the process of socio-political transformation of Roman state into the autarchy (The Dominate). This transformation is reflected in the person of emperor himself: he was surrounded by an unprecedented veneration, and among imperial vestiments appears the didem. Written sources, supported by imperial iconography, ascribed the practice of wearing a diadem to Constantine the Great, but the modern researchers pay little attention to the adoption of the diadem by Constantine and state the present fact, or even deem possible to ascribe the adoption of diadem to Constantine's predecessor, emperor Diocletian (284-305). The author of the given article sets the task of determining, as precisely as possible, the exact date when the diadem was accepted by Constantine. After the integrated analyzes of narrative tradition, numismatic and figurative data, he comes to the conclusion that the real acceptance of the diadem by Constantine should be dated somewhat later than the appearance of the diadem on the imperial images. According to the results of the presented research, Constantine can rightfully be considered as the creator of the standard of Roman emperor's vestiment, which was used in the age of Dominate.

Keywords: Constantine the Great, Diocletian, John Malalas, Eusebius of Caesarea, Roman Empire, Tetrarchy, Dominate, Iconography of the Roman Emperors, Regalia of the Roman Emperors, Narrative Tradition



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