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A short biography of constantine the great the 57th emperor of the roman empire

Blog providing articles and introductory guides to Socionics, the theory of personality type.

Constantine is famed for uniting the western and eastern halves of the Roman Empire, presiding over the first ecumenical council of the Christian Church, founding Constantinople on the ancient trading colony of Byzantium and formally ending the persecution of Christians following the defeat of Licinius in 324. Constantine was born in Naissus, a military settlement where at the time of his birth, the current emperor Claudius II Gothicus died of a severe illness likely smallpox.

Constantine's mother Helena, was tolerant of Christianity and even converted before Constantine did, while his father never converted to Christianity, he was tolerant to Christians and ignored orders from his superiors to behave otherwise. However, the time when exactly Constantine became a Christian isn't clear to most historians, but the following facts are well established by the written history of Socrates Scholasticus and Sozomen.

One of the reasons Constantine embraced Christianity was to guarantee his success on the battlefield by praying to God. It brought him honor and pride to fashion himself with Christian symbols that represented divine power, such as the labarum and the chi-rho the first two Greek letters of Jesus Christ's name. He uniquely desired to be venerated as a "demi-god" after his victories in battle and sought to restore the glory of the Roman Empire's past.

What little is known about Constantine's youth is that he was in a position of moderate political influence as his father Constantius Chlorus LSE who served as imperial bodyguard to Aurelian SLE at the time. At around the age of thirty, Constantine was already an experienced solider who fought against the Sarmatians and Persians in the 290s and was a member of Diocletian's inner circle, where he had received a formal education at his palace.

In the year 303, preparations were being made to celebrate the successes of the Tetrarchy and all four emperors were required to attend this celebration. Maximian was enraged by this proposal and instead let the promotion of both emperors from Caesars to Augusti to proceed. The date of the abdication was rescheduled to next year and the emperor's sons were to be associates of Galerius SLE rather than immediately assume the position of Caesar in their respective empires.

A conversation between Diocletian and Galerius concerning their sons was reported by a Christian author a decade later: If he has shown such contempt for me as a private citizen, what will he do as an emperor?

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We must appoint men who will be in my power, who will fear me and do nothing but what I command. Constantine's father Constantius had claimed the position of Augusti as well, meaning that Constantine would succeed him as emperor upon his passing. The situation quickly undid itself in 305, when Constantius requested to Galerius to have his son come with him to fight against the Picts beyond Hadrian's Wall.

Galerius denied the request at first, thinking it would be too dangerous for Constantius to put his life at risk when the Tetrarchy had already been arranged in his favor, but he eventually agreed after a night of drinking and when he woke up the next morning, Constantius and his son had already fled to the campaign. However, Constantius was gravely ill during the time of his reign in 306, he arrived at the battle much later than the energetic Constantine did and right before he died, Constantius wished for his son to be promoted to the full rank of Augustus essentially saying that his son were to replace him.

Constantine was quick to actualize his accession upon recognition as Caesar in 306, he struck coins identifying himself as the "Prince of Youth" princeps iuventutis. While Constantine was busy crafting his image, Maxentius seized the title of Augustus and gained the support of the army and senate to resist Galerius' harsh plans for the Praetorian Guard Galerius planned to disband the remaining cohorts of Praetorians and transfer them to the frontier garrisons on lower wages.

  • In medieval times, when the Roman Catholic Church was dominant, Catholic historians presented Constantine as an ideal ruler, the standard against which any king or emperor could be measured;
  • The first town his army encountered was Segusium Susa, Italy , a heavily fortified town that shut its gates to him;
  • The Eusebian description of the vision has been explained as a type of solar halo called a " sun dog", a meteorological phenomenon which can produce similar effects;
  • In 334, after Sarmatian commoners had overthrown their leaders, Constantine led a campaign against the tribe;
  • He died soon after the edict's proclamation, destroying what little remained of the tetrarchy.

Galerius was overwhelmed with having to fight back the Sarmatians, so he had to dispatch Severus to take care of Maxentius' usurpation.

Upon marching to Rome, Severus didn't anticipate that his own troops would change sides, forcing him to withdraw and was subsequently captured.

Constantine took note that since Galerius was left with little option but to accept defeat, he saw the opportunity to advance join Maximian SLE at Trier and assume the title of Augustus like his father originally promised.

During the early years of his reign, the Civil Wars of the Tetrarchy had decimated all those who had previously been in power before Constantine. By 310, Maximian was sick of Constantine's apparent luck and rebelled against him during a campaign against the Franks.

Constantine captured him, but he still retained his imperial titles. A few months later, Maximian was reported to have hanged himself on Constantine's orders. With Maximian dead, the tensions grew with more people claiming the title of Western Roman emperor and the only remaining "valid" claimants were Maxentius and Constantine. The night before the Battle of Milvian Bridge, a battle that would determine who would be the next Roman Emperor and end the civil wars - Constantine was advised in a dream to mark the shields of his soldiers with the heavenly sign of god the Chi-Rho and then engage in battle.

Maxentius sat anxiously in Rome, growing more tense upon hearing the news of Constantine's victories in northern Italy. When Verona fell, Maxentius marched out of the city to battle him to avoid the possibility of Rome's siege.

A short biography of constantine the great the 57th emperor of the roman empire

Afraid that Constantine had actually been blessed with divine support, he consulted the Sibylline Books and found solace upon hearing that the time was right for Rome to be liberated from a tyrant.

The outcome of the battle only demonstrated that he was the tyrant. The italicized portion is actual propaganda from Constantius to make the public believe that Maxentius was addicted to superstition.

His early reign shows more than it tells about Constantius, it portrays a guy who was greatly skilled in matters of diplomacy, i. It also shows his sheer sense of courage and determination when rising through the ranks in the army, it is clear that having to climb a social ladder or hierarchy of sorts to achieve an end goal is in his values. He made deep alliances of connection and support to those who were loyal to him and short strategic ones like with Maximian as a means to an end.

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Characterizing the latter part of his reign, i. In 330, Constantine had chosen the Greek settlement of Byzantium as a victory city because of its proximity to the battlefield of Chrysopolis, but secondarily to revive the previously profitable trade colony that had been active in the seventh century BC. Constantine assumed the role of a city-planner reluctantly, only working with P when he had to.

Upon the construction of Constantinople, it soon became the second metropolis of the Roman empire, it's strategic placement to the east meant that diplomatic envoys from other "barbaric" civilizations could reach the emperor faster and more efficiently.

When Constantine wasn't amusing himself with the souvenirs from other empires, he surrounded himself with intellectuals - members of his coterie - who offered their latest philosophical and historical insights. For instance, Sopater was an orator and Neoplatonist philosopher who became a member of his court, he swiftly became a court favorite of Constantine and his patronage of the philosophical tradition hardly went unnoticed, pointing to weaker valued L and strong I in the "free-thinking" sense of the function.

Furthermore, the emperor in his personal life was a bit different from his benevolence that is venerated in Christianity. He was of choleric temperament, stubborn, short-tempered and vain about his appearance. In fact, there were even rumors surrounding that he was sensitive about his hair and his balding in old age. He would ignore the physical complaints of his body that came with aging or long periods of time, believing that his aging would bring him closer to death and subsequent salvation.

On his deathbed, he cast aside his robes of purple and crimson, wearing only pure white robes so that he might "die and live forever".

This alone places S at the lowest value.