Helena was the mother of Constantine the Great (307-337). She is said to have been an innkeeper when Constantine's father Constantinus met her. According to other sources, she was a maidservant. However, her low descent seems certain, and a social rise should have been impossible with her background. But she was beautiful, and therefore Constantinus made her his concubine. Thet they were married seems rather improbable. Sometime between 272 and 285 she gave birth to their son Constantine.
But at a certain point of his career, Helena became a hindrance for Constantinus. He separated from her and married Theodora, the stepdaughter of Emperor Maximian. Helena was expelled from court and could only return when her son Constantine assumed office from his father. Constantine made his mother Augusta and bestowed her with the right to appear on coins, wearing a diadem – as can be seen on this small follis.