Constantine the Great and His Influence on the Spread of Christianity

Topics: Roman Empire, Constantine I, First Council of Nicaea Pages: 4 (1307 words) Published: June 5, 2005
Flavius Valerius Constantinus, also known as Constantine the Great, is believed to have been born sometime between the years 274 and 288. He was born in Naissus, which is now known as Nisch Serbia, to the Roman officer Constantius Chlorus. Constantius belonged to one of the Leading families of Moesia and his mother was a niece of the capable and soldierly Claudius, the conqueror of the Goths. Constantine’s mother Helena is said to have been the daughter of an innkeeper o Drepanum, and later became known as St. Helena the Christian Empress. There is, however, nothing to support the assertion sometimes made that she was already baptized before Constantine’s birth and her early influence ultimately brought him to Christianity. Such facts about her life as are known would suggest the contrary- Eusebius of Caecarea declares that Constantine in fact converted his mother. There are, however, other indications that Helena was not a Christian during her son’s early years. At what date Helena did embrace Christianity remains a mystery. Nor can anyone say wither certainty what gods she worshipped during her son’s childhood.

Of Constantine’s early years we know almost nothing, though we may suppose that they were spent in the eastern half of the Empire. In 293 Constantine was betrothed to Fausta the daughter of Madimian, and in this year his father Constantius was made Caesar. Constantine chose to join his father in the west at Boulogne on the expedition against the Picts and before his father’s death he was proclaimed to be his successor. After Constantius’ death Constantine’s troops immediately proclaimed him Caesar in acceptance to his father’s wishes.

During the beginning of Constantine’s reign there were great political complications having to do with multiples of emperors ruling over different territories, which lead to the political movement of many wars between different leading parties....

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