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Vetranio - Roman Emperor 350 A.D. Biography & Rare Certified Ancient Coins Available for Sale
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Vetranio - Roman Emperor: 350 A.D.
The Chi Rho is one of the earliest christograms used by Christians. It is formed by superimposing the first two letters in the Greek spelling of the word Christ ( Greek : "Χριστός" ), chi = ch and rho = r, in such a way to produce the monogram. The Chi-Rho symbol was also used by pagan Greek scribes to mark, in the margin, a particularly valuable or relevant passage; the combined letters Chi and Rho standing for chrēston, meaning "good."
Although not technically a cross, the Chi Rho invokes the crucifixion of Jesus as well as symbolizing his status as the Christ. There is early evidence of the Chi Rho symbol on Christian Rings of the third century.
The labarum (Greek: λάβαρον) was a vexillum (military standard) that displayed the "Chi-Rho" symbol, formed from the first two Greek letters of the word "Christ" (Greek: ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, or Χριστός) Chi (χ) and Rho (ρ). It was first used by the Roman emperor Constantine I. Since the vexillum consisted of a flag suspended from the crossbar of a cross, it was ideally suited to symbolize crucifixion. The Chi-Rho symbol was also used by Greek scribes to mark, in the margin, a particularly valuable or relevant passage; the combined letters Chi and Rho standing for chrēston, meaning "good."
Vetranio (d. c. 360), born in the province of Moesia in a part of the region located in modern Bulgaria, is sometimes but apparently incorrectly referred to as Vetriano. He was an experienced soldier and officer when he was asked by Constantina, the sister of Roman Emperor Constantius II, to proclaim himself Caesar (March 1, 350). Her brother Constans had been killed by Magnentius earlier that year and she probably thought Vetranio could protect her family and herself against the usurper. Vetranio accepted and coins were minted in his name, showing the title of Augustus (full emperor), rather than Caesar. Constantius first seemed to accept the new Emperor and sent him money to raise an army, as well as his regalia.
Constantius, who was on a campaign against the Persians when Magnentius came to power, returned to the west and met with Vetranio. Vetranio subsequently abdicated on December 25, 350. He was allowed to live the remainder of his years as a private citizen on a state pension.
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