Constantine I "the Great", Roman Emperor

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Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinius, Roman Emperor

Nicknames: ""Imperator Caesar Flauius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Pius Felix Inuictus Augustus", "Germanicus Maximus", "Sarmaticus Maximus", "Gothicus Maximus", "Medicus Maximus", "Britannicus Maximus", "Arabicus Maximus", "Adiabenicus Maximus", "Persicus Maximus", "Armeniacus Maxi"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Naissus, Moesia Superior (now Nish), Serbia
Death: Died in Nicomedia, Bithynia, Ancyrona, Turkey
Place of Burial: Nicomedia, Izmit
Immediate Family:

Son of Constantius I Chlorus, Roman Emperor and Saint Helena of the Cross
Husband of Minervina; Flavia Maxima Fausta and Fictitious Mistress of Constantine the Great
Father of Flavius Julius Crispus Caesar; Constantius II, Roman Emperor Placida; Constantius II, Roman Emperor; Flavia Constantia Augusta; Constans I, Roman Emperor and 4 others
Half brother of King Costus; Anastasia; Flavius Dalmatius; Flavia Julia Constantia; Licinius, Roman Emperor and 3 others

Occupation: Roman Emperor (306-May 22, 337), Empereur de Rome
Managed by: Jocelynn Elaine Oakes
Last Updated:

About Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinius, Roman Emperor

Konstantin I (født 27. februar 272, død 22. mai 337), også kjent som Konstantin den store, var romersk keiser fra 25. juli 306 frem til sin død. Han er mest kjent som den første kristne keiseren i Romerriket, og som grunnlegger av byen Konstantinopel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I

Constantine I (306 - 337 A.D.)

by

Hans A. Pohlsander

SUNY Albany

Introduction

The emperor Constantine has rightly been called the most important emperor of Late Antiquity. His powerful personality laid the foundations of post-classical European civilization; his reign was eventful and highly dramatic. His victory at the Milvian Bridge counts among the most decisive moments in world history, while his legalization and support of Christianity and his foundation of a 'New Rome' at Byzantium rank among the most momentous decisions ever made by a European ruler. The fact that ten Byzantine emperors after him bore his name may be seen as a measure of his importance and of the esteem in which he was held.

Constantine's Rise to Power

Flavius Valerius Constantinus, the future emperor Constantine, was born at Naissus in the province of Moesia Superior, the modern Nish in Serbia, on 27 February of 271, 272, or 273. 1 His father was a military officer named Constantius (later Constantius Chlorus or Constantius I), his mother a woman of humble background named Helena (later St. Helena). 2 There is good reason to think that Constantius and Helena lived in concubinage rather than in legally recognized marriage. Having previously attained the rank of tribune, provincial governor, and probably praetorian prefect, Constantius was raised, on 1 March 293, to the rank of Caesar in the First Tetrarchy organized by Diocletian .3 On this occasion he was required to put aside Helena and to marry Theodora , the daughter of Maximian .4 Upon the retirement of Diocletian and Maximian on 1 May 305 Constantius succeeded to the rank of Augustus. 5

Constantine, in the meanwhile, had served with distinction under both Diocletian and Galerius in the East. Kept initially at the court of Galerius as a pledge of good conduct on his father's part, he was later allowed to join his father in Britain and assisted him in a campaign against the Picts. When Constantius died, on 25 July 306, at Eburacum (York), Constantine was at his side. The soldiers at once proclaimed him Augustus; 6 Constantine henceforth observed this day as his dies imperii. Having settled affairs in Britain swiftly, he returned to the Continent, where the city of Augusta Treverorum (Trier) served as his principal residence for the next six years. There, too, in 307, he married Maximian's daughter Fausta, 7 putting away his mistress Minervina, who had borne him his first son, Crispus. 8 Trier's "Kaiserthermen" (Imperial Baths) and Basilica (the aula palatina ) give evidence to this day of Constantine's residence in the city.

At the same time the Senate and the Praetorian Guard in Rome had allied themselves with Maxentius , the son of Maximian . On 28 October 306 they proclaimed him emperor, 9 in the lower rank of princeps initially, although he later claimed the rank of Augustus. Constantine and Maxentius , although they were brothers-in-law, did not trust each other. Their relationship was further complicated by the schemes and consequently, in 310, the death of Maximian . Open hostilities between the two rivals broke out in 312, and Constantine won a decisive victory in the famous Battle of the Milvian Bridge .10 This made Constantine the sole ruler of the western half of the empire.

Constantine's Conversion

When Diocletian and Maximian announced their retirement in 305, the problem posed by the Christians was unresolved and the persecution in progress. Upon coming to power Constantine unilaterally ended all persecution in his territories, even providing for restitution. His personal devotions, however, he offered first to Mars and then increasingly to Apollo, reverenced as Sol Invictus .

The next significant event in Constantine's religious development occurred in 312. Lactantius, whom Constantine appointed tutor of his son Crispus 11 and who therefore must have been close to the imperial family, reports that during the night before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge Constantine was commanded in a dream to place the sign of Christ on the shields of his soldiers. 12 Twenty-five years later Eusebius gives us a far different, more elaborate, and less convincing account in his Life of Constantine .13 When Constantine and his army were on their march toward Rome - neither the time nor the location is specified - they observed in broad daylight a strange phenomenon in the sky: a cross of light and the words "by this sign you will be victor" ( hoc signo victor eris or ). During the next night, so Eusebius' account continues, Christ appeared to Constantine and instructed him to place the heavenly sign on the battle standards of his army. The new battle standard became known as the labarum .

Whatever vision Constantine may have experienced, he attributed his victory to the power of "the God of the Christians" and committed himself to the Christian faith from that day on, although his understanding of the Christian faith at this time was quite superficial. It has often been supposed that Constantine's profession of Christianity was a matter of political expediency more than of religious conviction; upon closer examination this view cannot be sustained. Constantine did not receive baptism until shortly before his death (see below). It would be a mistake to interpret this as a lack of sincerity or commitment; in the fourth and fifth centuries Christians often delayed their baptisms until late in life. 14

In February 313, probably, Constantine and Licinius met at Milan. On this occasion Constantine's half-sister Constantia was wed to Licinius . Also on this occasion, the two emperors formulated a common religious policy. Several months later Licinius issued an edict which is commonly but erroneously known as the Edict of Milan. 15 Unlike Constantine, Licinius did not commit himself personally to Christianity; even his commitment to toleration eventually gave way to renewed persecution. Constantine's profession of Christianity was not an unmixed blessing to the church. Constantine used the church as an instrument of imperial policy, imposed upon it his imperial ideology, and thus deprived it of much of the independence which it had previously enjoyed.

Constantine as the Sole Ruler of the West

To his dismay Constantine soon discovered that there was a lack of unity within the church. In the province of Africa, specifically, there were those who took a rigorist position towards the lapsi (those who had shown a lack of faith during the preceding years of persecution) and those who took a more moderate, forgiving position. The former eventually became known as the Donatists, after a certain Donatus, whom they elected as their bishop. In April of 313 the rigorists presented to Constantine their grievance against Caecilian, the bishop of Carthage. Constantine convened a synod of bishops to hear the complaint; the synod met in Rome's Lateran Council and is known as the Synod of Rome. When the synod ruled in favor of Caecilian, the Donatists appealed to Constantine again. In response to the appeal Constantine convened a larger council of thirty-three bishops, who met at Arles in southern Gaul on 1 August 314. This council, too, ruled against the Donatists, and again they refused to submit. Constantine attempted, unsuccessfully, to suppress them. A separatist Donatist church possessed considerable strength in North Africa over the next two centuries. 16

Rome's famous Arch of Constantine was completed in time for the beginning of Constantine's decennalia (the tenth anniversary of his acclamation). 17 There were all manner of festivities, but Constantine pointedly omitted the traditional sacrifices to the pagan gods.

Constantine left his mark on the city of Rome with an ambitious building program, both secular and religious. In the Forum Romanum he completed the basilica which Maxentius had left unfinished. On the Quirinal Hill, where the presidents of Italy now reside, he had a bath built. The Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Basilica of St. Peter, and the Basilica of St. Sebastian on the Appian Way all are Constantinian foundations. Of special interest is the Basilica of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter, on the ancient Via Labicana, because attached to it was the vaulted rotunda which Constantine originally had intended as a mausoleum for himself and his family but ultimately received only the body of his mother Helena ; its considerable remains are known today as the Tor Pignattara. 18

The Conflict with Licinius

The ultimate goal pursued by both Constantine and Licinius was sole power. The agreement of 313 had been born out of necessity, not of mutual good will. Even Constantia's apparent devotion to Licinius did little to ease the strained relationship between the two rivals. Hostilities erupted in 316. 19 In the course of this first war between the two emperors two battles were fought: the first at Cibalae in Pannonia, whence this war is called the bellum Cibalense, the second on the campus Ardiensis in Thrace. In the first battle Licinius' army suffered heavy losses; in the second neither side won a clear victory. 20

A settlement left Licinius in his position as Augustus, but required him to cede to Constantine all of his European provinces other than Thrace. On 1 March 317, at Serdica (modern Sofia), Constantine announced the appointment of three Caesars: his own son Crispus , about twelve years old, his own son Constantine , less than seven months old, and Licinius' son, also named Licinius , twenty months old. 21 But the concordia Augustorum was fragile; tensions grew again, in part because the two Augusti pursued different policies in matters of religion, in part because the old suspicions surfaced again.

War erupted again in 324. Constantine defeated Licinius twice, first at Adrianople in Thrace, and then at Chrysopolis on the Bosporus. 22 Initially, yielding to the pleas of Constantia , Constantine spared the life of his brother-in-law, but some months later he ordered his execution, breaking his solemn oath. Before too long the younger Licinius , too, fell victim to Constantine's anger or suspicions. 23 Constantine was now the sole and undisputed master of the Roman world.

The Arian Controversy, the Council of Nicaea, and its Aftermath

Early in the fourth century a dispute erupted within the Christian church regarding the nature of the Godhead, more specifically the exact relationship of the Son to the Father. Arius, a priest in Alexandria, taught that there was a time when Christ did not exist, i.e. that he was not co-eternal with the Father, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were three separate and distinct hypostaseis, and that the Son was subordinate to the Father, was in fact a "creature." These teachings were condemned and Arius excommunicated in 318 by a council convened by Alexander, the bishop of Alexandria. But that did not by any means close the matter. Ossius (or Hosius) of Cordova, Constantine's trusted spiritual advisor, failed on his mission to bring about a reconciliation.

Constantine then summoned what has become known as the First Ecumenical Council of the church. The opening session was held on 20 May 325 in the great hall of the palace at Nicaea, Constantine himself presiding and giving the opening speech. The council formulated a creed which, although it was revised at the Council of Constantinople in 381-82, has become known as the Nicene Creed. It affirms the homoousion , i.e. the doctrine of consubstantiality. A major role at the council was played by Athanasius, Bishop Alexander's deacon, secretary, and, ultimately, successor. Arius was condemned. 24

If Constantine had hoped that the council would settle the issue forever, he must have been bitterly disappointed. The disputes continued, and Constantine himself vacillated. Eusebius of Nicomedia, a supporter of Arius exiled in 325, was recalled in 327 and soon became the emperor's chief spiritual advisor. In 335 Athanasius, now bishop of Alexandria and unbending in his opposition to some of Constantine's policies, was sent into exile at far-away Trier. 25

The Crisis in the Imperial Family

At some time in 326 Constantine ordered the execution of his oldest son Crispus , who had been appointed Caesar in 317, had three times served as consul, and had distinguished himself in the recent campaign against Licinius . In the same year, soon after the death of Crispus , Constantine also brought about the death of Fausta , the mother of his other three sons. A connection between the two deaths is likely. Zosimus reports that Crispus had come under suspicion of "being involved" with his stepmother Fausta .26 The Epitome of Aurelius Victor reports that Constantine killed Fausta when his mother Helena rebuked him for the death of Crispus .27 It is impossible now to separate fact from gossip and to know with certainty what offenses Crispus and Fausta had committed. Both of them suffered damnatio memoriae and were never rehabilitated. Some involvement of Helena in this family tragedy cannot be excluded, but there is no reason to shift the responsibility from Constantine to her. 28

Shortly after these sad events, probably in 326-28, Helena undertook a pigrimage to the Holy Land. It has been suggested that this pilgrimage was an act of expiation, either for her own sins or for those of her son. 29 In the course of her journey Helena impressed Eusebius of Caesarea and others by her piety, humility, and charity. She played a role in the building of the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem and the Church of the Eleona on Jerusalem's Mount of Olives; 30 but the Church of the Holy Sepulcher seems to have been an undertaking of Constantine alone. 31 A tradition more cherished than trustworthy credits Helena with the inventio of the True Cross. 32

The New Rome

During the First Tetrarchy Trier, Milan, Thessalonike, and Nicomedia had served as imperial residences, and the importance of Rome as a center of government had thus been considerably reduced. Constantine went far beyond this when he refounded the ancient Greek city of Byzantium as Constantinople and made it the capital of the empire. His decision to establish a new capital in the East ranks in its far-reaching consequences with his decision to adopt Christianity. The new capital enjoyed a most favorable location which afforded easy access to both the Balkan provinces and the eastern frontier, controlled traffic through the Bosporus, and met all conditions for favorable economic development.

On 8 November 324, less than two months after his victory over Licinius at Chrysopolis, Constantine formally laid out the boundaries of his new city, roughly quadrupling its territory. By 328 the new walls were completed, and on 11 May 330 the new city was formally dedicated. The New Rome, both in its physical features and in its institutions, resembled the Old Rome. It was built on seven hills, it had a senate, and its people received subsidized grain. Constantine completed and enlarged the city's hippodrome and placed in it the Serpent Column of Delphi. The palace which he built for himself afforded direct access to the kathisma , the royal box overlooking the hippodrome. A rather controversial monument is the Column of Constantine, in the Forum of Constantine, built of porphyry and 25 m. high; its remains are now known as the Burnt Column. It was crowned by a statue of Helios, its features suitably adapted so as to suggest Constantine himself.

Constantine without question began the construction of two major churches in Constantinople, Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) and Hagia Eirene (Holy Peace); the foundation of a third, the Church of the Holy Apostles, may be attributed to him with a measure of certainty. Unlike the Old Rome, which was filled with pagan monuments and institutions, the New Rome was essentially a Christian capital (and eventually the see of a patriarch), although not all traces of its pagan past had been eliminated. 33

Constantine's Government

The prevailing character of Constantine's government was one of conservatism. His adoption of Christianity did not lead to a radical reordering of society or to a systematic revision of the legal system. Generally refraining fom sweeping innovations, he retained and completed most of the arrangements made by Diocletian , especially in provincial administration and army organization. One notable change pertained to the praetorian prefects; these now became civilian ministers assisting the Augustus or the Caesars. In the course of a successful reform of the currency Constantine instituted a new type of coin, the gold solidus , which won wide acceptance and remained the standard for centuries to come. 34 Some of Constantine's measures show a genuine concern for the welfare and the morality of his subjects, even for the condition of slaves. By entrusting some government functions to the Christian clergy he actually made the church an agency of the imperial government. Constantine did not neglect the security of the frontiers. He campaigned successfully in 306-308 and 314-15 on the German frontier, in 332 against the Goths, in 334 against the Sarmatians, and in 336 again on the Danube frontier. 35

The arrangements which Constantine made for his own succession were quite unsatisfactory. During the last two years of his reign there were four Caesars: his sons Constantine (II) ,Constantius (II) , and Constans , having been appointed in 317, 324, and 333 respectively, and his nephew Flavius Dalmatius (whose father, of like name, was a son of Constantius I and Theodora ), appointed in 335. It is not clear which of these Constantine intended to take precedence upon his death. 36

Final Years , Death, and Burial

In the years 325-337 Constantine continued his support of the church even more vigorously than before, both by generous gifts of money and by specific legislation. Among his numerous church foundations the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and the Golden Octagon in Antioch deserve to be singled out. At the same time, he was more inclined to suppress paganism; we know of some specific pagan temples which were torn down upon his orders, while in other cases temple treasures were confiscated and the proceeds fed into the imperial treasury. 37

Shortly after Easter (3 April) 337 Constantine began to feel ill. He traveled to Drepanum, now named Helenopolis in honor of his mother, where he prayed at the tomb of his mother's favorite saint, the martyr Lucian. From there he proceeded to the suburbs of Nicomedia, and there he was baptized, as both Eusebius and Jerome report; but only Jerome adds another significant fact: the baptism was performed by the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia. 38

A few weeks weeks later, on the day of Pentecost, 22 May, Constantine died at Nicomedia, still wearing the white robes of a Christian neophyte. His body was escorted to Constantinople and lay in state in the imperial palace. His sarcophagus was then placed in the Church of the Holy Apostles, as he himself had directed; it was surrounded by the memorial steles of the Twelve Apostles, making him symbolically the thirteenth Apostle. 39 Only on September 9 did Constantine II ,Constantius II , and Constans each assume the rank of Augustus, after possible rivals, including the fourth Caesar, Flavius Dalmatius , had been eliminated in a bloody coup. 40 This bloody purge of members of the Royal family, it has been argued, may have had its roots in the religious strife between the Arian and Orthodox factions at the imperial court. 41

Icon of Saint Constantine I

In the Eastern Orthodox churches Constantine is regarded a saint; he shares a feast day, May 21, with his mother, and additionally has a feast day of his own, September 3. 42

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Drijvers, Jan Willem. Helena Augusta: The Mother of Constantine the Great and the Legend of Her Finding of the True Cross. Leiden 1992.

________. "Flavia Maxima Fausta: Some Remarks." Historia 41 (1992) 500-506.

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Notes

1 Eusebius, Vita Constantini 1.7-8 and 4.53, provides approximate dates only; see also Eutropius 10.8.2.

Attempts to place Constantine's birth in the 280's have been refuted by Timothy D. Barnes, The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine (Cambridge, Mass., 1982) 40-42.

2 Helena has received considerable attention in recent years. See especially the following:

Jan Willem Drijvers, Helena Augusta: The Mother of Constantine the Great and the Legend of Her Finding of the True Cross (Leiden 1992).

Hans A. Pohlsander, Helena: Empress and Saint (Chicago 1995).

Heinz Heinen, "Konstantins Mutter Helena: de stercore ad regnum," Trierer Zeitschrift 61 (1998) 227-40.

3 Ingemar König, "Die Berufung des Constantius Chlorus und des Galerius zu Caesaren," Chiron 4 (1974) 567-76; Barnes, New Empire 4.

4 Eutropius 9.22.1; Jerome, Chron . Olymp. 267; Anonymus Valesianus or Origo Constantini 1.1.

On the other hand a reference in Pan. Lat. 10.11.4 (edd. Baehrens, Mynors) or 2.11.4 (ed. Galletier) has prompted a number of scholars to conclude that Constantius and Theodora were married already by 289.

5 Lactantius, Mort. Pers. 19.

6 Lactantius, Mort. Pers. 24.8; Eusebius, Vita Const. 1.21-22; Anonymus Valesianus or Origo Constantini 4.

7 Pan. Lat. 6 (edd. Baehrens, Mynors) or 7 (ed. Galletier).

8 Barnes, New Empire 42-43, maintains that Constantine and Minervina were legally married.

On Crispus see Hans A. Pohlsander, "Crispus: Brilliant Career and Tragic End," Historia 33 (1984) 79-106.

9 Lactantius, Mort. Pers. 26.1.

10 Lactantius, Mort. Pers. 44; Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 9.9; Eusebius, Vita Const. 1. 38.

11 Jerome, Chron. Olymp. 274; De Vir. Ill . 80.

Klaus Kremer, "Laktanz: Erzieher von Konstantins Sohn Crispus zu Trier," Kurtrierisches Jahrbuch 25 (1985) 35-59.

12 Lactantius, Mort. Pers. 44.5-6.

13 Eusebius, Vita Const. 1. 28-29.

Michael DiMaio, Jörn Zeuge, and Natalia Zotov, " Ambiguitas Constantiniana : The Caeleste Signum Dei of Constantine the Great," Byzantion 58 (1988) 333-60, have argued that it is Lactantius' account which represents the true course of events, because the emperor saw a conjunction of the planets Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus in the constellations Capricorn and Sagittarius, something which was extremely negative astrologically and would have undermined the morale of Constantine's mainly pagan army. By putting a Christian interpretation on the astronomical event, they suggest, the emperor converted the sign into a positive force which would be useful to him.

Star Chart of the Chi-Rho in Constantine's Vision

Another, more recent, attempt to explain Constantine's vision as a natural phenomenon was made by Peter Weiss, "Die Vision Constantins," in Jochen Bleicken, ed., Colloquium aus Anlass des 80. Geburtstages von Alfred Heuss (Frankfurter Althistorische Studien 13; Kallmünz 1993) 143-69.

14 Constantius II, Theodosius I, St. Ambrose, and others delayed baptism until late in life. See A. H. M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire (Oxford 1964) 981.

15 Lactantius, Mort. Pers. 48; Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 10.5.

16 W. H. C. Frend, The Donatist Church (Oxford 1952, 1976, and 1985).

17 Hans Peter L'Orange and Arnim von Gerkan, Der spätantike Bildschmuck des Konstantinsbogen (Berlin 1939).

Linda Jones Hall, "Cicero's instinctu divino and Constantine's instinctu divinitatis : The Evidence of the Arch of Constantine for the Senatorial View of the 'Vision' of Constantine," Journal of Early Christian Studies 6 (1998) 647-71.

18 Richard Krautheimer, Corpus Basilicarum Christianarum Romae: The Early Basilicas of Rome. 5 vols. Vatican City 1937-1977.

Richard Krautheimer, Rome: Profile of a City, 312-1308 (Princeton 1980), Chapters 1-2.

Charles M. Odahl, "The Christian Basilicas of Constantinian Rome," Ancient World 26 (1995) 3-28.

19 The date of the first war fought between Constantine and Licinius has been a subject of controversy, as our primary sources are not without ambiguity:

Aurelius Victor, Caes. 41.1-2 and 6; Anonymus Valesianus or Origo Constantini 5.16-19; Zosimus 2. 18-20; and the Consularia Constantinopolitana or Fasti Hydatiani (Ed. Mommsen [ MGH, AA IX = Chron. Min . I] 231).

The conventional date of 314 is found in much of the secondary literature:

Otto Seeck, Regesten der Kaiser und Päpste für die Jahre 311 bis 476 n. Chr. (Stuttgart 1919) 162.

Joseph Vogt, "Constantinus der Grosse," in RAC III (1957) 306-79 at 337.

A. H. M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire 284-602 (Oxford 1964; repr. Baltimore 1986) I 82.

Ramsay MacMullen, Constantine (New York 1969) 107.

Maria R. Alföldi, "Die Niederemmeler 'Kaiserfibel': Zum Datum des ersten Krieges zwischen Konstantin und Licinius," BJ 176 (1976) 183-200 at 186-87.

Dietmar Kienast, "Das bellum Cibalense und die Morde des Licinius," in Michael Wissemann, Roma renascens: Beiträge zur Spätantike und Rezeptionsgeschichte: Festschrift für Ilona Opelt (Frankfurt 1988) 149-71.

Id., Römische Kaisertabelle , 2nd ed. (Darmstadt 1996) 299.

The date of 314 was first challenged and 316 proposed instead by Patrick Bruun ( The Constantinian Coinage of Arelate (Helsinki 1953) 15-21; Studies in Constantinian Chronology (New York 1961) 10-22; RIC VII (1966) 66, n. 1, and 76); this dating has been accepted also by others (André Chastagnol in RN , 6th ser., 4 (1962) 323-33 at 326-30; Christian Habicht, "Zur Geschichte des Kaisers Konstantin," Hermes 86 (1958) 360-78 at 360-70; Joseph Vogt, Constantin der Grosse und sein Jahrhundert, 2nd ed. (Munich 1960) 172; Timothy D. Barnes, "Lactantius and Constantine," JRS 63 (1973) 29-46 at 36-38; Id., Constantine and Eusebius (Cambridge, Mass., 1982) 65-67; Id. New Empire 72-73; Thomas Grünewald, Constantinus Maximus Augustus: Herrschaftspropaganda in der zeitgenössischen Überlieferung (Historia Einzelschriften 64; Stuttgart 1990) 109-12; Christopher Ehrhardt, "Monumental Evidence for the Date of Constantine's First War against Licinius," Ancient World 23 (1992) 87-94)

Roberto Andreotti has proposed that the bellum Cibalense was fought in two phases, in 314 and 316 respectively ("Licinius (Valerius Licinianus)," in Dizionario Epigrafico IV.1 (1959) 079-1040 at 1001 ff., esp. 1004; id.,"Recenti contributi alla cronologia costantiniana," Latomus 23 (1964) 537-55 at 548-52). More recently Andreotti's argument has been taken up in a joint article by Michael DiMaio, Jörn Zeuge, and Jane Bethune: " Proelium Cibalense et Proelium Campi Ardiensis: The First Civil War of Constantine I and Licinius I," Ancient World 21 (1990) 67-91. This, in turn, has been challenged by Hans A. Pohlsander, who defends 316: "The Date of the Bellum Cibalense : A Reexamination," Ancient World 25 (1995) 89-101.

20 Anonymus Valesianus or Origo Constantini 16-18.

21 For the abundant literary and epigraphical evidence see Pohlsander, "Crispus" 86, n. 57.

22 Eusebius, Vita Constantini 2. 10-17; Anonymus Valesianus or Origo Constantini 5; Zosimus 2. 18-28; Barnes, New Empire 75.

23 Eutropius 10.6.1; Jerome, Chron . Olymp. 275; Zosimus 2.28.2.

24 The literature on the subject is vast. The concise and accurate account provided by W. H. C. Frend, The Rise of Christianity (Philadelphia 1984) 492-501, affords a useful starting point.

25] On Athanasius' exile in Trier see Heinz Heinen, Frühchristliches Trier: Von den Anfängen bis zur Völkerwanderun g (Trier 1996) 119-33.

Harold Allen Drake, "Athanasius' First Exile," GRBS 27 (1986) 193-204.

For the sources and further literature see Hans A. Pohlsander, "Maximinus und Paulinus: Zwei Trierer Bischöfe im vierten Jahrhundert," Trierer Zeitschrift 59 (1996) 119-80 at 121, n. 5.

26 Zosimus, 2.29.1-2.

27 Aurelius Victor, Caes. 41.11-12.

28 François Paschoud, Cinq études sur Zosime (Paris 1975) 24-39.

Pohlsander, "Crispus" 99-106. At 106 he deems it "quite believable that Helena had a hand in Fausta's death." More cautious Pohlsander, Helena 23.

Jan Willem Drijvers, "Flavia Maxima Fausta: Some Remarks," Historia 41 (1992) 500-506.

29 Heinen, "Konstantins Mutter Helena" 235, points out that there is no clear-cut support for this suggestion in our sources; ibid. 238-39 he emphasizes Helena's piety and humility.

30 E. D. Hunt, Holy Land Pilgrimage in the Later Roman Empire AD 312-460 (Oxford 1982), Chapters 1-2.

31 Charles Coüasnon, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (Schweich Lectures of the British Academy, London 1972).

John Wilkinson, Egeria's Travels to the Holy Land, rev. ed. (Jerusalem and Warminster, England, 1981) 39-46 and 164-71.

Virgilio C. Corbo, Il Santo Sepolcro di Gerusalemme: Aspetti archeologici dalle origini al periodo crociato (Jerusalem 1982).

Dan Bahat, "Does the Holy Sepulchre Church Mark the Burial of Jesus?" Biblical Archaeology Review 12 (1986) 26-45.

G. S. P. Freeman-Grenville, "The Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, History and Future," Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1987, pp. 187-207.

Joseph Patrich in Yoram Tsafir, Ancient Churches Revealed (Jerusalem and Washington, D.C., 1993) 100-17.

Martin Biddle, The Tomb of Christ (Sutton Publishing 1999) 65-70.

32 Stephan Borgehammar, How the Holy Cross Was Found (Stockholm 1991).

33 Gilbert Dagron, Naissance d'une capitale: Constantinople et ses institutions de 330 à 451 (Paris 1974).

Richard Krautheimer, Three Christian Capitals: Topography and Politics (Berkeley 1983).

Cyril Mango, Le développement urbaine de Constantinople (IV e-VII esiecles) (Travaux et Mémoires du Centre de recherche d'Histoire et Civilisation de Byzance, College de France, Monographies 2; Paris 1985).

34 Jones, The Later Roman Empire 107-109.

The solidus, weighing 1/72 of a pound, replaced the aureus.

35 Barnes, New Empire 69, 70, 72, 79, and 80.

36 Ramsay MacMullen, Constantine (New York 1969) 218-20.

Heinrich Chantraine, Die Nachfolgeordnung Constantins des Großen , Stuttgart 1992.

37 Eusebius, Vita Const. 3. 54-58.

38 Eusebius, Vita Const. 4. 61-62; Jerome, Chron. ad annum 2353.

39 Eusebius, Vita Const. 4. 64.

Agathe Kaniuth. Die Beisetzung Konstantins des Großen. Breslau 1941.

Glanville Downey. "The Tombs of the Byzantine Emperors at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople." JHS 79 (1959) 27-51.

Philip Grierson. "The Tombs and Obits of the Byzantine Emperors (337-1042)." DOP 16 (1962) 1-60, esp. 5, 21-29, and 39-40.

40 Zosimus 2.39; Zonaras 13.5.

Richard Klein, "Die Kämpfe um die Nachfolge nach dem Tode Constantins des Großen," Byzantinische Forschungen 6 (1979) 101-50.

41 For a discussion of the purge of 337, the succession of the sons of Constantine, and the sources that treat these matters, see DiMaio and Duane Arnold, " Per Vim, Per Caedem, Per Bellum : A Study of Murder and Ecclesiastical Politics in the Year 337 A.D.," Byzantion , 62(1992), 158ff.

42 Pohlsander, Helena 194-96.

Copyright(C) 1999, Hans A. Pohlsander This file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents, including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact.

Constantine is one of the best known of the Roman Emperors. Some important events of his reign included the issuance of the Edict of Milan, which ended the persecution of Christians and made their worship legal, the battle of the Milvian Bridge, and the completion of the political and economic reforms begun under Diocletian. Constantine was also important in the history of the Catholic Church for his role at the Council of Nicaea, where important points of faith in the early Catholic Church dealing with the Holy Trinity were worked out. He increased the role of the Catholic Church in the Roman government by placing bishops in high political office, where they soon became quite powerful. Constantine was baptized on his deathbed, the first Roman emperor to receive the Christian faith. One of the famous stories told about Constantine is that of his vision from God on the night before the battle of the Milvian Bridge. Maxentius, the Roman emperor in Italy, had gathered a great number of legions in defiance of Constantine. Galerius had decided to tax the citizens of Italy, who had been exempt from taxes ever since Republican days. Naturally, the Italian citizens resented this and proclaimed Maxentius emperor in an effort to get the odious taxes removed. Constantine was not at all sure of his chances of victory. According to legend, Constantine saw the symbol of Jesus Christ’s power in the clouds and a message written in Latin reading IN HOC SIGNO VINCES, meaning "In this sign shalt thou conquer." Immediately, Constantine placed the sign of Christ on his standards and had it painted on his shields. Constantine won the day with a decisive victory and Maxentius, thrown from the Milvian Bridge, was drowned when the weight of his armor caused him to sink into the mud and ooze at the bottom of the River Tiber. His body was recovered the day after the battle.

One of the most famous Roman emperors might never have ascended the throne if he hadn’t taken a wild ride one night, fleeing for his life from the "protection" of his "guardian." Constantine, then about thirty years old, was very popular with the legions and had a good military record. Furthermore, he was the son of Constantius Chlorus, the Roman emperor in the West. Constantius was preparing for a military campaign against the wild painted Picts north of Hadrian's Wall in Britain and wanted his son with him to help lead his legions. Constantius asked the Eastern emperor Galerius to send the young man to him. Galerius was reluctant to let the young man go to his father, where his popularity with the army might undermine Galerius' authority. It was less than a decade since the island had been wrested from the grip of the two usurpers Carausius and his successor Allectus. The memory of these past events and the dangerous example they set for the future were too fresh in the mind of the powerful Eastern emperor for him to be comfortable allowing such a well-liked military leader out of his sight. When Galerius grudgingly gave his permission, Constantine immediately took a few followers and swiftly fled by night on fast horses. Thanks to the excellent Roman military roads, they were on the coast of France boarding his father's ships before Galerius could change his mind and have the popular young man pursued and recalled. Galerius' fears were soon to be confirmed. When Constantius Chlorus became ill and died at the Roman military center of York in A. D. 306, the British troops immediately proclaimed Constantine emperor of Britain. Galerius was enraged, but Constantine quickly wrote to tell him that the whole idea was concocted by the troops and that he, Constantine, had had nothing to do with it. Since Constantine was far away and supported by an army, Galerius relented and agreed to give him the title of Caesar and raise another man, Severus II, to the rank of Augustus in the West to replace Constantius Chlorus.

A few months later, the citizens of Italy rebelled and named Maxentius, the popular son of Maximianus their emperor. Galerius had increased their taxes and had removed the tax-exempt status Rome had enjoyed since the days of the Republic. Maxentius then invited his father to come out of retirement and rejoin him as co-emperor. Soon the two rebels were joined by Constantine, who was again claiming the title of Augustus. Galerius sent Severus II to deal with the rebels but Severus was defeated and later put to death by Maximianus. Things had gotten so bad by this time that the Roman Empire was in danger of returning to the anarchy and civil war of the Third Century Diocletian agreed to come out of retirement himself and chair a peace conference at the military town of Carnuntum on the Danube. According to the agreement, Constantine was to be demoted to the rank of Caesar and Valerius Licinianus Licinius was made Augustus in the West.. Additionally, Maximianus was forced again to abdicate and Maxentius was declared an enemy of the people.

The final showdown with Maxentius came in A. D. 312 at the Milvian Bridge. Constantine made an alliance with Licinius in order to bring more troops against his rival, and easily won the battle in which Maxentius was killed. After Constantine's victory over Maxentius, Constantine and Licinius were left in joint control of the vast Roman Empire. In A. D. 317, Constantine's sons Crispus and Constantine II and Licinius' son Licinius II were appointed Caesars.

The strong-willed, power seeking personalities of both Constantine and Licinius virtually ensured there would be trouble between the two rulers. From 312 to 324, relations between the Augusti steadily deteriorated. Finally, war broke out between the two over an incident in which Licinius chased some raiding barbarians into territory ruled by Constantine. Constantine defeated Licinius in two battles at Hadrianopolis and Chrysopolis. Though Constantine spared both Licinius and his son, they were soon plotting against Constantine to regain their thrones. Constantine had both of them put to death.

Soon after Constantine had defeated Licinius, he began work on the ancient Greek city of Byzantium to transform it into his new Capital of the East. Six years later, on May 11, A. D. 330. the beautiful new city of Constantinopolis, or Constantinople to the modern reader, was dedicated. Coins like the one at right showing the helmeted personnification of Constantinople were struck to commemorate the joyous event.

In A. D. 325, Constantine presided over the Council of Nicaea. Bishops from all over the Roman world gathered together to have Constantine help them decide on the nature of God. They worked out the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, in which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were found to be equal persons in one God. Also, the Arian heresy was denounced at the Council of Nicaea. The Arians believed that Jesus Christ was somehow of a lesser importance, and had been created by, God the Father.

Two years later, dark intrigue and tragedy struck the house of Constantine. Constantine’s wife, Fausta, had accused Constantine's eldest son Crispus of adultery with her and plotting to seize the throne. Without checking the truth of these accusations, Constantine had his son murdered. It is thought that she made the accusation in order to place one of her own sons in line for the throne, as Crispus was Constantine's son by a previous marriage. When Constantine discovered that he had been lied to, he had Fausta suffocated or boiled alive in her bath by slowly running up the temperature of the water.

Constantine died at Nicomedia on May 22, 337. It is believed that he was baptized a Christian on his deathbed. After his death, his two nephews, Hanniballianus and Delmatius were put to death in the ensuing struggle for power. Both had been made caesars a few years before.

Having seen a vision of the Flaming Cross in the sky at noon, Constantine won a key victory over his rival at Tiber River's

Mulvius Bridge 10-28-312. He became a Christian, granting toleration to the religion in the edict of Milan (313). From his

victory at Chrysopolis (09-18-323) he ruled both the eastern and western Roman empires. He presided as sole emperor at the

Council of Nicaea (325). He laid the foundation of the city of Constantinople in 326, establishing the imperial capital there;

he was inaugurated there 05-11-330 as the city was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. Christianity had become the state

religion. Constantine was declared "Emperor" in 306 A.D. at Eboracum, now York, England. --Compton's on-line

Encyclopedia, America On-Line, 5/95: CONSTANTINE THE GREAT (AD 280?-337). Two important events marked the

reign of Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor of Rome. He made Christianity a lawful religion in Roman

society, and he founded the city of Constantinople, the brilliant capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. Flavius Valerius

Constantinus was born in the Roman province of Moesia (later Serbia) about AD 280. His father, Constantius, was a

member of an important Roman family. His mother, Helena, was the daughter of an innkeeper. In 293 the emperor

Diocletian made Constantius caesar, or emperor, of Gaul and Britain. Young Constantine was kept at the court of Galerius,

the Eastern emperor, virtually as a hostage. He escaped in 305 and joined his father. Constantius died the next year, and the

army hailed Constantine as caesar. For five years Constantine was contented with ruling Gaul. Then he invaded Italy,

making straight for Rome. Maxentius, the emperor of Rome, came out of the city with his army and met Constantine at the

Milvian Bridge. Constantine swept the enemy into the Tiber River, and Maxentius was drowned. Constantine then entered

Rome as sole master of the Western half of the empire. In 313 he issued the Edict of Milan, which gave the Christians the

right to practice their religion openly. By 323 Constantine had brought the entire Roman world under his own rule. At that

time a quarrel threatened to split the Christian church into two camps. Arius, a priest of Alexandria, Egypt, maintained that

Christ was not the equal of the Father but was created by Him. Athanasius, leader of the bishops in the West, claimed that

the Father and Son, though distinct, were equal, and of the same substance. To settle the matter, Constantine called together

an ecumenical, or worldwide, council of bishops at Nicaea, in Asia Minor, in 325. He himself ran the meeting. An

overwhelming majority condemned the Arian view as heresy. The Council drew up the Nicene Creed, which is still accepted

as the basic doctrine of most Christian churches. Constantine next moved his seat of government from Rome to the East. For

his capital he chose the ancient Greek city of Byzantium on the Bosporus. He enlarged and enriched the city at enormous

expense. In 330 it was dedicated as New Rome, but it was generally called Constantinople, "the city of Constantine." The

Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire, with its capital at Constantinople (now Istanbul) survived for more than 1,000 years.

The new city also became the capital of Christianity in the East, while Rome dominated the religion in the West. (See also

Byzantine Empire; Istanbul.) Constantine ruled as a despot, surrounded by Oriental pomp. He admitted bishops to his

council, and his laws concerning the treatment of slaves and prisoners show the influence of Christian teachings. However,

he put to death his oldest son, Crispus, and his second wife, Fausta. Before his death he divided the empire among his three

remaining sons.

Spouses

1Flavia Maximiana Fausta

Birth289, Rome, Italy

Death326

FatherMarcus Aurelias Valerius Maximian Emperor (250-310)

MotherEutropia

ChildrenConstantine II (316-340)

Constantius II (317-361)
Constans I (~322-350)

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Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (27 February c. 272 – 22 May 337), commonly known in English as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or (among Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Christians) Saint Constantine (/'kɒnstɛntaɪn/), was Roman Emperor from 306, and the undisputed holder of that office from 324 until his death in 337.

Best known for being the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine reversed the persecutions of his predecessor, Diocletian, and issued (with his co-emperor Licinius) the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious toleration throughout the empire.

The Byzantine liturgical calendar, observed by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches of Byzantine rite, lists both Constantine and his mother Helena as saints. Although he is not included in the Latin Church's list of saints, which does recognize several other Constantines as saints, he is revered under the title "The Great" for his contributions to Christianity.

Constantine also transformed the ancient Greek colony of Byzantium into a new imperial residence, Constantinople, which would remain the capital of the Byzantine Empire for over a thousand years.

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ID: I11587

Name: FLAVIUS @ VALERIUS CONSTANTIUS

Prefix: Emperor

Given Name: FLAVIUS @ VALERIUS

Surname: CONSTANTIUS

Nickname: Constantine I The Great

Sex: M

_UID: C73E33CA201FD811BE490080C8C142CC481E

Change Date: 11 Jun 2005

Note:

I INTRODUCTION

Constantine the Great (about ad 274-337), Roman emperor (306-37), the first Roman ruler to be converted to Christianity. He was the founder of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul), which remained the capital of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire until 1453.

Constantine the Great Constantine the Great was the first emperor of Rome to convert to Christianity. During his reign, Christians, previously persecuted, gained freedom of worship. He gave huge estates and other gifts to the Christian church. He established a capital in the eastern provinces, naming it Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey).Hulton Getty Picture Collection

II EARLY LIFE

Arch of Constantine The Arch of Constantine, Rome, was completed in 315 to commemorate Constantine the Great’s victory over an Italian rival, which made Constantine the absolute monarch of the Roman Empire. Constantine the Great was the first Roman ruler to become a Christian, and under his rule Christians were able to worship freely.Bridgeman Art Library, London/New York

Constantine the Great was born Flavius Valerius Constantinus at Ni?, in what is now Serbia, son of the commander Constantius Chlorus (later Constantius I) and Helena (later Saint Helena), a camp follower. Constantius became co-emperor in 305. Constantine, who had shown military talent in the East, joined his father in Britain in 306. He was popular with the troops, who proclaimed him emperor when Constantius died later the same year. Over the next two decades, however, Constantine had to fight his rivals for the throne, and he did not finally establish himself as sole ruler until 324.

Following the example of his father and earlier 3rd-century emperors, Constantine in his early life was a solar henotheist, believing that the Roman sun god, Sol, was the visible manifestation of an invisible “Highest God” (summus deus), who was the principle behind the universe. This god was thought to be the companion of the Roman emperor. Constantine's adherence to this faith is evident from his claim of having had a vision of the sun god in 310 while in a grove of Apollo in Gaul. In 312, on the eve of a battle against Maxentius, his rival in Italy, Constantine is reported to have dreamed that Christ appeared to him and told him to inscribe the first two letters of his name (XP in Greek) on the shields of his troops. The next day he is said to have seen a cross superimposed on the sun and the words “in this sign you will be the victor” (usually given in Latin, in hoc signo vinces). Constantine then defeated Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, near Rome. The Senate hailed the victor as savior of the Roman people. Thus, Constantine, who had been a pagan solar worshiper, now looked upon the Christian deity as a bringer of victory. Persecution of the Christians was ended, and Constantine's co-emperor, Licinius, joined him in issuing the Edict of Milan (313), which mandated toleration of Christians in the Roman Empire. As guardian of Constantine's favored religion, the church was then given legal rights and large financial donations.

III SOLE RULER

A struggle for power soon began between Licinius and Constantine, from which Constantine emerged in 324 as a victorious Christian champion. Now emperor of both East and West, he began to implement important administrative reforms. The army was reorganized, and the separation of civil and military authority, begun by his predecessor, Diocletian, was completed. The central government was run by Constantine and his council, known as the sacrum consistorium. The Senate was given back the powers that it had lost in the 3rd century, and new gold coins (solidi) were issued, which remained the standard of exchange until the end of the Byzantine Empire.

Constantine intervened in ecclesiastical affairs to achieve unity; he presided over the first ecumenical council of the church at Nicaea in 325. He also began the building of Constantinople in 326 on the site of ancient Greek Byzantium. The city was completed in 330 (later expanded), given Roman institutions, and beautified by ancient Greek works of art. In addition, Constantine built churches in the Holy Land, where his mother (also a Christian) supposedly found the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified. The emperor was baptized shortly before his death, on May 22, 337.

IV EVALUATION

Constantine the Great unified a tottering empire, reorganized the Roman state, and set the stage for the final victory of Christianity at the end of the 4th century. Many modern scholars accept the sincerity of his religious conviction. His conversion was a gradual process; at first he probably associated Christ with the victorious sun god. By the time of the Council of Nicaea (325), however, he was completely Christian, but still tolerated paganism among his subjects. Although criticized by his enemies as a proponent of a crude and false religion, Constantine the Great strengthened the Roman Empire and ensured its survival in the East. As the first emperor to rule in the name of Christ, he was a major figure in the foundation of medieval Christian Europe.

© 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Birth: 27 FEB 273

Death: 22 MAY 337

Father: Gaius Flavius Valerius Constantius b: 31 MAR 250

Mother: Helena of Colchester b: 248 in Britain

Marriage 1 Flavia Maximiana b: ABT 293

Married:

Children

Maximian
Flavius Julius Constantius II of Rome b: 3 OCT 317

Forrás / Source:

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=jdp-fam&id=I11587

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Constantine I the Great Emperor of Rome

Born : 27 Feb 272 Naissus, Moesia

Died : 22 May 337 Made Constantinople new capital

Father CONSTANTIUS I Chlorus Emperor of the West

Mother Helena Britannica ferch Princess of Britain

Marriage 307 - Flavia Maxima Fausta Princess of the West

Children - - Constans I Emperor of the East and West 

- - Helena Princess of the East and West 

- - Constantia Princess of the East and West 

7 Aug 317 - Constantius II Emperor of the East and West 

Abt. 322 - Maximianus Constans Prince of Rome (West)

Forrás / Source:

http://www.american-pictures.com/genealogy/persons/per02537.htm#0

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Constantine the Great' of ROME aka Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus; EMPEROR of ROMAN EMPIRE

Notes from this Life of the Day complete with a picture of the subject, visit http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/lotw/2008-10-20 Constantine I [Flavius Valerius Constantinus; known as Constantine the Great] (272/3-337), Roman emperor, was born at Naissus (modern Nis in Serbia) on 22 February 272 or 273. The year of his birth remains uncertain for lack of epigraphic evidence and calculations of the date are based on passing references in contemporary, or near contemporary, writers. These vary widely, suggesting that his age at death in 337 was between sixty and sixty-five years. A study of his career points to the latter age as best fitting the known facts about his various military appointments before his elevation to the throne. It has been noted that Constantine obscured his real age in order to dissociate himself, retrospectively, from the persecution of the Christian church which took place under his patrons the emperors Diocletian and Galerius, persecutions which his position might have required him to endorse or act upon. His claim to have been 'a mere child' in 303 when the great persecution began seems to be a disingenuous attempt to distance himself from these events. Parentage and early career Constantine's father, Flavius Valerius Constantius, was the future emperor Constantius I (250?-306). Before elevation to imperial status Constantius served as an officer in the army of Aurelian in the east, probably in 271 or 272; by 284-5 he was governor of the Adriatic province of Dalmatia, and probably praetorian prefect of Maximian, the western emperor, in 288-93. In 293 he was raised to the rank of Caesar and became emperor (Augustus) on the retirement of Diocletian and Maximian in 305. Constantine's mother, Flavia Julia Helena (c.248-328/9), was of low social status, possibly the daughter of the manager of an imperial posting station. Drepanum, her birthplace in Bithynia (a province on the Black Sea coast of present-day Turkey), was renamed by her son Helenopolis. Later stories connecting her birth with Camulodunum (Colchester) in Britain can be discounted. Helena's relationship with Constantius is uncertain; opinion veers towards identifying her as his mistress, rather than legal wife. In any event her presence at Naissus in the province of Moesia Superior indicates that she accompanied Constantius on his military postings. The relationship ended when Constantius made a dynastic marriage with Theodora, the daughter of the emperor Maximian, at a date possibly before 289 or as late as 293. His father's second marriage provided Constantine with a family of three half-brothers and three half-sisters. Few details of Constantine's career before he became emperor have survived, indeed they may have been deliberately suppressed. Allusive statements by contemporaries suggest that after his father's promotion to Caesar, Constantine served in various military capacities in the east, perhaps also standing as hostage for his father's good behaviour in the west. While attached to the staff of the Caesar Galerius, Constantine served in Syria, Mesopotamia, and on the Danubian frontier between c.293 and 299. The following years, 301-5, were spent in the entourage of Diocletian, both at the court in Nicomedia and on imperial tours to Egypt and Rome. Events following the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian in 305 saw Constantius as emperor in the west and Galerius in the east. Whereas a nephew of Galerius, Maximinus Daia, was elevated to be Caesar in the east, Constantine was passed over in favour of Severus II, a Pannonian army officer. Probably anxious for Constantine's future safety, Constantius persuaded Galerius to allow his son to join him. Fearing retraction of this concession, Constantine hastened west by forced marches. It is claimed in pro-Constantinian sources that, crossing the territory of Severus, he disabled the horses of the imperial posting stations on his route to prevent pursuit by the forces of the hostile western Caesar. The story may be an invention designed to denigrate Severus, whose territory Constantine later occupied. From multiple rulers to sole emperor, 305-324 Constantine arrived at Gesoriacum (Boulogne) in the summer of 305 and joined his father who was preparing an expedition against the Picts. This tribe may have been menacing the northern frontier of Britain; on the other hand the campaign may have been designed to reinforce the start of the new reign with an easy victory in an unimportant province. Constantine's part in the actual campaign is not recorded; his earlier military career suggests that participation would have been very active, especially in the light of his father's declining health. Constantius died on 25 July 306 at Eburacum (York) and Constantine was immediately proclaimed emperor by the army. The only detailed account of this event is given by Eutropius (d. 340), whose laconic comment is that 'all those about pressed him, especially Crocus, the king of the Alemanni, an ally of Constantius and a member of his entourage' (Eutropius, chap. 41, in Liber de caesaribus, ed. Bird). Nothing further is known about Crocus; a number of suggestions have been advanced as to his status. Possibly he was serving in the British expeditionary force as commander of an auxiliary force made up of his German followers; if so this body may have been decisive in securing the election. On the other hand Crocus may have been accompanying Constantius in a personal capacity, even as a hostage. That being so, he may have been in a position to guarantee Germanic assistance on the continent should Constantine be persuaded to cross the channel to occupy his father's territories. Constantine's elevation was unconstitutional and Galerius, as senior emperor, recognized Severus, the western Caesar, as his new imperial colleague in the west. None the less, though technically a usurper, Constantine effectively controlled the army of Britain, as well as his father's expeditionary force, and extended his de facto rule over Constantius' territories of Gallia, Hispania, and Germania, where he set up his administrative capital at Trier. His position was reluctantly recognized by Galerius, who made him Caesar of the west. Encouraged by these events, Maxentius, the son of the emperor Maximian who came out of retirement, seized power in Italy. Severus surrendered to Maximian in 307 and committed suicide. In the same year Constantine allied himself with Maximian by marriage with his daughter Flavia Maxima Fausta, at the same time repudiating his mistress Minervina, the mother of his oldest son, Crispus. Fausta bore him three sons and two daughters before her execution in 326, shortly after Constantine had ordered the death of Crispus. The discovery of a relationship between the son and stepmother is usually advanced as an explanation of these events. A constitutional conference at Carnuntum, on the Danube east of Vienna, in 308 failed to meet the expectations of the individuals contending for power and recognition. Maximian again retired, a new emperor, Licinius, was appointed, and Maxentius condemned as a usurper. In 310 Constantine assumed the imperial title himself as did his fellow junior ruler, Maximinus Daia. There were now four emperors, and a usurper ruling in Italy. Maximian again attempted to emerge from retirement; but, defeated by Constantine at Massalia (Marseilles), the colleague of Diocletian either committed suicide or was executed by his son-in-law.Between his accession and 312, Constantine dealt with a number of internal and external crises. In particular he campaigned on, and fortified, the Rhine frontier as a preliminary to advancing further south and east into the domains of his imperial rivals. These preparations bore fruit when in 312 he attacked Italy, routing Maxentius at the battle of the Milvian Bridge on the northern outskirts of Rome. The defeat of Maxentius (312) and the elimination of Maximian (310), Maximinus Daia (313), Severus II (307), and, by natural causes, Galerius (311), left Constantine master of the west. A series of conflicts with Licinius, his eastern colleague, left him sole ruler in 324. Visits to Britain, 307-314 Numismatic evidence points to three occasions when Constantine returned to Britain. In each case coins were issued by the London mint which played a part in the ritual associated with a formal imperial adventus, or state visit. The symbolism of the three coin issues associated with these visits originates in the third century and shows the emperor riding to the left, his hand raised in salutation; a captive may be crouched below the raised hoof of the horse. The iconography of the emperor's portrait also points to the coins being a special issue, since, in contrast to the normal portrait where the emperor faces to the right, the ruler's bust faces to the left and is often shown with elaborate body armour, shield, spear, and helmet or some combination of these elements. The first issue of the London mint probably occurred in the summer of 307. Constantine is correctly styled Caesar, though the reverse proclaims ADVENTVS AVGG (that is, 'Augustorum'), thus proclaiming that the Caesar's visit partakes of the actions of all of the rulers. The date of the issue is circumscribed by the fact that Constantine did not adopt the style AVGVSTVS on his coinage until either late July or December 307. Nothing is known about this visit; possibly a connection should be sought in the celebration of marriage to Fausta in the spring of 307 or to the defeat of German tribesmen, settled by Constantius on the west bank of the Rhine, who had pillaged parts of Gallia and Germania. Constantine's biographer Eusebius noted that when established in power the emperor visited the provinces formerly ruled by his father: a tour of Britain might have been part of this programme. The second issue of Adventus coins, which to judge by surviving specimens was very large, dates to a period shortly before the invasion of Italy in 312. Zosimus records that troops from Britain made up part of the Constantinian army and Eusebius records what may be a second visit. The examination of coin deposits in forts in Britain suggests that the garrisons of the outpost forts of Hadrian's Wall, and a number of other forts in northern Britain, were withdrawn as contributions to Constantine's new mobile force. These troops from Britain probably served in all of the campaigns down to the overthrow of Licinius, Constantine's last rival for undivided imperial power, in 324. A third Adventus series dates to 314. Constantine was in residence in Trier between August 313 and March 314. By the autumn he was in the Balkans campaigning against Licinius. A visit to Britain in the spring or summer of 314 is entirely feasible. Either at this time, or during previous visits, changes in the administration of Britain may have been initiated. That this was the occasion of warfare cannot be ruled out, since Constantine bore the title Britannicus Maximus from 314. First Christian emperor Constantine's victory in Italy is intimately associated with his conversion to Christianity. Two versions of events by contemporaries are extant. The earliest, recounted by Lactantius, tutor to Crispus, says that Constantine had a dream on the eve of the battle of the Milvian Bridge in which he was commanded to put the chi-rho monogram of Christ on the shields of his soldiers. A version given by the emperor to Eusebius a quarter of a century later claims that on his march to Rome he and the army saw, in broad daylight, a cross of light in the sky and the words 'hoc signo victor eris' ('by this sign you will conquer'). Constantine had already shown a predilection towards Christianity in that he had restored property to victims of the persecutions and was accompanied on his Italian campaign by Hosius, a Spanish bishop. On the other hand his adherence to traditional paganism, even while ostensibly Christian, should not be overlooked. While doubt has been cast on the story that Constantine experienced a vision of Apollo promising victory in 310, shortly before the overthrow of Maximian, support for this episode may be found in the fact that Constantine's principal coinage bore a figure of Sol and the legend 'Soli invicto comiti' ('the unconquered sun my companion') for a number of years after his experience of miraculous Christianity. Further, Constantine continued to hold the office of pontifex maximus, the chief priest of the state cult of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. That the emperor's conversion was sincere, if not precipitous, is attested by the benefactions bestowed on the clergy, the construction of churches in Italy and Palestine, and the foundation in 326 of Constantinopolis (Istanbul) as an alternative Christian capital, far removed from the traditional paganism of Rome itself. Constantine's religious policy did not force conversion on the pagan majority, although he sequestrated the accumulated treasures of pagan temples (perhaps more to augment his financial resources than to make a religious gesture) and instituted antisemitic legislation. Sacrifice was prohibited, as was divination. There is little doubt that the emperor's change of religion acted as a stimulus to conversion among members of the administrative classes and the higher ranks of the army. The adoption by the church of the administrative structure of the empire for its own regional organization ensured that governments and ecclesiastical institutions were soon inextricably intertwined and the attempt by the emperor Julian (r. 360-63) to undo the results of Constantine's conversion met with little success. Active in theological matters, Constantine convened a number of councils of the church and participated very directly in the proceedings of the Council of Nicaea (May 325) which laid down the basis of modern orthodox Christianity in the Nicene creed. As was normal for many converts at the period, Constantine delayed baptism until on his deathbed at Nicomedia on 22 May 337. His burial place in the newly erected church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinopolis signified his status as the thirteenth apostle, though in normal Roman style he was deified by his Christian sons and successors. Administrative and military reform That Constantine had to contend with co-rulers and rivals for more than half of his reign profoundly affected his administration. Heir to the least prosperous part of the empire, he adapted his financial and military policies to accommodate the situation. Reform of the gold coinage c.310, by the issue of lightweight coins, led, inadvertently, to a stabilization of the currency since military success enforced circulation over an ever widening sphere of authority and the recovery of the more valuable currency of defeated rivals. The absolute necessity of protecting the frontiers of the provinces which constituted his power base in the west while he was warring against rivals in the east led to profound changes in the structure of the army. Faced with the prospect of warfare on more than one front, Constantine built upon the experience of Gallienus (r. 253-68) and split his forces into sedentary frontier garrisons and an elite mobile force. This division into comitatenses (mobile forces) and limitanei (frontier forces) characterized Roman military strategy throughout the fourth to sixth centuries. With these tactical changes came changes in pay scales between the troops, the frontier forces suffering thereby. Elite forces flourished at the expense of the frontiers, which had to be massively reinforced in the reign of Valentinian I (r. 364-75). As a tactical innovation the mobile army served Constantine well but put into the hands of subsequent usurpers a ready-made weapon with which to weaken fundamentally the fabric of the empire. The reign also saw an increased use of officers of German origin in both the middle and higher ranks of the army, at the same time as German troops were incorporated into tactical formations. Assessment While he is often characterized as a revolutionary, closer study of Constantine's reign suggests a marked degree of conservatism. Even the conversion to Christianity may be seen in a political light were it to be preparatory to the eventual conquest of the east, with its possibly majority Christian population. Constantine adhered to the reforms of Diocletian (r. 284-305), implementing the changes which led to the creation of a large, professional civil service and an efficient tax recovery system. He enhanced a system of military and civil ranks and honours which bypassed the influence of the pagan senatorial class, but caused distress in the cities of the empire by sequestrating their funds. After operating within the tetrarchic system for most of his reign, the emperor sought to re-establish its principles in his plans for the succession. His intention to divide the provinces between his relatives was thwarted after his death by the enmity between the families of Helena and Theodora, his father's two wives. An interregnum, lasting from May to September 337, saw the triumph of Constantine's sons and the elimination of his half-brothers and nephews, with the exception of the still infant Gallus (Caesar, 351-4) and Julian (Augustus, 360-63). The empire was then divided between Constantine II (r. 337-40), who took the north-western provinces, Constans (r. 337-50), who took Italy, Africa, and the Balkans, and Constantius II (r. 337-61), whose portion was the east. Constantine's historic eminence was guaranteed by the Christian church, whose early historians constructed the image of an ideal ruler-as he came to be known, Constantine the Great. Few hostile contemporary accounts survived the winnowing of a millennium and a half of Christian historiography but such as do suggest that piety, superstition, ruthlessness, and opportunism combined in a personality of huge energy and unquenchable self-confidence. P. J. Casey Sources Liber de caesaribus of Sextus Aurelius Victor, ed. and trans. H. W. Bird (1994) + T. D. Barnes, The new empire of Diocletian and Constantine (1982) + T. D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius (1981) + P. J. Casey, 'Constantine the Great in Britain: the evidence of the coinage of the London mint, 312-14', Collectanea Londiniensia: studies ... presented to Ralph Merrifield, ed. J. Bird and others (1978), 181-94 + S. Lieu and D. Monserrat, From Constantine to Julian: pagan and Byzantine views (1996) + R. Macmullen, Constantine (1969) + H. A. Pohlsander, The emperor Constantine (1996) + 'Epitome de caesaribus', Sexti Aurelii Victoris liber de caesaribus, ed. F. Pichlmayr, rev. edn, rev. R. Gruendel (Leipzig, 1966), 133-76; another edn (1970) Likenesses silver medallion, 315, Staatliche Munzsammlung, Munich · head, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome [see illus.] Wealth at death enormous wealth ======================================================================== © Oxford University Press, 2004. See legal notice

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I

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Reference: http://fabpedigree.com/s020/f000004.htm -------------------- Constantine I (306 - 337 A.D.)

by

Hans A. Pohlsander

SUNY Albany

Introduction

The emperor Constantine has rightly been called the most important emperor of Late Antiquity. His powerful personality laid the foundations of post-classical European civilization; his reign was eventful and highly dramatic. His victory at the Milvian Bridge counts among the most decisive moments in world history, while his legalization and support of Christianity and his foundation of a 'New Rome' at Byzantium rank among the most momentous decisions ever made by a European ruler. The fact that ten Byzantine emperors after him bore his name may be seen as a measure of his importance and of the esteem in which he was held.

Constantine's Rise to Power

Flavius Valerius Constantinus, the future emperor Constantine, was born at Naissus in the province of Moesia Superior, the modern Nish in Serbia, on 27 February of 271, 272, or 273. 1 His father was a military officer named Constantius (later Constantius Chlorus or Constantius I), his mother a woman of humble background named Helena (later St. Helena). 2 There is good reason to think that Constantius and Helena lived in concubinage rather than in legally recognized marriage. Having previously attained the rank of tribune, provincial governor, and probably praetorian prefect, Constantius was raised, on 1 March 293, to the rank of Caesar in the First Tetrarchy organized by Diocletian .3 On this occasion he was required to put aside Helena and to marry Theodora , the daughter of Maximian .4 Upon the retirement of Diocletian and Maximian on 1 May 305 Constantius succeeded to the rank of Augustus. 5

Constantine, in the meanwhile, had served with distinction under both Diocletian and Galerius in the East. Kept initially at the court of Galerius as a pledge of good conduct on his father's part, he was later allowed to join his father in Britain and assisted him in a campaign against the Picts. When Constantius died, on 25 July 306, at Eburacum (York), Constantine was at his side. The soldiers at once proclaimed him Augustus; 6 Constantine henceforth observed this day as his dies imperii. Having settled affairs in Britain swiftly, he returned to the Continent, where the city of Augusta Treverorum (Trier) served as his principal residence for the next six years. There, too, in 307, he married Maximian's daughter Fausta, 7 putting away his mistress Minervina, who had borne him his first son, Crispus. 8 Trier's "Kaiserthermen" (Imperial Baths) and Basilica (the aula palatina ) give evidence to this day of Constantine's residence in the city.

At the same time the Senate and the Praetorian Guard in Rome had allied themselves with Maxentius , the son of Maximian . On 28 October 306 they proclaimed him emperor, 9 in the lower rank of princeps initially, although he later claimed the rank of Augustus. Constantine and Maxentius , although they were brothers-in-law, did not trust each other. Their relationship was further complicated by the schemes and consequently, in 310, the death of Maximian . Open hostilities between the two rivals broke out in 312, and Constantine won a decisive victory in the famous Battle of the Milvian Bridge .10 This made Constantine the sole ruler of the western half of the empire.

Constantine's Conversion

When Diocletian and Maximian announced their retirement in 305, the problem posed by the Christians was unresolved and the persecution in progress. Upon coming to power Constantine unilaterally ended all persecution in his territories, even providing for restitution. His personal devotions, however, he offered first to Mars and then increasingly to Apollo, reverenced as Sol Invictus .

The next significant event in Constantine's religious development occurred in 312. Lactantius, whom Constantine appointed tutor of his son Crispus 11 and who therefore must have been close to the imperial family, reports that during the night before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge Constantine was commanded in a dream to place the sign of Christ on the shields of his soldiers. 12 Twenty-five years later Eusebius gives us a far different, more elaborate, and less convincing account in his Life of Constantine .13 When Constantine and his army were on their march toward Rome - neither the time nor the location is specified - they observed in broad daylight a strange phenomenon in the sky: a cross of light and the words "by this sign you will be victor" ( hoc signo victor eris or ). During the next night, so Eusebius' account continues, Christ appeared to Constantine and instructed him to place the heavenly sign on the battle standards of his army. The new battle standard became known as the labarum .

Whatever vision Constantine may have experienced, he attributed his victory to the power of "the God of the Christians" and committed himself to the Christian faith from that day on, although his understanding of the Christian faith at this time was quite superficial. It has often been supposed that Constantine's profession of Christianity was a matter of political expediency more than of religious conviction; upon closer examination this view cannot be sustained. Constantine did not receive baptism until shortly before his death (see below). It would be a mistake to interpret this as a lack of sincerity or commitment; in the fourth and fifth centuries Christians often delayed their baptisms until late in life. 14

In February 313, probably, Constantine and Licinius met at Milan. On this occasion Constantine's half-sister Constantia was wed to Licinius . Also on this occasion, the two emperors formulated a common religious policy. Several months later Licinius issued an edict which is commonly but erroneously known as the Edict of Milan. 15 Unlike Constantine, Licinius did not commit himself personally to Christianity; even his commitment to toleration eventually gave way to renewed persecution. Constantine's profession of Christianity was not an unmixed blessing to the church. Constantine used the church as an instrument of imperial policy, imposed upon it his imperial ideology, and thus deprived it of much of the independence which it had previously enjoyed.

Constantine as the Sole Ruler of the West

To his dismay Constantine soon discovered that there was a lack of unity within the church. In the province of Africa, specifically, there were those who took a rigorist position towards the lapsi (those who had shown a lack of faith during the preceding years of persecution) and those who took a more moderate, forgiving position. The former eventually became known as the Donatists, after a certain Donatus, whom they elected as their bishop. In April of 313 the rigorists presented to Constantine their grievance against Caecilian, the bishop of Carthage. Constantine convened a synod of bishops to hear the complaint; the synod met in Rome's Lateran Council and is known as the Synod of Rome. When the synod ruled in favor of Caecilian, the Donatists appealed to Constantine again. In response to the appeal Constantine convened a larger council of thirty-three bishops, who met at Arles in southern Gaul on 1 August 314. This council, too, ruled against the Donatists, and again they refused to submit. Constantine attempted, unsuccessfully, to suppress them. A separatist Donatist church possessed considerable strength in North Africa over the next two centuries. 16

Rome's famous Arch of Constantine was completed in time for the beginning of Constantine's decennalia (the tenth anniversary of his acclamation). 17 There were all manner of festivities, but Constantine pointedly omitted the traditional sacrifices to the pagan gods.

Constantine left his mark on the city of Rome with an ambitious building program, both secular and religious. In the Forum Romanum he completed the basilica which Maxentius had left unfinished. On the Quirinal Hill, where the presidents of Italy now reside, he had a bath built. The Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Basilica of St. Peter, and the Basilica of St. Sebastian on the Appian Way all are Constantinian foundations. Of special interest is the Basilica of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter, on the ancient Via Labicana, because attached to it was the vaulted rotunda which Constantine originally had intended as a mausoleum for himself and his family but ultimately received only the body of his mother Helena ; its considerable remains are known today as the Tor Pignattara. 18

The Conflict with Licinius

The ultimate goal pursued by both Constantine and Licinius was sole power. The agreement of 313 had been born out of necessity, not of mutual good will. Even Constantia's apparent devotion to Licinius did little to ease the strained relationship between the two rivals. Hostilities erupted in 316. 19 In the course of this first war between the two emperors two battles were fought: the first at Cibalae in Pannonia, whence this war is called the bellum Cibalense, the second on the campus Ardiensis in Thrace. In the first battle Licinius' army suffered heavy losses; in the second neither side won a clear victory. 20

A settlement left Licinius in his position as Augustus, but required him to cede to Constantine all of his European provinces other than Thrace. On 1 March 317, at Serdica (modern Sofia), Constantine announced the appointment of three Caesars: his own son Crispus , about twelve years old, his own son Constantine , less than seven months old, and Licinius' son, also named Licinius , twenty months old. 21 But the concordia Augustorum was fragile; tensions grew again, in part because the two Augusti pursued different policies in matters of religion, in part because the old suspicions surfaced again.

War erupted again in 324. Constantine defeated Licinius twice, first at Adrianople in Thrace, and then at Chrysopolis on the Bosporus. 22 Initially, yielding to the pleas of Constantia , Constantine spared the life of his brother-in-law, but some months later he ordered his execution, breaking his solemn oath. Before too long the younger Licinius , too, fell victim to Constantine's anger or suspicions. 23 Constantine was now the sole and undisputed master of the Roman world.

The Arian Controversy, the Council of Nicaea, and its Aftermath

Early in the fourth century a dispute erupted within the Christian church regarding the nature of the Godhead, more specifically the exact relationship of the Son to the Father. Arius, a priest in Alexandria, taught that there was a time when Christ did not exist, i.e. that he was not co-eternal with the Father, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were three separate and distinct hypostaseis, and that the Son was subordinate to the Father, was in fact a "creature." These teachings were condemned and Arius excommunicated in 318 by a council convened by Alexander, the bishop of Alexandria. But that did not by any means close the matter. Ossius (or Hosius) of Cordova, Constantine's trusted spiritual advisor, failed on his mission to bring about a reconciliation.

Constantine then summoned what has become known as the First Ecumenical Council of the church. The opening session was held on 20 May 325 in the great hall of the palace at Nicaea, Constantine himself presiding and giving the opening speech. The council formulated a creed which, although it was revised at the Council of Constantinople in 381-82, has become known as the Nicene Creed. It affirms the homoousion , i.e. the doctrine of consubstantiality. A major role at the council was played by Athanasius, Bishop Alexander's deacon, secretary, and, ultimately, successor. Arius was condemned. 24

If Constantine had hoped that the council would settle the issue forever, he must have been bitterly disappointed. The disputes continued, and Constantine himself vacillated. Eusebius of Nicomedia, a supporter of Arius exiled in 325, was recalled in 327 and soon became the emperor's chief spiritual advisor. In 335 Athanasius, now bishop of Alexandria and unbending in his opposition to some of Constantine's policies, was sent into exile at far-away Trier. 25

The Crisis in the Imperial Family

At some time in 326 Constantine ordered the execution of his oldest son Crispus , who had been appointed Caesar in 317, had three times served as consul, and had distinguished himself in the recent campaign against Licinius . In the same year, soon after the death of Crispus , Constantine also brought about the death of Fausta , the mother of his other three sons. A connection between the two deaths is likely. Zosimus reports that Crispus had come under suspicion of "being involved" with his stepmother Fausta .26 The Epitome of Aurelius Victor reports that Constantine killed Fausta when his mother Helena rebuked him for the death of Crispus .27 It is impossible now to separate fact from gossip and to know with certainty what offenses Crispus and Fausta had committed. Both of them suffered damnatio memoriae and were never rehabilitated. Some involvement of Helena in this family tragedy cannot be excluded, but there is no reason to shift the responsibility from Constantine to her. 28

Shortly after these sad events, probably in 326-28, Helena undertook a pigrimage to the Holy Land. It has been suggested that this pilgrimage was an act of expiation, either for her own sins or for those of her son. 29 In the course of her journey Helena impressed Eusebius of Caesarea and others by her piety, humility, and charity. She played a role in the building of the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem and the Church of the Eleona on Jerusalem's Mount of Olives; 30 but the Church of the Holy Sepulcher seems to have been an undertaking of Constantine alone. 31 A tradition more cherished than trustworthy credits Helena with the inventio of the True Cross. 32

The New Rome

During the First Tetrarchy Trier, Milan, Thessalonike, and Nicomedia had served as imperial residences, and the importance of Rome as a center of government had thus been considerably reduced. Constantine went far beyond this when he refounded the ancient Greek city of Byzantium as Constantinople and made it the capital of the empire. His decision to establish a new capital in the East ranks in its far-reaching consequences with his decision to adopt Christianity. The new capital enjoyed a most favorable location which afforded easy access to both the Balkan provinces and the eastern frontier, controlled traffic through the Bosporus, and met all conditions for favorable economic development.

On 8 November 324, less than two months after his victory over Licinius at Chrysopolis, Constantine formally laid out the boundaries of his new city, roughly quadrupling its territory. By 328 the new walls were completed, and on 11 May 330 the new city was formally dedicated. The New Rome, both in its physical features and in its institutions, resembled the Old Rome. It was built on seven hills, it had a senate, and its people received subsidized grain. Constantine completed and enlarged the city's hippodrome and placed in it the Serpent Column of Delphi. The palace which he built for himself afforded direct access to the kathisma , the royal box overlooking the hippodrome. A rather controversial monument is the Column of Constantine, in the Forum of Constantine, built of porphyry and 25 m. high; its remains are now known as the Burnt Column. It was crowned by a statue of Helios, its features suitably adapted so as to suggest Constantine himself.

Constantine without question began the construction of two major churches in Constantinople, Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) and Hagia Eirene (Holy Peace); the foundation of a third, the Church of the Holy Apostles, may be attributed to him with a measure of certainty. Unlike the Old Rome, which was filled with pagan monuments and institutions, the New Rome was essentially a Christian capital (and eventually the see of a patriarch), although not all traces of its pagan past had been eliminated. 33

Constantine's Government

The prevailing character of Constantine's government was one of conservatism. His adoption of Christianity did not lead to a radical reordering of society or to a systematic revision of the legal system. Generally refraining fom sweeping innovations, he retained and completed most of the arrangements made by Diocletian , especially in provincial administration and army organization. One notable change pertained to the praetorian prefects; these now became civilian ministers assisting the Augustus or the Caesars. In the course of a successful reform of the currency Constantine instituted a new type of coin, the gold solidus , which won wide acceptance and remained the standard for centuries to come. 34 Some of Constantine's measures show a genuine concern for the welfare and the morality of his subjects, even for the condition of slaves. By entrusting some government functions to the Christian clergy he actually made the church an agency of the imperial government. Constantine did not neglect the security of the frontiers. He campaigned successfully in 306-308 and 314-15 on the German frontier, in 332 against the Goths, in 334 against the Sarmatians, and in 336 again on the Danube frontier. 35

The arrangements which Constantine made for his own succession were quite unsatisfactory. During the last two years of his reign there were four Caesars: his sons Constantine (II) ,Constantius (II) , and Constans , having been appointed in 317, 324, and 333 respectively, and his nephew Flavius Dalmatius (whose father, of like name, was a son of Constantius I and Theodora ), appointed in 335. It is not clear which of these Constantine intended to take precedence upon his death. 36

Final Years , Death, and Burial

In the years 325-337 Constantine continued his support of the church even more vigorously than before, both by generous gifts of money and by specific legislation. Among his numerous church foundations the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and the Golden Octagon in Antioch deserve to be singled out. At the same time, he was more inclined to suppress paganism; we know of some specific pagan temples which were torn down upon his orders, while in other cases temple treasures were confiscated and the proceeds fed into the imperial treasury. 37

Shortly after Easter (3 April) 337 Constantine began to feel ill. He traveled to Drepanum, now named Helenopolis in honor of his mother, where he prayed at the tomb of his mother's favorite saint, the martyr Lucian. From there he proceeded to the suburbs of Nicomedia, and there he was baptized, as both Eusebius and Jerome report; but only Jerome adds another significant fact: the baptism was performed by the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia. 38

A few weeks weeks later, on the day of Pentecost, 22 May, Constantine died at Nicomedia, still wearing the white robes of a Christian neophyte. His body was escorted to Constantinople and lay in state in the imperial palace. His sarcophagus was then placed in the Church of the Holy Apostles, as he himself had directed; it was surrounded by the memorial steles of the Twelve Apostles, making him symbolically the thirteenth Apostle. 39 Only on September 9 did Constantine II ,Constantius II , and Constans each assume the rank of Augustus, after possible rivals, including the fourth Caesar, Flavius Dalmatius , had been eliminated in a bloody coup. 40 This bloody purge of members of the Royal family, it has been argued, may have had its roots in the religious strife between the Arian and Orthodox factions at the imperial court. 41

Icon of Saint Constantine I

In the Eastern Orthodox churches Constantine is regarded a saint; he shares a feast day, May 21, with his mother, and additionally has a feast day of his own, September 3. 42

Bibliography

Alexander, Suzanne Spain. "Studies in Constantinian Church Architecture." Rivista di Archeologia Cristina 47 (1971) 281-330 and 49 (1973) 33-44.

Alföldi, Andreas (Andrew). The Conversion of Constantine and Pagan Rome. Oxford 1948 and 1969.

Alföldi, Maria R. "Die Niederemmeler 'Kaiserfibel': Zum Datum des ersten Krieges zwischen Konstantin und Licinius." BJ 176 (1976) 183-200.

Andreotti, Roberto. "Licinius (Valerius Licinianus)." In Dizionario Epigrafico IV.1 (1959) 979-1040 .

________. "Recenti contributi alla cronologia costantiniana." Latomus 23 (1964) 537-55 at 548-52.

Bahat, Dan. "Does the Holy Sepulchre Church Mark the Burial of Jesus?" Biblical Archaeology Review 12 (1986) 26-45.

Barnes, Timothy D. "Lactantius and Constantine." JRS 63 (1973) 29-46.

________. Constantine and Eusebius . Cambridge, Mass., 1981.

________. The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine. Cambridge, Mass., 1982.

Biddle, Martin. The Tomb of Christ . Sutton Publishing 1999.

Bleckmann, Bruno. Konstantin der Große. Hamburg 1996.

Borgehammar, Stephan. How the True Cross Was Found: From Event to Medieval Legend. Stockholm 1991.

Bruun, Patrick. The Constantinian Coinage of Arelate. Helsinki 1953.

________. Studies in Constantinian Chronology. New York 1961.

________. Roman Imperial Coinage VII: Constantine and Licinius, A.D. 313-337. London 1966.

Chantraine, Heinrich. Die Nachfolgeordnung Constantins des Großen . Stuttgart 1992.

Corbo, Virgilio C. Il Santo Sepolcro di Gerusalemme: Aspetti archeologici dalle origini al periodo crociato . Jerusalem 1982.

Coüasnon, Charles. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Schweich Lectures of the British Academy. London 1972.

Dagron, Gilbert. Naissance d'une capitale: Constantinople et ses institutions de 330 à 451. 2nd ed. Paris 1984.

DiMaio, Michael, Jörn Zeuge, and Natalia Zotov. " Ambiguitas Constantiniana : The Caeleste Signum Dei of Constantine the Great." Byzantion 58 (1989) 333-60.

________, Jörn Zeuge, and Jane Bethune. "The Proelium Cibalense et Proelium Campi Ardiensis : The First Civil War of Constantine I and Licinius I." Ancient World 21 (1990) 67-91.

________ and Duane Arnold. " Per Vim, Per Caedem, Per Bellum : A Study of Murder and Ecclesiastical Politics in the Year 337 A.D.." Byzantion 62(1992): 158ff.

Downey, Glanville. "The Tombs of the Byzantine Emperors at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople." JHS 79 (1959) 27-51.

Drake, Harold Allen. "Athanasius' First Exile." GRBS 27 (1986) 193-204.

________. "Constantine and Consensus," Church History 64 (1995): 1-15.

________. "Policy and Belief in Constantine's Oration to the Saints," Studia Patristica 19 (1989): 45-51.

Drijvers, Jan Willem. Helena Augusta: The Mother of Constantine the Great and the Legend of Her Finding of the True Cross. Leiden 1992.

________. "Flavia Maxima Fausta: Some Remarks." Historia 41 (1992) 500-506.

Ehrhardt, Christopher. "Monumental Evidence for the Date of Constantine's First War against Licinius." Ancient World 23 (1992) 87-94.

Elliot, T. G. The Christianity of Constantine the Great. Scranton 1996.

Freeman-Grenville, G. S. P. "The Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, History and Future." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1987, pp. 187-207.

Frend, W. H. C. The Donatist Church. Oxford 1952.

________. The Rise of Christianity (Philadelphia 1984), Chapters 13-15.

Grierson, Philip. "The Tombs and Obits of the Byzantine Emperors (337-1042)." DOP 16 (1962) 1-60.

Grünewald, Thomas. Constantinus Maximus Augustus: Herschaftspropaganda in der zeitgenössischen Überlieferung. Historia Einzelschriften 64. Stuttgart 1990.

Hab -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_the_Great -------------------- Constantius I became Emperor of Rome in May 305,

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Constantine I "the Great", Roman Emperor's Timeline

265
265
Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constaninius
272
February 27, 272
Naissus, Moesia Superior (now Nish), Serbia
290
290
Age 17
Eastern Roman Empire
300
300
Age 27
307
March 31, 307
Age 35
Arles, Bouches-du-Rhone, Provence, France
314
314
Age 41
Rome, Italy
317
August 7, 317
Age 45
Sirmium, Savia, Mid, Emperor
317
Age 44
Serbia
319
319
Age 46
Naissus - Modern Nish, Moesia Superior - Serbia
322
322
Age 49