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100 Drachmes 1950, Greece

in Krause book Number: 324а
Years of issue: 10.07.1950
Signatures: Finance and Government Coordination Minister: Giorgos Kartalis (in office 1950-1952)
Serie: 1950 Issue
Specimen of: 10.07.1950
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 111 x 56
Printer: Printing works department of Bank of Greece (Idryma Trapezis tis Ellados), Athens

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100 Drachmes 1950




Inscriptions: "ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΟΝ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ" (Βασίλειον τῆς Ἑλλάδος - The Kingdom of Greece).


100 Drachmes 1950

The Colossus of Constantine

The Colossus of Constantine (Italian: Statua Colossale di Costantino I) was a huge acrolithic statue of the late Roman emperor Constantine the Great (c. 280–337) that once occupied the west apse of the Basilica of Maxentius on the Via Sacra, near the Forum Romanum in Rome. Portions of the Colossus now reside in the Courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori of the Musei Capitolini, on the Capitoline Hill, above the west end of the Forum.

The great head, arms and legs of the Colossus were carved from white marble, while the rest of the body consisted of a brick core and wooden framework, possibly covered with gilded bronze. Judging by the size of the remaining pieces, the seated, enthroned figure would have been about 12 meters (40 feet) high. The head is about 21⁄2 meters high and each foot is over 2 meters long.

One of the two right hands of the Colossus.

The statue's hand may have held a staff with the sacred monogram XP affixed to it. Medals that Constantine minted around this time show him so decorated. An inscription is said to have been engraved below the statue:

"Through this sign of salvation, which is the true symbol of goodness, I rescued your city and freed it from the tyrant's yoke, and through my act of liberation I restored the Senate and People of Rome to their ancient renown and splendor".

The great head is carved in a typical, abstract, Constantinian style (“hieratic emperor style”) of late Roman portrait statues, whereas the other body parts are naturalistic, even down to callused toes and bulging forearm veins. The head was perhaps meant to convey the transcendence of the other-worldly nature of the Emperor over the human sphere, notable in its larger-than-life eyes which gaze toward eternity from a rigidly impersonal, frontal face. The treatment of the head shows a synthesis of individualistic portraiture: aquiline nose, deep jaw and prominent chin characteristic of all images of Constantine, with the trends of Late Roman portraiture which focus on symbolism and abstraction, rather than detail.

Constantine is enthroned in this great public work in unapproachable grandeur, like the effigy of a god, although he is really intended to reflect the Christian deity. According to Michael Grant:

"Here was the man at whose court...writers felt it appropriate to speak of the 'Divine Face' and 'Sacred Countenance'. The sculptor has conceived this countenance as a holy mask, an overpowering cult object resembling, though on a far greater scale, the icons of future Byzantium: an idol animated with the divine presence, and with the power to repel the demons lurking in pagan images".

The Basilica, on the northern boundary of the Forum, was begun in 307 by Co-Emperor Maxentius. Constantine completed the Basilica after he defeated Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312. Constantine seems to have reorientated the building, changing the site of the principal entrance and adding a new northern apse. With these changes, including the great statue in the west apse, Constantine publicly and visibly declared his overthrow of his vanquished adversary. Precise dating of the statue itself is problematical; it has been suggested that a date of 312–315 for the initial creation of the statue is likely from political considerations, whilst a substantial reworking of the features some time after 325 is indicated on art-historical grounds.

The Colossus was pillaged sometime in Late Antiquity, most likely for the bronze body portions. The marble portions of the statue were brought to light in 1486. The surviving remnants were later removed from the Basilica and placed in the nearby Palazzo dei Conservatori Courtyard by Michelangelo, who was working in the area. Strangely, there are two right hands (with upraised index fingers) amongst the remains of the statue, which differ slightly. It has been proposed that the statue was re-worked at some time late in Constantine's reign and a hand holding a sceptre was replaced by a hand holding a Christian symbol.

The marble fragments underwent restoration during 2000–2001. Between 6 and 10 February 2006, a 3D laser scan of the fragments was carried out on behalf of the Land of Rhineland-Palatinate in collaboration with the Capitoline Museums in Rome. Both reconstruction and castings were displayed from 2 June to 4 November 2007 as part of the major cultural and historical “Constantine the Great” Exhibition in Trier, Germany.

On the right and on the left, there are patterns on the banknote. I have not yet found where these patterns are.


100 Drachmes 1950

Παναγία Κουμπελίδικη

At the acropolis of the Byzantine castle of Kastoria one of the most famous and most remarkable monuments of Macedonia, the sacred temple of Saint Kastriotissa or Koumbelikidis, emblem and real jewelery of the city. It was named Kastriotissa in the Byzantine era, as it appears from an inscription that existed at the base of its dome because it was very close to the walls of the castle. It is more known, however, as Koumbelidiki, a name that prevailed during the Ottoman rule (ca. 1383-1912) and derives from the Turkish word "koumpes", meaning a dome, because it was the only church of Kastoria that had a dome.

The temple probably dates back to the middle of the IX century, although other views on its dating were made in the middle of the 10th and the first half of the XI century. During the Greek-Italian War (1940-1941) a large part of his dome was destroyed by bombardment, and in 1949 the monument was restored and returned to its original form.

Architecturally, the temple is the only one in Kastoria that belongs to the square triangle type. Its plan is square and its three sides, the east, the north and the south, end in niches. The square is covered with a circular dome, disproportionately high in relation to the volume of the building. To the west there is an elongated splint, and a large exarchate that was added in the 15th century. Of particular interest is the formation of the exterior surfaces of the church, which is characteristic of the Byzantine architecture of Kastoria. The walls are made of stones in their natural shape or roughly chipped, framed with plinths, horizontally or vertically. Between them there are briquettes that form decorative letters or geometric shapes and special toothed bands, while the ensemble is enriched with brightened glazed colored squares, squares, rectangles, triangles or in the shape of a diamond.

The inside of the temple, as well as the outer west side, are framed with remarkable frescoes, but they have suffered a lot of damage from the humidity. In the main church are saved scenes from the life of Christ (the Dodecar) and saints, and in the narthex are depicted episodes from the life of the Virgin Mary. Of particular interest is the depiction of the Holy Trinity in the narthex arch, which is one of the oldest Byzantine examples of anthropomorphic Holy Trinity, with the oversized God Father sitting in a bow and in front of His breast, Christ the Son, holding the Pentecost of the Holy Spirit surrounded by glory. These frescoes date back to the middle of the XIII century, while those in the exonarth are dating back to the 17th century. The illustration on the western outer wall of the church is later and, as the relevant inscription informs us, it was at the expense of an Andronikos in 1496. (