Fragments of the colossus of Constantine in Rome at the Capitolene Museum. The colossus’ face is thought to have been remodelled from its original form, which depicted the likeness of either the Emperor Hadrian or the Emperor Maxentius. The reworking and/or appropriation of old art was widespread in the middle ages. Not only did it save the commissioner a lot of money in terms of labour and materials; in many cases, the ‘reborn’ art retained the connotations it originally held. For example, the colossus reworked into Constantine’s likeness would have held implications of the power and prestige of the older Roman emperors. In depicting himself as a ruler of old, Constantine was telling his subjects he was akin to them in greatness. The term used to define re-used art is spolia (used from the sixteenth century onwards).