rome essay #3 - In the church he set up twelve coffins to...

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History 201 – Sec. 003 a. This excerpt was from Eusebius’s history of Constantine, written after the death of Constantine in the middle of the 4 th century. From the beginning of his conquests, Constantine embraced Christianity and its single deity. He claimed to have seen visions in the sky of things like a cross and Jesus Christ himself which guided him to victories. (CP 72-73) Throughout his reign, he held the Christian church and those affiliated with it in the highest regard. When he was able to assemble the most distinguished of God’s ministers from all around the empire, Constantine thanked God, saying “he has granted me a blessing higher than all the rest, in permitting me to see you not only all assembled together, but all united in a common harmony of sentiment.” (CP 78) He always tried to show his reverence for God in everything he did. The excerpt refers to him building a church in honor of the apostles at Constantinople.
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Unformatted text preview: In the church he set up twelve coffins to represent the twelve apostles, and then added a coffin for himself in the middle. This is significant because it shows that even though Constantine was obviously the most highly regarded political figure in the land, he saw himself as equals of the apostles on a religious level as well, perhaps even more so being in the middle of them. Although his knowledge of the actual religion was questionable (it seemed that he sometimes took actions to preserve his political status rather than the religion, as in the council of Nicea), Constantine still tried to put himself on the same level as high religious figures. He was a self-proclaimed bishop, saying “I also am a bishop, ordained by God to overlook whatever is external to the Church.” (CP 79) Constantine, in a way, found loopholes to assert himself in the Christian religion, while still maintaining the highest power in the political world....
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