Constantine: Roman Empire and Constantine Essay

Submitted By paulef16
Words: 1186
Pages: 5

The emperor Constantine was one most important emperor of Rome. The many great events laid foundations that would affect the future of Europe and Western Civilization for centuries to come. His recognition and support of Christianity was one of the most important moments in world history. Moving the government of the Roman Empire to Constantinople and founding New Rome was one of the most significant decisions made by a Roman ruler. This is just one indication of his importance in history and the honor in which he was held by his people. Constantine was born in Naissus, a town in Serbia, on February 27 probably sometime in the 270’s CE. His mother was named Helena who would later become a Christian. Because of her good works, she was made a Christian saint after her death. Constantine’s father was a career military officer named Constantius. Constantine was married at least twice and had four sons Crispus, Constantine II, Constantius, Constans. 

Constantius, his father, was in charge of the Roman Province of Britannia. When Constantius died Constantine, was immediately proclaimed emperor by the army. However, it took many years of political struggle and actual civil war before he could consolidate his power. Constantine finally became the ruler of the Roman Empire in 323 CE. 

 Constantine’s major accomplishments, the most important were his recognition of the Christianity. In 313 CE, Constantine issued the Edict of Milan which allowed full freedom for Christians to practice their faith. The edict made Christianity equal to the religion of the Roman Empire. The Edict of Milan also ordered the return of all church and personal property that had been taken during past persecutions of Christians. 

Constantine not only recognized Christianity but made many contributions and enacted laws that helped it spread. He also became involved in Christianity. He felt that, as emperor, he had a responsibility to help and protect the faith. He also believed that all Christians should have the same beliefs.
These concerns led to another of Constantine’s great accomplishments, the Council of Nicea in 325 CE. The Council produced a statement of Christian faith known as the Nicene Creed. The creed defined the beliefs about Jesus for all Christians. It said that Jesus was not created by God but actually was God. There were some who did not accept these beliefs about Jesus. This disagreement was the beginning of what eventually would become a split in Christianity between the western church and the eastern or Orthodox church. 

Constantine’s most important political accomplishment was moving the permanent capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Byzantium. He claimed that God had told him to move the capital, which he renamed in his own honor as Constantinople. He also ordered the city to be rebuilt so it would be a worthy capital for the empire. The new city, which was dedicated in May of 330 CE, provided Constantine with a better location for ruling the empire. The new capital gave him easy access to the Balkan provinces and to the eastern frontier and controlled traffic through the Bosporus, the strait that separates the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Constantine also believed the move to Constantinople would help economic development in the Empire. The move left Rome as one of the wealthiest and greatest cities of the world and the capital of the western empire. 

Constantine was a conqueror that was very popular with the army because he had been an officer and worked his way up through the ranks. The soldiers knew that their emperor understood them and what they went through. Constantine used the army to win many great victories over the Franks, the Samartians, and the Goths. His victories show that he was a master of military strategy. 
 Constantine’s strong support of Christianity and the church can also be seen as one of the great failures. Because of this support, Constantine became an influence and even a power in the