The Effects Of The Reforms Of Constantin — страница 3

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subsequently resulted in a change in the nature of both institutions. The most obvious change implemented by Constantine was the conversion of the Roman people from the spiritual life of paganism to Christianity. This change altered the nature of the Christian society by bringing the Christian church and the Christian state closer together. As these changes were occurring in the Christian culture, the result of Constantine?s reforms and continued legislation preferring Christianity, there was as a large segment of the Roman population who gradually found themselves identifying more and more with the Christians, rather than with their pagan gods of old. There were a great number of Roman citizens who remained ignorant of the reasons for their states? theological conversion and

were content to simply follow the emperor. All that was required of these individuals to make this transition was simply the substitution of their old pagan traditions and idols for the paraphernalia of their new religion of Christianity, and deluding themselves that, for the time being, everything else was as it had been before. However, obeying the law later meant that they would have to accept and pursue basic Christian morals. Roman civil law promoted the basic values of Christianity, and the criminal law of the society became altered to the point that the distinctions between theological ideas of sin and the actual consequences of criminal wrong-doing became blurred. Though the Roman people may not have understood their new religion, they were subject to it nonetheless. The

nature of the Roman state was further redirected by the increased allegiance of the Christian church with the Roman people. This meant that the state began the process of losing its previous overwhelming control over its citizenry. The implications of this shift in the control of the masses meant that the government would now have to work through the church to ensure and maintain the loyalty of the public. By the creation of the Christian state and the intertwining of church and state, Constantine had, in a manner of speaking, put himself and those who would follow him in the throne, at the mercy of the church. He was now dependant upon the support of the church to ensure the support of the public. Constantine had now put himself under the control of the church, rather than the

reversal, which he had hoped to accomplish. As as a result of the increase of the political power of the church, while it continued to adhere to the Christian faith, the church began to lose its spiritual and theological integrity. This was accomplished through the equation of Roman law with the law of the church, the state was easily able to shape the theology of the average citizen. Thus, the nature of the church was altered by the increased number of unconcerned and insincere converts to their religion. Through this influx of confused and indifferent individuals, Constantine was able to regain some sort of control over the Christian church. If the masses followed the doctrine as defined by the state, then the effect of the church?s control over the minds of its congregation

was largely eliminated. There still remained as a great number of devout and educated Christians, clergy and church elders. These individuals maintained a profound direct influence over Constantine and his policies, as trusted advisors. Constantine relied on the support of these advisors in order to maintain the support of the Christian public. At the same time the church found itself dependant on the favour of Constantine, so as not to lose the favour of the government. Thus the two separate institutions became interdependent on one another, for they would be rendered weak without the other. Constantine further changed the nature of the Roman Empire through the relocation of its capital from Rome to Constantinople. Constantine realized that in order for the Empire to

successfully move from its pagan routes, it must have a pagan free centre. Thus, Constantine made the decision to create the city of Constantinople on the site of Byzantium (this city would also act as the capital of the Byzantine Empire that succeeded it). Constantine recognized however, that for the new capital of the empire to function as effectively as Rome had, it would have to be as a Christian version of the same: Why even Constantine himself could not escape from this deep complex of thought, and it was as a foregone conclusion that, when he made as a new centre for the Empire in its new Christian form, that centre could only be as a new ?Rome.? So when the Emperor founded his new ?city of Constantine,? in all respects spiritual and material he copied the old Rome, in