Statue of Constantine the Great, York

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Statue of Constantine the Great
2009-04-13 ConstantineTheGreat York.jpg
ArtistPhilip Jackson
LocationOutside of York Minster, York, UK

The Statue of Constantine the Great is a bronze statue depicting the Roman Emperor Constantine I seated on a throne, commissioned by York Civic Trust and designed by the sculptor Philip Jackson. It was unveiled in 1998 and is situated outside York Minster, to commemorate the accession of Constantine as Roman Emperor in AD306 on this site.[1]


The statue depicts a seated Constantine wearing military dress. His right arm is outstretched behind him and his left holds the pommel of a sword, the tip of which is shown to be broken. A legend inscribed on the base reads "Constantine by this sign conquer". This phrase is a translation of the latin in hoc signo vinces; a reference to a passage from the historian Eusebius of Caesaria who recounts alleged that Constantine was marching with his army and looked up to the sun and saw a cross of light above it, and with it the Greek words "(ἐν) τούτῳ νίκα" ("In this, conquer").[2][3]

Theft of sword[edit]

The statue's sword was stolen in September 2016.[4] A homeless man, John Flanagan, was prosecuted for the damage - the sword had been kicked from the statue and then brandished by Flanagan before he deposited it in a drain.[5] The restoration of the statue by York Civic Trust was undertaken in November 2016 and cost £783.[5][1]


  1. ^ a b "Constantine gets his sword back – at a cost of £1,000". York Mix. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  2. ^ Eusebius. "1.28". Vita Constantini (PDF). p. 944.
  3. ^ Haaren, John H.; Poland, A. B. (2006) [1904]. Famous Men of Rome. Yesterday's Classics. p. 229. ISBN 978-159915-046-8.
  4. ^ "Sword stolen from York Minster Constantine statue". BBC News. 30 September 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b Laycock, M (2 December 2016). "Man left with bill for taking statue's sword". York Press. Retrieved 11 October 2018.

External links[edit]