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Constantine the Great or Constantine I was the first Roman emperor to be Christian and began the evolution for the empire to become a Christian state.
Constantine (Flavius Valerius Constantinus) was bored on February 27 on circa 280 in Naissus, Moesia (now called Nis, Serbia). Offspring of Constantius I Chlorus and Helena. His father was an officer in the Roman army, but in 283 CE, he was raised to the ranked of a deputy emperor. In which, he serve under a emperor named Augustus Maximan. Constantine’s father parted with his mother and went to marry Theodora (stepdaughter of Maximan) in 289 CE. Under those circumstances, Constantine was sent to the court of Diocletian where he was educated in Latin and Greek. Maximian resigned as emperor leading Constantine’s father becoming Emperor Constantius I. As a result, Constantine joined his father in a military campaign and fought alongside him in Britain. Nevertheless, his father died the next year and Constantine was declared emperor by his troops. However, in order to make it official he had to fight for power.
When it comes to Constantine’s reasoning for converting to Christianity, nobody has a complete idea why he did. Research has found that during his battle with Maxentius, he saw a vision that God had give him. He also had a dream that confirmed it was God himself. Whatever reason it was, it affected him and his life completely.
It goes without saying that Constantine’s conversion is the most important decision he ever made. Christianity wasn’t acceptable during his time. Christianity was banned, and Christian were being treated poorly and executed. In fact, another important verdict Constantine made was the establishment of a new imperial capital. The previous capital, Rome, had its disadvantages, such as, being way too far from the frontiers and too distant to be adequate. Balkan was Constantine first choice, but with careful consideration he decided to make Constantinople into his new capital. Constantinople had wonderful benefits. The city had a natural harbour, easy access to Egypt and it is strategically position on Bosphorus.
One of the greatest challenges Constantine encounter was battling his enemy, Maxentius. Both wanted to control the empire, but only one could. Constantine knew he needed more power than a military force. Praying was his only choice, but he didn’t know how he should he do it. The pagan gods failed him before, so he went to his father’s God. He prayed to God to tell him who he was and to lead him a hand. This resulted into Constantine having a vision where he witness the sign of a cross painted across the sky and the words “In this sign, you will win”. His whole army and himself were amazed. Once he fell asleep, it was confirmed. He was dealing with the Christ of God. Constantine craved the sign into his soldiers armor. Accepting the vision and following the sign, he won.
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