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Tim Roos Constantine

Rome has had some pretty great rulers throughout the ages. Each of these leaders have

had some pretty crazy things happen during their rule. Constantine the Greats rule has

challenged many previous Roman regulations and principles.

I. Historians have no exact birthdate for Claudius, but they hypothesize that he was

born around 280 common era. Constantine grew up in Naissus, Moesia, present-day

Serbia. His father was a commanding officer in the roman army. Constantines mother,

St. Helena was either the wife or concubine of Constantius. His full name is Flavius

Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus. Constantius moved on to become deputy

emperor, and received the title of Caesar. To receive this promotion, he had to leave

behind Helena, to marry Maximiam stepdaughter. He also had to move to the West to

serve under Maximian. Constantine also left to learn under the eye of Diocletian.

Constantine soon gained the approval of his teachers and leaders. As he continued his

education with Diocletian, he came across the persecution of Christians, which at the

time was a major issue. Romans saw Christians as a threat to Roman rule, because they

refused to worship their gods and praise the emperor as a god. Roman officials were so

used to everyone listening to them, that they felt the need to persecute thousands of

Christians. After Diocletian and Maximiam were abdicated, Constantius and Galerius

ruled Rome. Once they gave their title to the next two emperors, Constantius requested

for Constantine presence. They finally were able to be reunited, and battled together in

Britain. Soon after, Constantius died. Constantine was immediately acclaimed emperor

by his army. To claim his title, he began to engage in several battles. Eventually he
Tim Roos Constantine

fought Maxentius, son of Maximian at the Little Tiber, and won. He created an alliance

with Licinius, who became the Eastern emperor.

II. During his battle with Maxentius, Constantine saw a vision of Jesus in the sky.

God told Constantine In Hoc Signo Vinces, which is translated to In this sign, you

will be victorious. During the battle, Constantine and his troops painted the Paschal

symbol onto their shields, and crushed Maxentius and his troops. Constantine and

Licinius met several times to confer together. At one of these meeting, they agreed to

write the Edict of Milan, stating the acceptance of Christians. After this meeting,

Constantine donated several plots of land to the Bishop of Rome to create cathedrals and

monasteries. Constantine also wrote several letters to officials describing how the

Christian life has affected Rome. St. Helena is commonly attributed to Constantines

conversion. The thought that Rome, the capital of the world for a millennia, became the

center for Catholicism, a faith looked down upon. It really is a small world.

III. To provide security for the weakest part of his empire, Constantine moved the

capital of the Roman Empire to Istanbul, Turkey. He changed the name of the city to

Constantinople, to dedicate the city to himself. By changing the capitals location, he

started the Byzantine Empire, which lasts to today.

IV. A little fact that is looked over upon, because of all the other successes of Constantine, is

his harsh reforms. After he moved the empire to Constantinople, he created a law forcing

sons to take upon their fathers professions. Many were not in favor of this change,

because they did not want to be in the army or have the same vocation. Strict punishment

was given to those who did not follow this new law. Constantine also created a new tax

called the Chrysargyron, which was collected every four years. If families did not pay the
Tim Roos Constantine

tax, they were beaten or tortured. Some parents sold their daughters into prostitution, to

provide money. A gender imbalance also became relevant. Women were burned if they

left their husband. Rapist were burned at the stake, and their victims were persecuted as

well.

Rome is known for its ambitious and powerful leaders. Being in a position of power, Romes

emperors were able to help their empire grow culturally and strength, yet these leaders also were

very self-centered and unfair. Even though Constantine helped advance the faiths growth in

Rome, many believe him to be a hypocrite, since you say his leadership didnt reflect his faith.

Bibliography

Biography.com Editors. Constantine I. Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 2

Apr. 2014, www.biography.com/people/constantine-i-

39496?_escaped_fragment_=.

Pettinger, Tejvan. Constantine The Great. Biography Online, Bio Online.Net, 18 July

2005, www.biographyonline.net/military/constantine.html

Matthews, J.F., and Donald MacGillivray Nicol. Constantine I. Encyclopdia

Britannica, Encyclopdia Britannica, Inc., 26 July 2017,

www.britannica.com/biography/Constantine-I-Roman-emperor.