Constantine the Great

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Constantine the Great
Constantine I
57t Emperor o the Roman Empire
Colossal marble heid o Emperor Constantine the Great, Roman, 4t century
Ring25 Julie 306 AD – 29 October 312 AD[notes 1]
29 October 312 – 19 September 324[notes 2]
19 September 324 – 22 Mey 337[notes 3]
PredecessorConstantius I
SuccessorConstantine II
Constantius II
Constans I
Born27 Februar ca. 272[1]
Naissus, Moesia Superior (present-day Serbie)
Dee'd22 Mey 337(337-05-22) (aged 65)
Constantine II
Constantius II
Full name
Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus
DynastyConstantinian dynasty
FaitherConstantius Chlorus
Veneratit inAnglicanism
Eastren Orthodoxy
Oriental Orthodoxy
Roman Catholicism

Constantine the Great (Laitin: Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus;[2] 27 Februar c. 272[1] – 22 Mey 337), forby kent as Constantine I or Saunt Constantine,[3] wis Roman Emperor frae 306 tae 337. Constantine wis the son o Flavius Valerius Constantius, a Roman airmy officer, an his consort Helena. His faither becam Caesar, the depute emperor in the wast, in 293 AD. Constantine wis sent east, whaur he rose throu the ranks tae acome a militar tribune unner Emperors Diocletian an Galerius. In 305, Constantius raised himsel tae the rank o Augustus, senior wastren emperor, an Constantine wis recalled wast tae campaign unner his faither in Britannia (Breetain). Constantine wis acclaimed as emperor bi the airmy at Eboracum (modren-day York) efter his faither's daith in 306 AD, an he emerged veectorious in a series o ceevil wars against Emperors Maxentius an Licinius tae acome sole ruler o baith wast an east bi 324 AD.

As emperor, Constantine enactit admeenistrative, financial, social, an militar reforms tae strenthen the empire. He restructurt the govrenment, separatin ceevil an militar authorities. Tae combat inflation he introduced the solidus, a new gowd cunyie that becam the staundart for Byzantine an European sillers for mair nor a thoosand years. The Roman airmy wis reorganised tae conseest o mobile field units an garrison sodgers capable o coonterin internal threits an barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successfu campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers—the Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths, an the Sarmatians—even resettlin territories abandont bi his predecessors in the Creesis o the Third Century.

Constantine wis the first Roman emperor tae convert tae Christianity.[notes 4] Awtho he leeved maist o his life as a pagan, he jyned the Christian faith on his daithbed, bein baipteesed bi Eusebius. He played an influential role in the proclamation o the Edict o Milan in 313, that declared releegious tolerance for Christianity in the Roman empire. He cried the First Cooncil o Nicaea in 325 that produced the statement o Christian belief kent as the Nicene Creed. The Kirk o the Haly Sepulchre wis biggit on his orders at the purportit steid o Jesus' tomb in Jerusalem an becam the haliest place in Christendom. The Papal claim tae temporal pouer in the Heich Middle Ages wis based on the supposed Donation o Constantine. He is veneratit as a saunt bi the Eastren Orthodox an Catholic Kirk. He haes historically been referred tae as the "First Christian Emperor," an he did hivily promote the Christian Kirk. Some modren scholars, houiver, debate his beliefs an even his comprehension o the Christian faith itsel.[notes 5]

The age o Constantine merked a distinct epoch in the history o the Roman Empire.[7] He biggit a new imperial residence at Byzantium an renamed the ceety Constantinople efter himsel (the laudatory epithet o "New Roum" came later, an wis niver an offeecial teetle). It becam the caipital o the Empire for mair nor a thoosand years, wi the later eastren Roman Empire nou bein referred tae as the Byzantine Empire bi historians. His mair immediate poleetical legacy wis that he replaced Diocletian's tetrarchy wi the principle o dynastic succession bi leavin the empire tae his sons. His reputation flourished in the lifetime o his childer an centuries efter his ring. The medieval kirk upheld him as a paragon o virtue, while secular rulers invoked him as a prototeep, a pynt o reference, an the seembol o imperial legitimacy an identity.[8] Beginnin wi the Renaissance, thare war mair creetical appraisals o his ring due tae the rediskivery o anti-Constantinian soorces. Trends in modren an recent scholarship hae attemptit tae balance the extremes o previous scholarship.

Notes[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Caesar in the wast; self-proclaimed Augustus frae 309; recognized as such in the east in Aprile 310.
  2. Undisputit Augustus in the wast, senior Augustus in the empire.
  3. As emperor o whole empire.
  4. Wi the possible exception o Philip the Arab (r. 244–249). See Philip the Arab an Christianity.[4]
  5. Constantine wis nae baptised till juist afore his daith.[5][6]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. a b Birth dates vary but maist modren historians uise c. 272". Lenski, "Reign o Constantine" (CC), 59.
  2. In Clessical Laitin, Constantine's offeecial imperial title was IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS CONSTANTINVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS, Imperator Caesar Flavius Constantine Augustus, the pious, the fortunate, the undefeatit. Efter 312, he addit MAXIMVS ("the greatest"), an efter 325 replaced ("undefeatit") wi VICTOR, as invictus reminded mony o Sol Invictus, the Sun God.
  3. Amang Eastren Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox an Byzantine Catholic Christians. The Byzantine liturgical calendar, observed bi the Eastren Orthodox Kirk an Eastren Catholic Kirks o Byzantine rite, leets baith Constantine an his mither Helena as saunts. Altho he is nae includit in the Laitin Kirk's leet o saunts, which daes recognise several ither Constantines as saunts, he is revered unner the title "The Great" for his contributions to Christianity.
  4. I. Shahîd, Rome and the Arabs (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1984), 65–93; H. A. Pohlsander, "Philip the Arab and Christianity", Historia 29:4 (1980): 463–73.
  5. "Constantine the Great". Archived frae the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 3 Mairch 2017.
  6. Harris, Jonathan (2017). Constantinople: Capital of Byzantium (2nd ed.). Bloomsbury Academic. p. 38.
  7. Gregory, A History of Byzantium, 49.
  8. Van Dam, Remembering Constantine at the Milvian Bridge, 30.