The Great’s reign from 306-337 CE

I have another essay for you (you my Julius Ceasar paper). It is going to be on Constantine The Great’s reign from 306-337 CE. Would you be able to have it done by Thursday?

Essay MUST be 4 pages in length and have 3 outside sources. WIKIPEDIA is NOT acceptable.
Essay must also hold a minimum of three (3) footnotes.

 

 

The Great’s reign from 306-337 CE

Name

Institution

 

 

Constantine is believed to have been born in Naissus in 272 BC. He was a son of Flavius Constantius who was a Roman Empire officer and his mother Helena, a woman believed to be of a lower social class. Due to the father being a military commander, Constantine lived his early life within the imperial court. He learned much from his father and therefore well understood that the role of any ruler was to protect his people. This strength made the people who lived around him to strongly believe in his ability[1].

At around 293 BC, the Roman Empire was being ruled by two emperors called Augustus. Constantine’s father was appointed by Diocletian to rule the Eastern Empire which automatically made Constantine an heir of the empire after his father. During this time, Constantine stayed hostage in the Diocletian’s court in Nicomedia. In 303, Constantine returned from Nicomedia and he witnessed the “great prosecution”. In this era, Diocletian betrayed all the Christians who were under his rule. They were being denied any opportunity to participate in leadership and the priests were being jailed. However, all this time Constantine remained neutral. Thereafter, Diocletian fell ill and abducted his roles which eventually resulted in Constantius being made the western Augustus.

In 306 BC, Constantine joined arms with his father in order to campaign against Britain. However, the father fell ill and died during the same year. Before his death, he had declared of supporting Constantine rise in the ranks up to the position of a full Augustus. This ideology was not warmly welcomed by everyone. Maxentius who was Constantine’s political rival seized this emperor title to start a civil war[2].

Later in 307 BC, Constantine married Maxentius’s sister, Fausta which resulted to him being promoted to the level of an Augustus. He also refused to engage in any form of war with Maxentius, an attribute that made him very popular among the local people. Not satisfied with Constantine ruling, in 310, Maxentius formed rebellions against him. He spread a conspiracy that Constantine was dead and even took over the imperial purple. Knowing of this rebellion, Constantine stopped his campaigns and joined with his armies which followed with Maxentius arrest.

At about 311 BC, Galerius of the western empire fell ill. During his last days ruling the empire, he sent a letter which saw the restoration of religious freedom to all the Christians living in the land. He however died immediately this was effected. By 312 BC, still in Rome, Maxentius realized that he was still politically unpopular, something that made him worried that he would not be able to defeat Constantine in his reign. It is during this time that he approached him in a battle at Milyain bride. Here, Constantine took the sigil of the Christian cross, a signal indicating of his transformation to Christianity. During this battle, Maxentius was defeated and Constantine was also officially declared as an Augustus in the land. Two years later, Constantine also solidified his battles with his rival Licinius who married his half-sister Constantia (Cary, M. (1954).

Even though these two rivals seemed to have created peace, it was not long-lived. Licinius sought to promote the old Pagan way of doing things. Constantine, on the other hand, was for the Labarum standards, which ultimately symbolized Christianity. These disagreements further resulted into war where Licinius was defeated and therefore making Constantine the sole emperor in the whole of Rome. With Licinius defeat, Constantine also shifted the old Pagan and Greek ways to Christian and Roman powers.

Still motivated to restore Christianity, in 325 BC, Constantine called his first council in Nicea where he sought to unify the Christian doctrine. Out of this, the famous Nicene crowd was formed. This was further marked by a point in which he was himself baptized to Christianity in 337 BC.

Constantine ascribed all the success he had throughout his life to the Christian conversion that he had. He indicated that the Christian God supported him to a very large extent. An arch of triumph which was erected at Rome in his honor after he had defeated Maxentius indicated that the victory was as a result of Constantine’s geniuses and an inspiration of divinity. Having acquired victory after he had defeated Licinius in 324, Constantine clearly indicated that his roots were from the farthest British shores and that he had been chosen by God to suppress the impunity in the land and that his greatest mission was to restore peace as well as prosperity to all the lands. The adherence to Christianity by Constantine also relates to the many successes that he encountered. He, for example, attributed his win during the battle at the Milvian Bridge to God where he narrated of having had a dream to have the Christian monogram painted on his troops[3].

From his life and achievements, it can be concluded that Constantine was a successful man in his reign. He was politically successful in that he was able to establish a dynastic succession were he left the empire under the leadership of his three sons. Amid this great succession, after his death, very political murders followed.  Another great achievement was in the social and cultural history of his life. Constantine’s strong Christian stand lay a foundation for the Roman Empire Christianization and the development of a biblical culture.

However, despite all the recorded achievements, Constantine’s life was not without ambiguities and controversies. During his reign, the Romans held the opinion that the rulers ought to have maintained the traditional systems and ways of life. However, Constantine was against this where he brought about the issue of Christianity which put him into conflict and he developed many rivals in his land.

In conclusion, it clearly emerges that Constantine was a man who lived a successful life and made a large contribution towards the development of Christianity in the Roman Empire. This is thus an indication that he can, therefore, be used as a role model for many who want to have an impact on their land. However, it is also important to take note of some of the weaknesses that he had and the challenges that he faced in his life which would be essential in making better future decisions. A loop is however seen where majority of what has been recorded about Constantine’s life is regarding his political aspects where very little has been captured regarding his social life. This, therefore, leaves an unclear gap as to whether he was successful socially as he was political and therefore, any conclusions or lessons leant from his life and successes should be done cautiously.

 

References

Cary, M. (1954). A history of Rome down to the reign of Constantine. London: Macmillan.

[1] Pohlsander, H. A. (1996). The Emperor Constantine. London: Routledge.

[2] Hans, P.,  (2004). The Emperor Constantine. London & New York: Routledge.

 

[3] Eusebius, Crusé, C. F., & Valois, H. . (1847). An ecclesiastical history to the twentieth year of the reign of Constantine: Being the 324th of the Christian era. London: S. Bagster.

 

 
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