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Constantine Byzantine Essay

Constantine Byzantine Essay - Patrick Kennedy Byzantines...

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Patrick Kennedy Byzantines September 26, 2007 Constantine Constantine I, or Constantine the Great served as emperor of Rome, and is seen by many as the vessel which delivered the spread and acceptance of Christianity. Although Constantine was the first Christian Emperor of Rome; he paved the way for the success and prosperity of the religion through legal and religious declarations, military domination, and the creation of Constantinople as the new capital of Byzantium. Constantine legalized Christianity and abolished the persecution of Christians in his region. Many scholars question Constantine’s true allegiance to Christianity. It is highly suggested that Constantine merely used Christianity to unite his empire, and that he felt being a Christian had many political advantages which he could use to rise to power and domination. In my opinion, Constantine used Christianity as a double edged sword to satisfy is spiritual necessities, but also knew how influential and beneficial the religion could be to his political success. Constantine was born in Naissus on February 27, 280. The son of a powerful Roman General and Emperor Constantius Chlorus and a spiritual lady named Helena, Constantine possessed the proper bloodline to lead an empire and complete a religious revolution. He was educated in philosophy growing up, and could fluently read and write Greek, which only a small part of the population was capable of doing. His full name is Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, but was simply known as Constantine I, Constantine the great or, Saint Constantine. He began his political career by serving on many types of council, but left his posts to join his father in battle. While accompanying his father in battle, his father became extremely ill and died. His father’s death was tragic,
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but opened the door for Constantine to begin his reign as Emperor. Although he was not the rightful empire of the West due to recent Greek laws, the soldiers and generals loyal to his father proclaimed him emperor upon his father’s death. Constantine’s support because of his fallen father was not something out of the ordinary; “throughout history troops have been loyal to the sons of their commanders, Constantine was no exception”. (Gregory, 47). Constantine was now the Emperor of the West. Growing up, Constantine had been exposed to the religion of Christianity by his mother, but never truly voiced his true religion until later on in life. Constantine has seen the how Pagan gods constantly perished, and never survived as time went on. He watched the gruesome Pagan sacrifices during battle, which included brutally slaying children. This sparked his interest in Jesus Christ, the son of God, who had died and rose again from the dead. Constantine figured that Jesus must have the ultimate power if he could come back from the dead. As time evolved, Constantine began to view the Pagan god’s as demons, instead of powerful beings. He watched as the sun, wood, and stone gods lost and battle, and how little spiritual satisfaction they provided. He began to see how savage
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