He decreed a formal end to persecution and returned to Christians all that they had lost during them. Interesting Facts about Constantine His birth name was Flavius Valerius Constantinus. , Constantine's parents and siblings, the dates in square brackets indicate the possession of minor titles, Constantine received a formal education at Diocletian's court, where he learned Latin literature, Greek, and philosophy. Constantine served with distinction under emperors Diocletian and Galeriuscampaigning in the … In the cultural sphere, Constantine revived the clean-shaven face fashion of the Roman emperors from Augustus to Trajan, which was originally introduced among the Romans by Scipio Africanus. Leithart, Peter J. $48.00 . Lieu, "Constantine in Legendary Literature" (CC), 305.  Constantine also attempted to remove Maxentius' influence on Rome's urban landscape. Bowman, p. 70; Potter, 283; Williams, 49, 65. These are abundant and detailed, but they have been strongly influenced by the official propaganda of the period and are often one-sided; no contemporaneous histories or biographies dealing with his life and rule have survived. Constantine I was born Flavius Valerius Constantinus around 280 AD in the city of Naissus in the province of Moesia, what is now the city of Niš in southern Serbia. His debut self help book "Happiness Decoded" was released in early 2014.  According to Geoffrey, Cole was King of the Britons when Constantius, here a senator, came to Britain. The same year he had his second wife Fausta killed by leaving her to die in an over-heated bath. The, #8 He had his son Crispus and his second wife Fausta executed, #9 Constantine was instrumental in the rise of Christianity in Europe, #10 Constantine the Great was the second longest serving Roman Emperor, Constantine fell seriously ill in the spring of 337. Generations later there was the story that a divine vision led Constantine to this spot, and an angel no one else could see led him on a circuit of the new walls. See also: William E. Gwatkin, Jr. Zosimus, 2.9.2; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 62; MacMullen. Constantine the Great. The emperors were deposed one after another, and the … In his early reign, the coinage of Constantine advertised Mars as his patron. In 312 CE, Constantine battled for control of the Western Roman Empire. When not campaigning, he toured his lands advertising his benevolence and supporting the economy and the arts. In a letter written to the king of Persia, Shapur, Constantine had asserted his patronage over Persia's Christian subjects and urged Shapur to treat them well. The new system did not last long: Constantine refused to accept the demotion, and continued to style himself as augustus on his coinage, even as other members of the Tetrarchy referred to him as a caesar on theirs. During this meeting, the emperors agreed on the so-called Edict of Milan, , In July AD 285, Diocletian declared Maximian, another colleague from Illyricum, his co-emperor.  Galerius was put into a fury by the message; he almost set the portrait and messenger on fire. , These later accounts were more willing to present Constantine as a genuine convert to Christianity. Constantine I (ca.  He built a new imperial residence at Byzantium and renamed the city Constantinople (now Istanbul) after himself (the laudatory epithet of "New Rome" emerged in his time, and was never an official title). The son of Constantius I Chlorus, junior emperor and St. Helena, Constantine was raised on the court of co-Emperor Diocletian.  Maximian returned to Rome in the winter of 307–308 AD, but soon fell out with his son.  He requested recognition as heir to his father's throne, and passed off responsibility for his unlawful ascension on his army, claiming they had "forced it upon him". Constantine served with distinction under emperors Diocletian and Galerius campaigning in the eastern provinces against barbarians and the Persians, before being recalled west in 305 to fight under his father in Britain. Legend says that he had a vision of a flaming cross and the … Constantine planned to be baptized in the Jordan River before crossing into Persia. , The reign of Constantine established a precedent for the emperor to have great influence and authority in the early Christian councils, most notably the dispute over Arianism. He could no longer rely on his connection to the elder Emperor Maximian, and needed a new source of legitimacy. It will be finished under Justinian I in 537. He offered to marry his daughter Fausta to Constantine and elevate him to augustan rank. Books related to Constantine the Great 169 Success Facts - Everything you need to know about Constantine the Great. In 311 AD, Maxentius declared war on Constantine, vowing to avenge his father. , In 310 AD, a dispossessed Maximian rebelled against Constantine while Constantine was away campaigning against the Franks. He may have attended the lectures of Lactantius, a Christian scholar of Latin in the city. Several towns and cities held by Maxentius surrendered in the next few months and Constantine then marched towards Rome where Maxentius had prepared for a siege.  More significantly, in 325 he summoned the First Council of Nicaea, most known for its dealing with Arianism and for instituting the Nicene Creed. as opposed to elitist culture.  The nearest replacement is Eusebius's Vita Constantini—a mixture of eulogy and hagiography written between AD 335 and circa AD 339—that extols Constantine's moral and religious virtues. As emperor, he named the city Constantinople, which means "City of Constantine" in Greek. In response to border raids, Constantine sent Constantius to guard the eastern frontier in 335. Constantine won a series of victories and finally forced Licinius to surrender after defeating him at the Battle of Chrysopolis.  The battle was brief, and Maxentius' troops were broken before the first charge. 1880). Within the Church of the Holy Apostles, Constantine had secretly prepared a final resting-place for himself. The troops loyal to Constantius' memory followed him in acclamation. By defeating Licinius, Constantine became the sole Emperor of the Roman Empire.  The myth rests on slim evidence as an interpretation of the executions; only late and unreliable sources allude to the relationship between Crispus and Fausta, and there is no evidence for the modern suggestion that Constantine's "godly" edicts of 326 and the irregularities of Crispus are somehow connected. The medieval church held him up as a paragon of virtue, while secular rulers invoked him as a prototype, a point of reference and the symbol of imperial legitimacy and identity. It also granted Christians restoration for all property seized from them during Diocletian’s persecution. , Constantine remained aloof from the Italian conflict, however. In 326 AD, Constantine had his eldest son Crispus, seized and put to death by “cold poison”. Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), 26; Lieu and Montserrat, 40; Odahl, 3. This new Roman imperial fashion lasted until the reign of Phocas. Constantine gained his honorific of "the Great" from Christian historians long after he had died, but he could have claimed the title on his military achievements and victories alone. In 310 AD, he marched to the northern Rhine and fought the Franks. 1.) Though it is among the most famous monuments of its era, it also remains highly controversial due to several reasons including the belief of some historians that it was erected during the reign of Maxentius; the arch being heavily decorated with parts of older monuments; and depictions of Pagan gods and goddesses on the arch despite Constantine’s fervour for Christianity.  A medallion was issued at Ticinum in 315 AD which shows Constantine wearing a helmet emblazoned with the Chi Rho, and coins issued at Siscia in 317/318 AD repeat the image. Born in Naissus, Dacia Mediterranea (now Niš, Serbia), he was the son of Flavius Constantius, an Illyrian army officer who became one of the four emperors of the Tetrarchy.  Galerius was compelled to compromise: he granted Constantine the title "caesar" rather than "augustus" (the latter office went to Severus instead). The Alamannic king Chrocus, a barbarian taken into service under Constantius, then proclaimed Constantine as augustus.  It was made illegal for Jews to seek converts or to attack other Jews who had converted to Christianity. Odahl, 82–83. , Constantine also sought to upstage Maxentius' achievements. Galerius refused to recognize him but failed to unseat him. Build to commemorate Constantine I’s victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge, the Arch of Constantine is the largest surviving Roman triumphal arch and the last great monument of Imperial Rome. In spite of a large donative pledge to any who would support him as emperor, most of Constantine's army remained loyal to their emperor, and Maximian was soon compelled to leave. In the months that followed, churches and scriptures were destroyed, Christians were deprived of official ranks, and priests were imprisoned. "Some Constantinian References in Ammianus." Cetatea de Scaun. The northern and eastern frontiers of the Roman Empire in the time of Constantine, with the territories acquired in the course of the thirty years of military campaigns between 306 and 337.  It wasn't completely unknown, however, being an abbreviation of the Greek word chrēston (good), having previously appeared on the coins of Ptolemy III, Euergetes I (247-222 BCE). His early support dissolved in the wake of heightened tax rates and depressed trade; riots broke out in Rome and Carthage; and Domitius Alexander was able to briefly usurp his authority in Africa. , The epitomes of Aurelius Victor (De Caesaribus), Eutropius (Breviarium), Festus (Breviarium), and the anonymous author of the Epitome de Caesaribus offer compressed secular political and military histories of the period. In 289 AD, Constantius Chlorus left Helena to marry Theodora, stepdaughter of Maximian, who had been recently appointed co-emperor by Roman Emperor Diocletian. The Roman Emperor Constantine (c 280 - 337 A.D.) was one of the most influential personages in ancient history.  Maximian fled to Massilia (Marseille), a town better able to withstand a long siege than Arles. Media related to Constantine the Great at Wikimedia Commons; Firth, John B. Due to her influence over her son, Helena played an important part in placing Christianity at the heart of Western Civilization. The term is a misnomer as the act of Milan was not an edict, while the subsequent edicts by Licinius—of which the edicts to the provinces of Bythinia and Palestine are recorded by Lactantius and Eusebius, respectively—were not issued in Milan. Thomas M. Finn, Marilena Amerise, 'Il battesimo di Costantino il Grande.". According to Lactantius, the crowd listening to Diocletian's resignation speech believed, until the last moment, that Diocletian would choose Constantine and Maxentius (Maximian's son) as his successors. Along with the notice, he included a portrait of himself in the robes of an augustus.  Constantine initially presented the suicide as an unfortunate family tragedy. He was famed for being a Roman Emperor. It is a matter of debate when the Roman Empire officially ended and transformed into the Byzantine Empire. He completed the reconstruction of military bases begun under his father's rule, and he ordered the repair of the region's roadways.  The Legio II Parthica was removed from Albano Laziale, and the remainder of Maxentius' armies were sent to do frontier duty on the Rhine. It subsequently became the capital of the Empire for more than a thousand years, the later Eastern Roman Empire being referred to as the Byzantine Empire by modern historians. Constantine was a ruler of major importance, and he has always been a controversial figure.  He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. In response, he sent ambassadors to Rome, offering political recognition to Maxentius in exchange for a military support. Constantine fell seriously ill in the spring of 337. Therefore, Licinius was prone to see the Church as a force more loyal to Constantine than to the Imperial system in general, as the explanation offered by the Church historian Sozomen. In the spring of 312 AD Constantine gathered his force to attack Maxentius.  On 23 February AD 303, Diocletian ordered the destruction of Nicomedia's new church, condemned its scriptures to the flames, and had its treasures seized.  The figure was otherwise rare and is uncommon in imperial iconography and propaganda before the 320s. A History of Byzantium. From the early 300s on, Constantine forsook any attempts at restoring the silver currency, preferring instead to concentrate on minting large quantities of the gold solidus, 72 of which made a pound of gold.  Licinius and Martinian surrendered to Constantine at Nicomedia on the promise their lives would be spared: they were sent to live as private citizens in Thessalonica and Cappadocia respectively, but in 325 Constantine accused Licinius of plotting against him and had them both arrested and hanged; Licinius' son (the son of Constantine's half-sister) was killed in 326.  By 312 AD, he was a man barely tolerated, not one actively supported, even among Christian Italians.  The capital would often be compared to the 'old' Rome as Nova Roma Constantinopolitana, the "New Rome of Constantinople". Constantine now gave Maxentius his meagre support, offering Maxentius political recognition. By the new Constantinian arrangement, one could become a senator by being elected praetor or by fulfilling a function of senatorial rank.  He fortified northern Italy, and strengthened his support in the Christian community by allowing it to elect a new Bishop of Rome, Eusebius. 274-337) was a Roman emperor. Constantine possibly retained the title of pontifex maximus which emperors bore as heads of the ancient Roman religion until Gratian renounced the title.  He died soon after the edict's proclamation, destroying what little remained of the tetrarchy. , Modern interpretations of Constantine's rule begin with Jacob Burckhardt's The Age of Constantine the Great (1853, rev. He ordered his cavalry to charge, and they broke Maxentius' cavalry. , The death of Maximian required a shift in Constantine's public image.  Certain themes in this school reached new extremes in T.G.  Maximian ruled in the West, from his capitals at Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) or Augusta Treverorum (Trier, Germany), while Diocletian ruled in the East, from Nicomedia (İzmit, Turkey). They clashed again at the Battle of Mardia in 317, and agreed to a settlement in which Constantine's sons Crispus and Constantine II, and Licinius' son Licinianus were made caesars. It was dedicated on 11 May 330 and renamed Constantinople or “Constantine’s City”. The weather and lack of food cost the Goths dearly: reportedly, nearly one hundred thousand died before they submitted to Rome. Constantine and his Franks marched under the standard of the labarum, and both sides saw the battle in religious terms.  Other cities of the north Italian plain sent Constantine embassies of congratulation for his victory. He convoked the First Council of Nicaea in 325, which produced the statement of Christian belief known as the Nicene Creed. Some historians suggest that early conversions among the old aristocracy were more numerous than previously supposed. This led to the great civil war of 324.  He still controlled Rome's praetorian guards, was well-stocked with African grain, and was surrounded on all sides by the seemingly impregnable Aurelian Walls. He took the town quickly.  While Constantine toured Britain and Gaul, Maxentius prepared for war.  In the summer of 311 AD, Maxentius mobilized against Constantine while Licinius was occupied with affairs in the East. Exclusion of the old senatorial aristocracy threatened this arrangement.  Geoffrey of Monmouth expanded this story in his highly fictionalized Historia Regum Britanniae, an account of the supposed Kings of Britain from their Trojan origins to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. [page needed] This removed penalties for professing Christianity, under which many had been martyred previously, and it returned confiscated Church property. Constantine then resolved to campaign against Persia himself.  However, he did visit the Senatorial Curia Julia, and he promised to restore its ancestral privileges and give it a secure role in his reformed government; there would be no revenge against Maxentius' supporters. Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), 17–21; Odahl, 11–14; Wienand. Source: sco.wikipedia.org.  Constantine could recall his presence at the palace when the messenger returned, when Diocletian accepted his court's demands for universal persecution. Istoria Militară a Daciei Post Romane 275–376.  The Edict of Milan included several clauses which stated that all confiscated churches would be returned, as well as other provisions for previously persecuted Christians. According to this, after Constantine had pardoned him, Maximian planned to murder Constantine in his sleep. Facts About Constantine The Great 1.  Turin refused to give refuge to Maxentius' retreating forces, opening its gates to Constantine instead. Constantine decided to give the east its own capital.  Beginning with the Renaissance, there were more critical appraisals of his reign, due to the rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources. From then on, the solar Julian Calendar was given precedence over the lunisolar Hebrew Calendar among the Christian churches of the Roman Empire.  Maxentius, envious of Constantine's authority, seized the title of emperor on 28 October 306 AD. 325 - Construction on Hagia Sophia cathedral begins. This led to the, #7 He founded the city of Constantinople in 324 AD, Constantine’s victory over Licinius marked the rise of Christian and Latin speaking Rome and the decline of Pagan and Greek speaking population. The failure resided in the fact that the silver currency was overvalued in terms of its actual metal content, and therefore could only circulate at much discounted rates. , From Bononia, they crossed the Channel to Britain and made their way to Eboracum (York), capital of the province of Britannia Secunda and home to a large military base. In 310 AD, Maximian, who had come out of retirement, rebelled against Constantine. It repudiates past methods of religious coercion and used only general terms to refer to the divine sphere—"Divinity" and "Supreme Divinity", summa divinitas.  Unlike his predecessors, Constantine neglected to make the trip to the Capitoline Hill and perform customary sacrifices at the Temple of Jupiter. Constantine the Great Wikipedia. Constantine the Great and the Beginning of Byzantium. In this period infant baptism, though practiced (usually in circumstances of emergency) had not yet become a matter of routine in the west. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, German and Sarmatian campaigns of Constantine, "Portrait Head of the Emperor Constantine, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 26.229", "The sign in the sky that changed history", Sardonyx cameo depicting constantine the great crowned by Constantinople, 4th century AD, "CHURCH FATHERS: Life of Constantine, Book III (Eusebius)", "Imperial Porphyry Sarcophagi in Constantinople", "Barba – NumisWiki, The Collaborative Numismatics Project", "Edict of Milan celebration to begin in Niš", "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Constantine the Great", "Saint Constantine Ukrainian Catholic Church - Patron Saint", 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249183.001.0001, On the Question of Constantine's Conversion to Christianity, Complete chronological list of Constantine's extant writings, "Constantine the Great, the Reorganisation of the Empire and the Triumph of the Church", BBC North Yorkshire's site on Constantine the Great, Constantine's time in York on the 'History of York', Dechristianization of France during the French Revolution, Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, Prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart, Persecutions of the Catholic Church and Pius XII, Pope Pius XII Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Constantine_the_Great&oldid=999337716, Burials at the Church of the Holy Apostles, Characters in works by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Converts to Christianity from pagan religions, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from July 2020, Pages using multiple image with auto scaled images, CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 25 July 306 – 22 May 337 (alone from 19 September 324). Galerius offered to call both Maximinus and Constantine "sons of the augusti", but neither accepted the new title.  Otto Seeck's Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken Welt (1920–23) and André Piganiol's L'empereur Constantin (1932) go against this historiographic tradition. Constantine always emerged victorious: the lion emerged from the contest in a poorer condition than Constantine; Constantine returned to Nicomedia from the Danube with a Sarmatian captive to drop at Galerius' feet. For other uses, see. Constantius left Helena to marry Maximian's stepdaughter Theodora in 288 or 289.  Ruricius Pompeianus, general of the Veronese forces and Maxentius' praetorian prefect, was in a strong defensive position, since the town was surrounded on three sides by the Adige.  Among the various locations proposed for this alternative capital, Constantine appears to have toyed earlier with Serdica (present-day Sofia), as he was reported saying that "Serdica is my Rome". As emperor, Constantine enacted administrative, financial, social and military reforms to strengthen the empire. 40 minute audio lecture on Constantine. Constantine the Great – History Facts For Kids. His career depended on being rescued by his father in the west. His father rose to the level of deputy emperor under Emperor Diocletian.  After this arrangement, Constantine ruled the dioceses of Pannonia and Macedonia and took residence at Sirmium, whence he could wage war on the Goths and Sarmatians in 322, and on the Goths in 323, defeating and killing their leader Rausimod. Read "Constantine the Great 169 Success Facts - Everything you need to know about Constantine the Great" by Benjamin Wall available from Rakuten Kobo. Being the primary candidate for future appointment as Caesar, Constantine was sent to the court of Diocletian, where he received a formal education learning Latin literature, Greek, and philosophy. The Commemoration of the Edict of Milan was held in Niš in 2013. 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