The Effects Of The Reforms Of Constantin — страница 4

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order to replace it by the new. Constantine had to preserve the old Empire in order to bring about a new one. Ultimately, the conversion of the Roman state from a theology of paganism to Christianity was necessary to ensure its survival. There can be little doubt that the Roman Empire, in its state of decline, would not have been able to survive the growing expansion of Christianity within its boundaries. Thus, it stands to reason that Constantine?s motives in transforming the spiritual beliefs of the empire could have been just as politically driven as they were religiously. In either scenario, Constantine?s reforms drastically altered the nature of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire changed from a state in which the voice of God was the government, to a state where church and

state cooperated solely to ensure its own continued existence. Prior to Constantine and his reforms, the state and emperor were the embodiment of the will of the gods. After the introduction of Christianity-favouring legislation, and the increased power wielded by the Christian church, the emperor and church were forced into a situation of symbiosis. The state was no longer in complete and undisputed control of its citizens, for the church had gained the moral and spiritual allegiance of the people. Thus, the state had lost its complete control over the people, and was now dependant on the favour of the church. At the same time, Christian population found themselves in as a situation which they had not experienced before; the freedom of their religion from the state sanctioned

persecution. So far as the Christian church was concerned, it had to ensure it retained the favour of the Roman government, so that the legislation in its favour did not become repealed. The Roman people (ultimately the members of the Christian church) also found themselves in a situation where the Roman government was not in direct control over their spiritual lives. The government however, had weakened the Christian church through the more or less ?forced? conversion of many ignorant or unconfused citizens. Thus, the Christian church had also lost its control over the people, and was equally dependant on the government. It was in this manner that the nature of the Roman Empire was changed by the reforms brought about by Constantine. The Christian church had now been accepted by

the Roman bureaucracy. The government had lost its absolute control over its people. Instead, there were now two parallel, yet separate, institutions completely dependant upon each other to maintain their own influence over the masses. These reforms remained in place in the Roman Empire until its collapse, and the legacy of these reforms is still visible in the present day. BIBLIOGRAPHY Alfoldi, Andrew. The Conversion of Constantine and Pagan Rome. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1948. Barnes, Timothy D. Constantine and Eusebius. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1981. Cochrane, Charles Norris. Christianity and Classical Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 1957 Flick, Alexander C. The Rise and Fall of the Mediaeval Church. New York: Burt Franklin, 1909. Grant, Michael.

Constantine the Great – The Man and His Times. New York: Macmillian Publishing, 1993. Starr, Chester G. A History of the Ancient World. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. The Affects of the Reforms of Constantine on the Nature of the Roman Empire Chris Stone ID. 97107692 Classics 1010R Prof D. K. House April 15th, 1998