Biography of The Roman Emperor Constantine

Topics: Constantine I, Roman Empire, Christianity Pages: 3 (863 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The Emperor Constantine I

I think that the emperor Constantine is the most important emperor of the late antiquity. The many great events of his reign laid foundations that would affect the future of Europe and Western Civilization for centuries to come. His recognition and support of Christianity was one of the most important moments in world history. Moving the government of the Roman Empire to Constantinople and founding "New Rome" was one of the most significant decisions ever made by a Roman ruler. Ten emperors who reigned after Constantine took his name. This is just one more indication of his importance in history and the honor in which his people held him.

I found that emperor Constantine was born Flavius Valerius Constantinus in Naissus, a town in Serbia, on February 27 sometime in the 270's CE. His mother was a woman of humble background named Helena who would later become a Christian. Because of her good works, she was made a Christian saint after her death. Constantine's father was a career military officer named Constantius. Constantine was married at least twice and had four sons: Crispus, Constantine II, Constantius, and Constans.

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

Of Constantine's major accomplishments I feel that the most important was his recognition of the Christianity. In 311 CE, he ordered the end of the persecution of Christians. On October 28, 312 CE, Constantine faced one of his greatest battles as he tried to consolidate his power. He was greatly outnumbered by the forces of Maxentius, who also wanted to be emperor. In a dream the night before the battle,...

Cited: Johnson, Paul. A History of Christianity, pp. 67-79 ff. New York: Atheneum, 1980.
"The Throne of the Caesars: Emperor Constantine I (The Great)." 15 November 1999.
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