Sunday, February 26, 2012


Well here's one I hadn't heard before.  In his biography of the emperor Constantine the Great, Ramsay MacMullen tells us that as a young man Constantine's nickname was "bullneck":
It is said that [Constantine's] being sent to Diocletian's court was partly for the purpose of educating him, but there is more evidence of his physical growth than of his mental.  He attained an average height but a very robust build and great strength.  His fellows treated him with respect and nicknamed him Bullneck.
 The coin portrait at the top dates to AD 313, when Constantine (born c. AD 280) was about 33 years of age.

ADDENDUM.  I've added immediately above a second image of a coin portraying Constantine in 306-307, when he would have been 26 or 27 years of age.  He looks pretty bull-necked to me.

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