The Effects Of The Reforms Of Constantin

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The Effects Of The Reforms Of Constantin Essay, Research Paper Constantine I was perhaps most well known for being the first Christian emperor of the Roman Empire. His instigation of the conversion of the entire Roman Empire from paganism to Christianity also ensured him recognition in history. For all intents and purposes, Constantine was the single ruler of the Roman Empire from 324 to 337 AD. His reign was perhaps the most distinctive out of all of Rome?s emperors, insofar as having an impact on the course of the future of Europe, and ultimately, the greater part of the earth, for he implemented changes that remain to this day. The resulting alteration of the nature of the Empire had direct ramifications on the cultures with which it dealt, and those which spurred from

its collapse, lasting even today. Constantine I was the son of Constantius Chlorus and Helena, and was born on February 27, of either 272 or 273 AD. in Serbia. Upon his father becoming Caesar in 293 AD., Constantine was sent as a hostage to Emperor Galerius, to ensure Constantius? own appropriate behaviour. Constantine later returned to his father?s side when Constantius was on his deathbed, in Britain in 306 AD. The period after his father?s death in 306 AD., until the ultimate defeat of his enemies in 324 AD., saw Constantine attempting to rule Rome while it was in a state of civil war. These two sets of military campaigns against him resulted in Constantine eventually becoming the sole ruler of the Empire. Prior to Constantine?s rise to the throne, the Roman Empire was in a

state of decline. A multitude of forces on the Empire?s eastern front, as well as barbarian uprisings in the north were putting a strain on the Rome externally, while at the same time, the division of rule weakened it on the domestic front. Paganism was seen as a vital part of the Roman culture, as well as a uniting force offering a strong sense of patriotism. This aspect of the Roman lifestyle however was being threatened by the growing support for Christianity, which had been gaining momentum over the preceding two hundred years, despite persecution and mistrust at the hands of the Roman people and government. Under the Emperor Diocletian, who ruled from 284 to his abdication in 305 AD., the Christian minority suffered its most severe persecution. Seen as a threat to the crown

as well as to the Roman way of life, they faced oppression at every turn at the hands of the pagans, sanctioned by the government of Diocletian. This however did not seem to put an end to the expansion of Christianity. As a result, the Romans reached the point that they could no longer ignore the ?problem? of Christianity. So far as the Romans were concerned, the matter of religion was governmental, and the government held the responsibility of ensuring that Rome retained favour in the eyes of the gods. In the Christian philosophy however, God was seen as separate from, and a higher priority than, the state. As a result, the Romans saw the Christians as a threat to their way of life, and believed that the only way to preserve it was through the persecution of them. The

Christians, on the other hand, only wished to seek relief from the persecution they were suffering at the hands of their oppressors. Clearly, some change to the existing order would have to occur for the two to exist together in relative harmony. Upon the abdication of Diocletian in 305 AD., it was apparent that his successor would be forced to deal with the pressing problem of the two conflicting religions. After the defeat of his rivals in several military campaigns, Constantine did just that. In 312 AD., Constantine?s forces fought and defeated the forces of Maxentius. Later, in 314, 316, and 324 AD., Constantine repeatedly defeated his other enemy Licinius. After the final defeat of Licinius in 324 AD., Constantine became the sole imperator of the Roman Empire. It was during