Constantine A Christian Hero Essay

This essay has a total of 642 words and 4 pages.


Constantine A Christian Hero




Christianity’s history is filled with division, controversy, and conflict. One of the
most important people who contributed to the lasting success of this diverse religion was
Constantine. While legalizing Christianity in Roman society, he founded the capital of
the eastern Roman Empire, Constantinople. Because of this and other great
accomplishments, Constantine appropriately earned the name Constantine the Great.

After his father’s death in 306, the Gaul army hailed Constantine as their ruler. After
five years as the emperor of Gaul, Constantine invaded Italy. After defeating the Roman
army, Constantine entered Rome as the ruler of the western half of the empire. In 313,
Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, granting freedom of worship to all persons in the
western Roman Empire. The edict also guaranteed legal rights to Christians and the return
of property taken from Christians in the past.

By the year 323, Constantine had brought the entire Roman Empire under his rule. At this
time, a quarrel threatened the division of Christianity into two separate churches.
Arius, a priest in Alexandria, Egypt, insisted that Christ was not equal to the Father,
because he was created by him. On the other hand, Athanasius, the leader of the bishops
in the west, claimed that the Father and Son were equal and of the same substance. In
325, as a mediator, Constantine called together a council of bishops at Nicaea in Asia
Minor. While condemning Arius and his teachings, the council declared the complete
equality of God the Father and the Son. The teaching that Father and Son were made up "of
one substance" became part of the Nicene Creed, the statement that helped to unite
Christianity. The council addressed other issues as well, including the method for
consecrating bishops.

Next, Constantine moved the capital from Rome to the east. He chose the Greek city of
Byzantium. In 330, after expanding and enriching the city, it was dedicated as New Rome,
but it was called Constantinople, meaning “the city of Constantine.” Constantinople
became the capital of Christianity in the east, while Rome dominated the religion in the
west.

Constantine’s continuous support for Christianity is one of the reasons that it is still a
major religion today. I believe that Constantine was a great ruler because of his
dedication to the unity of Christianity. Regardless of the different schisms in the
religion, Constantine was determined to make Christianity unified. The Edict of Milan
shows that Constantine had respect for other religions and allowed them, but preferred
Christianity. It also shows that, even though he wasn’t a Christian, he felt compassion
for them when their property was taken and one of his first actions, after taking over
Rome, was to reinstate all property taken from the Christians.
Continues for 2 more pages >>




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