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Caesar Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus AugustusIn (Latin Constantine's official imperial title was IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS CONSTANTINVS PIVS FELIX INVICTVS AVGVSTVS, Imperator Caesar Flavius Constantine Augustus, the pious, the fortunate, the undefeated. After 312, he added MAXIMVS ("the greatest"), and after 325 replaced ("undefeated") with VICTOR, as invictus reminded of Sol Invictus, the Sun God. (27 February c. 272 – 22 May 337), commonly known in English as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or (among Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Christians) Saint Constantine (  or  ), was Roman emperor from 306, and the sole holder of that office from 324 until his death in 337. Best known for being the first Christian Roman emperor,  Constantine reversed the persecutions of his predecessor, Diocletian, and issued (with his co-emperor Licinius) the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious toleration throughout the empire.


The Byzantine liturgical calendar, observed by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches of Byzantine rite, lists both Constantine and his mother Helena as saints. Although he is not included in the Latin Church's list of saints, which does recognize several other Constantines as saints, he is revered under the title "The Great" for his contributions to Christianity.

Constantine also transformed the ancient Greek colony of Byzantium into a new imperial residence, Constantinoplemarker, which would remain the capital of the Byzantine Empire for over one thousand years.

Sources

As the emperor who empowered Christianity throughout the Roman Empire and moved the Roman capital to the banks of the Bosphorusmarker, Constantine was a ruler of major historical importance, but he has always been a controversial figure. The fluctuations in Constantine's reputation reflect the nature of the ancient sources for his reign. These are abundant and detailed, but have been strongly influenced by the official propaganda of the period, and are often one-sided. There are no surviving histories or biographies dealing with Constantine's life and rule. The nearest replacement is Eusebius of Caesarea's Vita Constantini, a work that is a mixture of eulogy and hagiography. Written between 335 and circa 339, the Vita extols Constantine's moral and religious virtues. The Vita creates a contentiously positive image of Constantine, and modern historians have frequently challenged its reliability. The fullest secular life of Constantine is the anonymous Origo Constantini. A work of uncertain date, the Origo focuses on military and political events, to the neglect of cultural and religious matters.

Lactantius' De Mortibus Persecutorum, a polemical Christian pamphlet on the reigns of Diocletian and the Tetrarchy, provides valuable but tendentious detail on Constantine's predecessors and early life. The ecclesiastical histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret describe the ecclesiastic disputes of Constantine's later reign. Written during the reign of Theodosius II (408–50), a century after Constantine's reign, these ecclesiastic historians obscure the events and theologies of the Constantinian period through misdirection, misrepresentation and deliberate obscurity. The contemporary writings of the Orthodox Christian Athanasius and the ecclesiastical history of the Arian Philostorgius also survive, though their biases are no less firm.

The epitomes of Aurelius Victor (De Caesaribus), Eutropius (Breviarium), Festus (Breviarium), and the anonymous author of the Epitome de Caesaribus offer compressed secular political and military histories of the period. Although pagan, the epitomes paint a favorable image of Constantine, but omit reference to Constantine's religious policies. The Panegyrici Latini, a collection of panegyrics from the late third and early fourth centuries, provide valuable information on the politics and ideology of the tetrarchic period and the early life of Constantine. Contemporary architecture, like the Arch of Constantinemarker in Rome and palaces in Gamzigradmarker and Córdobamarker, epigraphic remains, and the coinage of the era complement the literary sources.

Early life



Constantine, named Flavius Valerius Constantinus, was born in the Moesian military city of Naissus, Illyricum on the 27th of February of an uncertain year, probably near 272. His father was Flavius Constantius, a native of Moesia Superior (later Dacia Ripensis). Constantius was a tolerant and politically skilled man. Constantine probably spent little time with his father. Constantius was an officer in the Roman army in 272, part of the Emperor Aurelian's imperial bodyguard. Constantius advanced through the ranks, earning the governorship of Dalmatia from Emperor Diocletian, another of Aurelian's companions from Illyricum, in 284 or 285. Constantine's mother was Helena, a Bithynian Greek of humble origin. It is uncertain whether she was legally married to Constantius or merely his concubine.

In July 285, Diocletian declared Maximian, another colleague from Illyricum, his co-emperor. Each emperor would have his own court, his own military and administrative faculties, and each would rule with a separate praetorian prefect as chief lieutenant. Maximian ruled in the West, from his capitals at Mediolanum (Milanmarker, Italymarker) or Augusta Treverorum (Triermarker, Germanymarker), while Diocletian ruled in the East, from Nicomediamarker (İzmitmarker, Turkeymarker). The division was merely pragmatic: the Empire was called "indivisible" in official panegyric, and both emperors could move freely throughout the Empire. In 288, Maximian appointed Constantius to serve as his praetorian prefect in Gaul. Constantius left Helena to marry Maximian's stepdaughter Theodora in 288 or 289.

Diocletian divided the Empire again in 293, appointing two Caesar (junior emperors) to rule over further subdivisions of East and West. Each would be subordinate to their respective Augustus (senior emperor) but would act with supreme authority in his assigned lands. This system would later be called the Tetrarchy. Diocletian's first appointee for the office of Caesar was Constantius; his second was Galerius, a native of Felix Romuliana (Illyria). According to Lactantius, Galerius was a brutal, animalistic man. Although he shared the paganism of Rome's aristocracy, he seemed to them an alien figure, a semi-barbarian. On 1 March, Constantius was promoted to the office of Caesar, and dispatched to Gaul to fight the rebels Carausius and Allectus. In spite of meritocratic overtones, the Tetrarchy retained vestiges of hereditary privilege, and Constantine became the prime candidate for future appointment as Caesar as soon as his father took the position. Constantine left the Balkans for the court of Diocletian, where he lived as his father's heir presumptive.

In the East

Constantine received a formal education at Diocletian's court, where he learned Latin literature, Greek, and philosophy. The cultural environment in Nicomedia was open, fluid and socially mobile, and Constantine could mix with intellectuals both pagan and Christian. He may have attended the lectures of Lactantius, a Christian scholar of Latin in the city. Because Diocletian did not completely trust Constantius—none of the Tetrarchs fully trusted their colleagues—Constantine was held as something of a hostage, a tool to ensure Constantius' best behaviour. Constantine was nonetheless a prominent member of the court: he fought for Diocletian and Galerius in Asia, and served in a variety of tribunates; he campaigned against barbarians on the Danube in 296, and fought the Persians under Diocletian in Syria (297) and under Galerius in Mesopotamia (298–99). By late 305, he had become a tribune of the first order, a tribunus ordinis primi.



Constantine had returned to Nicomedia from the eastern front by the spring of 303, in time to witness the beginnings of Diocletian's "Great Persecution", the most severe persecution of Christians in Roman history. In late 302, Diocletian and Galerius sent a messenger to the oracle of Apollo at Didymamarker with an inquiry about Christians. Constantine could recall his presence at the palace when the messenger returned, when Diocletian accepted his court's demands for universal persecution. On 23 February 303, Diocletian ordered the destruction of Nicomedia's new church, condemned its scriptures to the flame, and had its treasures seized. In the months that followed, churches and scriptures were destroyed, Christians were deprived of official ranks, and priests were imprisoned.

It is unlikely that Constantine played any role in the persecution. In his later writings he would attempt to present himself as an opponent of Diocletian's "sanguinary edicts" against the "worshipers of God", but nothing indicates that he opposed it effectively at the time. Although no contemporary Christian challenged Constantine for his inaction during the persecutions, it remained a political liability throughout his life.

On 1 May 305, Diocletian, as a result of a debilitating sickness taken in the winter of 304–5, announced his resignation. In a parallel ceremony in Milan, Maximian did the same. Lactantius states that Galerius manipulated the weakened Diocletian into resigning, and forced him to accept Galerius' allies in the imperial succession. According to Lactantius, the crowd listening to Diocletian's resignation speech believed, until the very last moment, that Diocletian would choose Constantine and Maxentius (Maximian's son) as his successors. It was not to be: Severus and Maximin were appointed, while Constantine and Maxentius were ignored.

Some of the ancient sources detail plots that Galerius made on Constantine's life in the months following Diocletian's abdication. They assert that Galerius assigned Constantine to lead an advance unit in a cavalry charge through a swamp on the middle Danube, made him enter into single combat with a lion, and attempted to kill him in hunts and wars. Constantine always emerged victorious: the lion emerged from the contest in a poorer condition than Constantine; Constantine returned to Nicomedia from the Danube with a Sarmatian captive to drop at Galerius' feet. It is uncertain how much these tales can be trusted.

In the West

Constantine recognized the implicit danger in remaining at Galerius' court, where he was held as a virtual hostage. His career depended on being rescued by his father in the west. Constantius was quick to intervene. In the late spring or early summer of 305, Constantius requested leave for his son, to help him campaign in Britain. After a long evening of drinking, Galerius granted the request. Constantine's later propaganda describes how Constantine fled the court in the night, before Galerius could change his mind. He rode from post-house to post-house at high speed, mutilating every horse in his wake. By the time Galerius awoke the following morning, Constantine had fled too far to be caught. Constantine joined his father in Gaul, at Bononia (Boulognemarker) before the summer of 305.

From Bononia they crossed the Channelmarker to Britain and made their way to Eboracummarker (Yorkmarker), capital of the province of Britannia Secunda and home to a large military base. Constantine was able to spend a year in northern Britain at his father's side, campaigning against the Picts beyond Hadrian's Wallmarker in the summer and autumn. Constantius's campaign, like that of Septimius Severus before it, probably advanced far into the north without achieving great success. Constantius had become severely sick over the course of his reign, and died on 25 July 306 in Eboracummarker (Yorkmarker). Before dying, he declared his support for raising Constantine to the rank of full Augustus. The Alamannic king Chrocus, a barbarian taken into service under Constantius, then proclaimed Constantine as Augustus. The troops loyal to Constantius' memory followed him in acclamation. Gaul and Britain quickly accepted his rule; Iberia, which had been in his father's domain for less than a year, rejected it.

Constantine sent Galerius an official notice of Constantius's death and his own acclamation. Along with the notice, he included a portrait of himself in the robes of an Augustus. The portrait was wreathed in bay. He requested recognition as heir to his father's throne, and passed off responsibility for his unlawful ascension on his army, claiming they had "forced it upon him". Galerius was put into a fury by the message; he almost set the portrait on fire. His advisers calmed him, and argued that outright denial of Constantine's claims would mean certain war. Galerius was compelled to compromise: he granted Constantine the title "Caesar" rather than "Augustus" (The latter office went to Severus instead). Wishing to make it clear that he alone gave Constantine legitimacy, Galerius personally sent Constantine the emperor's traditional purple robes. Constantine accepted the decision, knowing that it would remove doubts as to his legitimacy.

Early rule

Constantine's share of the Empire consisted of Britain, Gaul, and Spain. He therefore commanded one of the largest Roman armies, stationed along the important Rhinemarker frontier. After his promotion to emperor, Constantine remained in Britain, and secured his control in the northwestern diocese. He completed the reconstruction of military bases begun under his father's rule, and ordered the repair of the region's roadways. He soon left for Augusta Treverorum (Triermarker) in Gaul, the Tetrarchic capital of the northwestern Roman Empire. The Franks, after learning of Constantine's acclamation, invaded Gaul across the lower Rhine over the winter of 306–7. Constantine drove them back beyond the Rhine and captured two of their kings, Ascaric and Merogaisus. The kings and their soldiers were fed to the beasts of Trier's amphitheater in the adventus (arrival) celebrations that followed.

Constantine began a major expansion of Trier. He strengthened the circuit wall around the city with military towers and fortified gates, and began building a palace complex in the northeastern part of the city. To the south of his palace, he ordered the construction of a large formal audience hall, and a massive imperial bathhouse. Constantine sponsored many building projects across Gaul during his tenure as emperor of the West, especially in Augustodunum (Autunmarker) and Arelate (Arlesmarker). According to Lactantius, Constantine followed his father in following a tolerant policy towards Christianity. Although not yet a Christian, he probably judged it a more sensible policy than open persecution, and a way to distinguish himself from the "great persecutor", Galerius. Constantine decreed a formal end to persecution, and returned to Christians all they had lost during the persecutions.

Because Constantine was still largely untried and had a hint of illegitimacy about him, he relied on his father's reputation in his early propaganda: the earliest panegyrics to Constantine give as much coverage to his father's deeds as to those of Constantine himself. Constantine's military skill and building projects soon gave the panegyrist the opportunity to comment favorably on the similarities between father and son, and Eusebius remarked that Constantine was a "renewal, as it were, in his own person, of his father's life and reign". Constantinian coinage, sculpture and oratory also shows a new tendency for disdain towards the "barbarians" beyond the frontiers. After Constantine's victory over the Alemanni, he minted a coin issue depicting weeping and begging Alemannic tribesmen—"The Alemanni conquered"—beneath the phrase "Romans' rejoicing". There was little sympathy for these enemies. As his panegyrist declared: "It is a stupid clemency that spares the conquered foe."

Maxentius' rebellion

Following Galerius' recognition of Constantine as emperor, Constantine's portrait was brought to Rome, as was customary. Maxentius mocked the portrait's subject as the son of a harlot, and lamented his own powerlessness. Maxentius, jealous of Constantine's authority, seized the title of emperor on 28 October 306. Galerius refused to recognize him, but failed to unseat him. Galerius sent Severus against Maxentius, but during the campaign, Severus' armies, previously under command of Maxentius's father Maximian, defected, and Severus was seized and imprisoned. Maximian, brought out of retirement by his son's rebellion, left for Gaul to confer with Constantine in late 307. He offered to marry his daughter Fausta to Constantine, and elevate him to Augustan rank. In return, Constantine would reaffirm the old family alliance between Maximian and Constantius, and offer support to Maxentius' cause in Italy. Constantine accepted, and married Fausta in Trier in late summer 307. Constantine now gave Maxentius his meager support, offering Maxentius political recognition.

Dresden bust of Maxentius
Constantine remained aloof from the Italian conflict, however. Over the spring and summer of 307, he had left Gaul for Britain to avoid any involvement in the Italian turmoil; now, instead of giving Maxentius military aid, he sent his troops against Germanic tribes along the Rhine. In 308, he raided the territory of the Bructeri, and made a bridge across the Rhine at Colonia Agrippinensium (Cologne). In 310, he marched to the northern Rhine and fought the Franks. When not campaigning, he toured his lands advertising his benevolence, and supporting the economy and the arts. His refusal to participate in the war increased his popularity among his people, and strengthened his power base in the West. Maximian returned to Rome in the winter of 307–8, but soon fell out with his son. In early 309, after a failed attempt to usurp Maxentius' title, Maximian returned to Constantine's court.

On 11 November 308, Galerius called a general council at the military city of Carnuntummarker (Petronell-Carnuntummarker, Austriamarker) to resolve the instability in the western provinces. In attendance were Diocletian, briefly returned from retirement, Galerius, and Maximian. Maximian was forced to abdicate again and Constantine was again demoted to Caesar. Licinius, one of Galerius' old military companions, was appointed Augustus of the west. The new system did not last long: Constantine refused to accept the demotion, and continued to style himself as Augustus on his coinage, even as other members of the Tetrarchy referred to him as a Caesar on theirs. Maximin was frustrated that he had been passed over for promotion while the newcomer Licinius had been raised to the office of Augustus, and demanded that Galerius promote him. Galerius offered to call both Maximin and Constantine "sons of the Augusti", but neither accepted the new title. By the spring of 310, Galerius was referring to both men as Augusti.

Maximian's rebellion

In 310, a dispossessed and power-hungry Maximian rebelled against Constantine while Constantine was away campaigning against the Franks. Maximian had been sent south to Arles with a contingent of Constantine's army, in preparation for any attacks by Maxentius in southern Gaul. He announced that Constantine was dead, and took up the imperial purple. In spite of a large donative pledge to any who would support him as emperor, most of Constantine's army remained loyal to their emperor, and Maximian was soon compelled to leave. Constantine soon heard of the rebellion, abandoned his campaign against the Franks, and marched his army up the Rhine. At Cabillunum (Chalon-sur-Saônemarker), he moved his troops onto waiting boats to row down the slow waters of the Saône to the quicker waters of the Rhone. He disembarked at Lugdunummarker (Lyonmarker). Maximian fled to Massilia (Marseillemarker), a town better able to withstand a long siege than Arles. It made little difference, however, as loyal citizens opened the rear gates to Constantine. Maximian was captured and reproved for his crimes. Constantine granted some clemency, but strongly encouraged his suicide. In July 310, Maximian hanged himself.

In spite of the earlier rupture in their relations, Maxentius was eager to present himself as his father's devoted son after his death. He began minting coins with his father's deified image, proclaiming his desire to avenge Maximian's death. Constantine initially presented the suicide as an unfortunate family tragedy. By 311, however, he was spreading another version. According to this, after Constantine had pardoned him, Maximian planned to murder Constantine in his sleep. Fausta learned of the plot and warned Constantine, who put a eunuch in his own place in bed. Maximian was apprehended when he killed the eunuch and was offered suicide, which he accepted. In addition to the propaganda, Constantine instituted a damnatio memoriae on Maximian, destroying all inscriptions referring to him and eliminating any public work bearing his image.

The death of Maximian necessitated a shift in Constantine's public image. He could no longer rely on his connection to the elder emperor Maximian, and needed a new source of legitimacy. In a speech delivered in Gaul on 25 July 310, the orator reveals a previously unknown dynastic connection to Claudius II, a third-century emperor famed for defeating the Goths and restoring order to the empire. Breaking away from tetrarchic models, the speech emphasizes Constantine's ancestral prerogative to rule, rather than principles of imperial equality. The new ideology expressed in the speech made Galerius and Maximian irrelevant to Constantine's right to rule. Indeed, the orator emphasizes ancestry to the exclusion of all other factors: "No chance agreement of men, nor some unexpected consequence of favor, made you emperor," the orator declares to Constantine.

The oration also moves away from the religious ideology of the Tetrarchy, with its focus on twin dynasties of Jupiter and Hercules. Instead, the orator proclaims that Constantine experienced a divine vision of Apollo and Victory granting him laurel wreaths of health and a long reign. In the likeness of Apollo Constantine recognized himself as the saving figure to whom would be granted "rule of the whole world", as the poet Virgil had once foretold. The oration's religious shift is paralleled by a similar shift in Constantine's coinage. In his early reign, the coinage of Constantine advertised Mars as his patron. From 310 on, Mars was replaced by Sol Invictus, a god conventionally identified with Apollo. There is little reason to believe that either the dynastic connection or the divine vision are anything other than fiction, but their proclamation strengthened Constantine's claims to legitimacy and increased his popularity among the citizens of Gaul.

Civil wars

War against Maxentius

By the middle of 310 Galerius had become too ill to involve himself in imperial politics. His final act survives: a letter to the provincials posted in Nicomedia on 30 April 311, proclaiming an end to the persecutions, and the resumption of religious toleration. He died soon after the edict's proclamation, destroying what little remained of the tetrarchy. Maximin mobilized against Licinius, and seized Asia Minor. A hasty peace was signed on a boat in the middle of the Bosphorus. While Constantine toured Britain and Gaul, Maxentius prepared for war. He fortified northern Italy, and strengthened his support in the Christian community by allowing it to elect a new Bishop of Romemarker, Eusebius.

Maxentius' rule was nevertheless insecure. His early support dissolved in the wake of heightened tax rates and depressed trade; riots broke out in Rome and Carthage; and Domitius Alexander was able to briefly usurp his authority in Africa. By 312, he was a man barely tolerated, not one actively supported, even among Christian Italians. In the summer of 311, Maxentius mobilized against Constantine while Licinius was occupied with affairs in the East. He declared war on Constantine, vowing to avenge his father's "murder". To prevent Maxentius from forming an alliance against him with Licinius, Constantine forged his own alliance with Licinius over the winter of 311–12, and offered him his sister Constantia in marriage. Maximin considered Constantine's arrangement with Licinius an affront to his authority. In response, he sent ambassadors to Rome, offering political recognition to Maxentius in exchange for a military support. Maxentius accepted. According to Eusebius, inter-regional travel became impossible, and there was military buildup everywhere. There was "not a place where people were not expecting the onset of hostilities every day".

Constantine's advisers and generals cautioned against preemptive attack on Maxentius; even his soothsayers recommended against it, stating that the sacrifices had produced unfavorable omens. Constantine, with a spirit that left a deep impression on his followers, inspiring some to believe that he had some form of supernatural guidance, ignored all these cautions. Early in the spring of 312, Constantine crossed the Cottian Alpsmarker with a quarter of his army, a force numbering about 40,000. The first town his army encountered was Segusium (Susamarker, Italymarker), a heavily fortified town that shut its gates to him. Constantine ordered his men to set fire to its gates and scale its walls. He took the town quickly. Constantine ordered his troops not to loot the town, and advanced with them into northern Italy.

At the approach to the west of the important city of Augusta Taurinorum (Turinmarker, Italy), Constantine encountered a large force of heavily armed Maxentian cavalry. In the ensuing battle Constantine's army encircled Maxentius' cavalry, flanked them with his own cavalry, and dismounted them with blows from his soldiers' iron-tipped clubs. Constantine's armies emerged victorious. Turin refused to give refuge to Maxentius' retreating forces, opening its gates to Constantine instead. Other cities of the north Italian plain sent Constantine embassies of congratulation for his victory. He moved on to Milan, where he was met with open gates and jubilant rejoicing. Constantine rested his army in Milan until mid-summer 312, when he moved on to Brixia (Bresciamarker).

Brescia's army was easily dispersed, and Constantine quickly advanced to Veronamarker, where a large Maxentian force was camped. Ruricius Pompeianus, general of the Veronese forces and Maxentius' praetorian prefect, was in a strong defensive position, since the town was surrounded on three sides by the Adigemarker. Constantine sent a small force north of the town in an attempt to cross the river unnoticed. Ruricius sent a large detachment to counter Constantine's expeditionary force, but was defeated. Constantine's forces successfully surrounded the town and laid siege. Ruricius gave Constantine the slip and returned with a larger force to oppose Constantine. Constantine refused to let up on the siege, and sent only a small force to oppose him. In the desperately fought encounter that followed, Ruricius was killed and his army destroyed. Verona surrendered soon afterwards, followed by Aquileiamarker, Mutina (Modenamarker), and Ravennamarker. The road to Rome was now wide open to Constantine.

Maxentius prepared for the same type of war he had waged against Severus and Galerius: he sat in Rome and prepared for a siege. He still controlled Rome's praetorian guards, was well-stocked with African grain, and was surrounded on all sides by the seemingly impregnable Aurelian Wallsmarker. He ordered all bridges across the Tiber cut, reportedly on the counsel of the gods, and left the rest of central Italy undefended; Constantine secured that region's support without challenge. Constantine progressed slowly along the Via Flaminia, allowing the weakness of Maxentius to draw his regime further into turmoil. Maxentius' support continued to weaken: at chariot races on 27 October, the crowd openly taunted Maxentius, shouting that Constantine was invincible. Maxentius, no longer certain that he would emerge from a siege victorious, built a temporary boat bridge across the Tiber in preparation for a field battle against Constantine. On 28 October 312, the sixth anniversary of his reign, he approached the keepers of the Sibylline Books for guidance. The keepers prophesied that, on that very day, "the enemy of the Romans" would die. Maxentius advanced north to meet Constantine in battle.

Maxentius organized his forces—still twice the size of Constantine's—in long lines facing the battle plain, with their backs to the river. Constantine's army arrived at the field bearing unfamiliar symbols on either its standards or its soldiers' shields. According to Lactantius, Constantine was visited by a dream the night before the battle, wherein he was advised "to mark the heavenly sign of God on the shields of his soldiers...by means of a slanted letter X with the top of its head bent round, he marked Christ on their shields." Eusebius describes another version, where, while marching at midday, "he saw with his own eyes in the heavens a trophy of the cross arising from the light of the sun, carrying the message, In Hoc Signo Vinces or "In this sign, you will conquer"; in Eusebius's account, Constantine had a dream the following night, in which Christ appeared with the same heavenly sign, and told him to make a standard, the labarum, for his army in that form. Eusebius is vague about when and where these events took place, but it enters his narrative before the war against Maxentius begins. Eusebius describes the sign as Chi (Χ) traversed by Rho (Ρ): ☧, a symbol representing the first two letters of the Greek spelling of the word Christos or Christ. The Eusebian description of the vision has been explained as a "solar halo", a meteorological phenomenon which can produce similar effects. In 315 a medallion was issued at Ticinum showing Constantine wearing a helmet emblazoned with the Chi-Rho, and coins issued at Siscia in 317/18 repeat the image. The figure was otherwise rare, however, and is uncommon in imperial iconography and propaganda before the 320s.

Constantine deployed his own forces along the whole length of Maxentius' line. He ordered his cavalry to charge, and they broke Maxentius' cavalry. He then sent his infantry against Maxentius' infantry, pushing many into the Tiber where they were slaughtered and drowned. The battle was brief: Maxentius' troops were broken before the first charge. Maxentius' horse guards and praetorians initially held their position, but broke under the force of a Constantinian cavalry charge; they also broke ranks and fled to the river. Maxentius rode with them, and attempted to cross the bridge of boats, but he was pushed by the mass of his fleeing soldiers into the Tiber, and drowned.

In Rome

Constantine entered Rome on 29 October. He staged a grand adventus in the city, and was met with popular jubilation. Maxentius' body was fished out of the Tiber and decapitated. His head was paraded through the streets for all to see. After the ceremonies, Maxentius' disembodied head was sent to Carthagemarker; at this Carthage would offer no further resistance. Unlike his predecessors, Constantine neglected to make the trip to the Capitoline Hillmarker and perform customary sacrifices at the Temple of Jupitermarker. He did, however, choose to honor the Senatorial Curiamarker with a visit, where he promised to restore its ancestral privileges and give it a secure role in his reformed government: there would be no revenge against Maxentius' supporters. In response, the Senate decreed him "title of the first name", which meant his name would be listed first in all official documents, and acclaimed him as "the greatest Augustus". He issued decrees returning property lost under Maxentius, recalling political exiles, and releasing Maxentius' imprisoned opponents.

An extensive propaganda campaign followed, during which Maxentius' image was systematically purged from all public places. Maxentius was written up as a "tyrant", and set against an idealized image of the "liberator", Constantine. Eusebius, in his later works, is the best representative of this strand of Constantinian propaganda. Maxentius' rescripts were declared null and void, and the honors Maxentius had granted to leaders of the Senate were invalidated. Constantine also attempted to remove Maxentius' influence on Rome's urban landscape. All structures built by Maxentius were re-dedicated to Constantine, including the Temple of Romulus and the Basilica of Maxentiusmarker. At the focal point of the basilica, a stone statue of Constantine holding the Christian labarum in its hand was erected. Its inscription bore the message the statue had already made clear: By this sign Constantine had freed Rome from the yoke of the tyrant.
Where he did not overwrite Maxentius' achievements, Constantine upstaged them: the Circus Maximusmarker was redeveloped so that its total seating capacity was twenty-five times larger than that of Maxentius' racing complex on the Via Appia. Maxentius' strongest supporters in the military were neutralized when the Praetorian Guard and Imperial Horse Guard (equites singulares) were disbanded. Their tombstones were ground up and put to use in a basilica on the Via Labicana. On 9 November 312, barely two weeks after Constantine captured the city, the former base of the Imperial Horse Guard was chosen for redevelopment into the Lateran Basilicamarker. The Legio II Parthica was removed from Alba (Albano Lazialemarker), and the remainder of Maxentius' armies were sent to do frontier duty on the Rhine.

Wars against Licinius

In the following years, Constantine gradually consolidated his military superiority over his rivals in the crumbling Tetrarchy. In 313, he met Licinius in Milanmarker to secure their alliance by the marriage of Licinius and Constantine's half-sister Constantia. During this meeting, the emperors agreed on the so-called Edict of Milan, officially granting full tolerance to "Christianity and all" religions in the Empire. The document had special benefits for Christians, legalizing their religion and granting them restoration for all property seized during Diocletian's persecution. It repudiates past methods of religious coercion and used only general terms to refer to the divine sphere — "Divinity" and "Supreme Divinity", summa divinitas. The conference was cut short, however, when news reached Licinius that his rival Maximin had crossed the Bosporusmarker and invaded European territory. Licinius departed and eventually defeated Maximinus, gaining control over the entire eastern half of the Roman Empire. Relations between the two remaining emperors deteriorated, though, and either in 314 or 316, Constantine and Licinius fought against one another in the war of Cibalae, with Constantine being victorious. They clashed again in the Battle of Campus Ardiensismarker in 317, and agreed to a settlement in which Constantine's sons Crispus and Constantine II, and Licinius' son Licinianus were made caesars.

In the year 320, Licinius reneged on the religious freedom promised by the Edict of Milan in 313 and began to oppress Christians anew. It became a challenge to Constantine in the west, climaxing in the great civil war of 324. Licinius, aided by Goth mercenaries, represented the past and the ancient Pagan faiths. Constantine and his Franks marched under the standard of the labarum, and both sides saw the battle in religious terms. Supposedly outnumbered, but fired by their zeal, Constantine's army emerged victorious in the Battle of Adrianople. Licinius fled across the Bosphorus and appointed Martius Martinianus, the commander of his bodyguard, as Caesar, but Constantine next won the Battle of the Hellespont, and finally the Battle of Chrysopolis on 18 September 324. Licinius and Martinianus surrendered to Constantine at Nicomedia on the promise their lives would be spared: they were sent to live as private citizens in Thessalonica and Cappadocia respectively, but in 325 Constantine accused Licinius of plotting against him and had them both arrested and hanged; Licinius's son (the son of Constantine's half-sister) was also eradicated. Thus Constantine became the sole emperor of the Roman Empire.

Later rule

Foundation of Constantinople

Coin struck by Constantine I to commemorate the founding of Constantinople
Licinius' defeat represented the passing of old Rome, and the beginning of the role of the Eastern Roman Empire as a center of learning, prosperity, and cultural preservation. Constantine rebuilt the city of Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinopolis ("Constantine's City" or Constantinoplemarker in English), and issued special commemorative coins in 330 to honor the event. The new city was protected by the relics of the True Cross, the Rod of Moses and other holy relics, though a cameo now at the Hermitage Museummarker also represented Constantine crowned by the tyche of the new city. The figures of old gods were either replaced or assimilated into a framework of Christian symbolism. Constantine built the new Church of the Holy Apostlesmarker on the site of a temple to Aphrodite. Generations later there was the story that a Divine vision led Constantine to this spot, and an angel no one else could see, led him on a circuit of the new walls. The capital would often be compared to the 'old' Rome as Nova Roma Constantinopolitana, the "New Rome of Constantinople".

Religious policy



Constantine is perhaps best known for being the first Christian Roman emperor; his reign was certainly a turning point for the Christian Church. In 313 Constantine announced toleration of Christianity in the Edict of Milan, which removed penalties for professing Christianity (under which many had been martyred in previous persecutions of Christians) and returned confiscated Church property. Though a similar edict had been issued in 311 by Galerius, then senior emperor of the Tetrarchy, Galerius' edict granted Christians the right to practice their religion but did not restore any property to them.

Scholars debate whether Constantine adopted his mother St. Helena's Christianity in his youth, or whether he adopted it gradually over the course of his life. Constantine would retain the title of pontifex maximus until his death, a title emperors bore as heads of the pagan priesthood, as would his Christian successors on to Gratian (r. 375–83). According to Christian writers, Constantine was over 40 when he finally declared himself a Christian, writing to Christians to make clear that he believed he owed his successes to the protection of the Christian High God alone. Throughout his rule, Constantine supported the Church financially, built basilicas, granted privileges to clergy (e.g. exemption from certain taxes), promoted Christians to high office, and returned property confiscated during the Diocletianic persecution. His most famous building projects include the Church of the Holy Sepulchremarker, and Old Saint Peter's Basilica.

Constantine did not patronize Christianity alone, however. After gaining victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, a triumphal arch—the Arch of Constantinemarker—was built to celebrate; the arch is decorated with images of Victoria and sacrifices to gods like Apollo, Diana, or Hercules, but contains no Christian symbolism. In 321, Constantine instructed that Christians and non-Christians should be united in observing the "venerable day of the sun", referencing the esoteric eastern sun-worship which Aurelian had helped introduce, and his coinage still carried the symbols of the sun-cult until 324. Even after the pagan gods had disappeared from the coinage, Christian symbols appear only as Constantine's personal attributes: the chi rho between his hands or on his labarum, but never on the coin itself. Even when Constantine dedicated the new capital of Constantinople, which became the seat of Byzantine Christianity for a millennium, he did so wearing the Apollonian sun-rayed Diadem.



The reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the emperor in the Christian Church. Constantine himself disliked the risks to societal stability, that religious disputes and controversies brought with them, preferring where possible to establish an orthodoxy. The emperor saw it as his duty to ensure that God was properly worshipped in his empire, and what proper worship consisted of was for the Church to determine. In 316, Constantine acted as a judge in a North African dispute concerning the validity of Donatism. After deciding against the Donatists, Constantine led an army of Christians against the Donatist Christians. After 300 years of pacifism, this was the first intra-Christian persecution. More significantly, in 325 he summoned the Council of Nicaea, effectively the first Ecumenical Council (unless the Council of Jerusalem is so classified), Nicaea was to deal mostly with the heresy of Arianism. Constantine also enforced the prohibition of the First Council of Nicaea against celebrating Easter on the day before the Jewish Passover (14 Nisan) (see Quartodecimanism and Easter controversy).

Constantine made new laws regarding the Jews. They were forbidden to own Christian slaves or to circumcise their slaves.

Administrative reforms

Since the beginning of the Roman Empire, there was a perennial legitimacy issue about imperial rule in that the bureaucratic hierarchy of administrative posts around the Emperor, held mostly by members of the Equestrian order who had actual power but held relative lower social status, was opposed to the old political hierarchy of Roman magistratures (cursus honorum) inherited from the Old Republic and giving entrance into the Roman Senate, such magistratures, however, being progressively emptied of actual power and becoming mere social (and avidly sought) distinctions. In 326, Constantine tried to fill this rift by making all holders of top administrative positions senators; one could become a senator, either by being elected praetor or (in most cases) by fulfilling a function of senatorial rank: from then on, holding of actual power and social status were melded together into a joint imperial hierarchy; at the same time, Constantine gained with this the support of the old nobility, as the Senate was allowed to elect itself praetors and quaestors, in place of the usual practice of the emperors directly creating new magistrates (adlectio). In one inscription in honor of city prefect (336–37) Ceionius Rufus Albinus, it was written that Constantine had restored the Senate "the auctoritas it had lost at Caesar's time". The Senate as a body remained devoid of any significant power; nevertheless, the senators, who had been marginalized as potential holders of imperial functions during the Third Century, could now dispute such positions alongside more upstart bureaucrats. Some modern historians see in those administrative reforms an attempt by Constantine at reintegrating the Senatorial Order into the imperial administrative elite in order to counter the possibility of alienating pagan senators from a Christianized imperial rule/ It must be noted that Constantine's reforms had to do only with the civilian administration: the military chiefs, who since the Crisis of the Third Century were mostly rank-and-file upstarts, remained outside the Senate, in which they were included only by Constantine's children.

Monetary reforms

After the runaway inflation of the third century, associated with the production of fiat money to pay for public expenses, Diocletian had tried to reestablish trustworthy minting of silver and billon coins. Constantine forsook this conservative monetary policy, preferring instead to concentrate on minting large quantities of good standard gold pieces—the solidus, 72 of which made a pound of gold, the standard of silver and billon pieces being further degraded in order to assure the possibility of keeping fiduciary minting alongside a gold standard. The anonymous author of the possibly-contemporary treatise on military affairs De Rebus Bellicis held that, as a consequence of this monetary policy, the rift between classes widened: the rich benefited from the stability in purchasing power of the gold piece, while the poor had to cope with ever-degrading billon pieces. Later emperors like Julian the Apostate tried to present themselves as advocates of the humiles by insisting on trustworthy mintings of the copper currency.

Executions of Crispus and Fausta

On some date between 15 May and 17 June 326, Constantine had his eldest son Crispus, by Minervina, seized and put to death by "cold poison" at Pola (Pulamarker, Croatiamarker). In July, Constantine had his wife, the Empress Fausta, killed at the behest of his mother, Helena. Fausta was left to die in an over-heated bath. Their names were wiped from the face of many inscriptions, references to their lives in the literary record were erased, and the memory of both was condemned. Eusebius, for example, edited praise of Crispus out of later copies of his Historia Ecclesiastica, and his Vita Constantini contains no mention of Fausta or Crispus at all. Few ancient sources are willing to discuss possible motives for the events; those few that do offer unconvincing rationales, are of later provenance, and are generally unreliable. At the time of the executions, it was commonly believed that the Empress Fausta was either in an illicit relationship with Crispus, or was spreading rumors to that effect. A popular myth arose, modified to allude to HippolytusPhaedra legend, with the suggestion that Constantine killed Crispus and Fausta for their immoralities. One source, the largely fictional Passion of Artemius, probably penned in the eighth century by John of Damascus, makes the legendary connection explicit. As an interpretation of the executions, the myth rests on only "the slimmest of evidence": sources that allude to the relationship between Crispus and Fausta are late and unreliable, and the modern suggestion that Constantine's "godly" edicts of 326 and the irregularities of Crispus are somehow connected rests on no evidence at all.

Later campaigns

Constantine considered Constantinople as his capital and permanent residence. He lived there for a good portion of his later life. He rebuilt Trajan's bridge across the Danube, in hopes of reconquering Dacia, a province that had been abandoned under Aurelian. In the late winter of 332, Constantine campaigned with the Sarmatians against the Goths. The weather and a lack of food did the Goths in; nearly one hundred thousand died before they submitted to Roman lordship. In 334, after Sarmatian commoners had overthrown their leaders, Constantine led a campaign against the tribe. He won a victory in the war and extended his control over the region, as remains of camps and fortifications in the region indicate. Constantine resettled some Sarmatian exiles as farmers in the Balkans and Italy, and conscripted the rest into the army. Constantine took the title Dacius maximus in 336.

In the last years of his life Constantine made plans for a campaign against Persia. In a letter written to the king of Persia, Shapur, Constantine had asserted his patronage over Persia's Christian subjects and urged Shapur to treat them well. The letter is undatable. In response to border raids, Constantine sent Constantius to guard the eastern frontier in 335. In 336, prince Narseh invaded Armenia (a Christian kingdom since 301) and installed a Persian client on the throne. Constantine then resolved to campaign against Persia himself. He treated the war as a Christian crusade, calling for bishops to accompany the army and commissioning a tent in the shape of a church to follow him everywhere. Constantine planned to be baptized in the Jordan Rivermarker before crossing into Persia. Persian diplomats came to Constantinople over the winter of 336–7, seeking peace, but Constantine turned them away. The campaign was called off however, when Constantine fell sick in the spring of 337.

Sickness and death

Constantine had known death would soon come. Within the Church of the Holy Apostles, Constantine had secretly prepared a final resting-place for himself. It came sooner than he had expected. Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis (Altinova), on the southern shores of the Gulf of İzmit. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. Seeking purification, he became a catechumen, and attempted a return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordanmarker, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom". He chose the Arianizing bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia, bishop of the citymarker where he lay dying, as his baptizer. In postponing his baptism, he followed one custom at the time which postponed baptism until old age or death. It was thought Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on the last day of the fifty-day festival of Pentecost directly following Easter, on 22 May 337.

Although Constantine's death follows the conclusion of the Persian campaign in Eusebius's account, most other sources report his death as occurring in its middle. Emperor Julian, writing in the mid-350s, observes that the Sassanian escaped punishment for their ill-deeds, because Constantine died "in the middle of his preparations for war". Similar accounts are given in the Origo Constantini, an anonymous document composed while Constantine was still living, and which has Constantine dying in Nicomedia; the Historiae abbreviatae of Sextus Aurelius Victor, written in 361, which has Constantine dying at an estate near Nicomedia called Achyrona while marching against the Persians; and the Breviarium of Eutropius, a handbook compiled in 369 for the Emperor Valens, which has Constantine dying in a nameless state villa in Nicomedia. From these and other accounts, some have concluded that Eusebius's Vita was edited to defend Constantine's reputation against what Eusebius saw as a less congenial version of the campaign.

Following his death, his body was transferred to Constantinople and buried in the Church of the Holy Apostlesmarker there. He was succeeded by his three sons born of Fausta, Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans. A number of relatives were killed by followers of Constantius, notably Constantine's nephews Dalmatius (who held the rank of Caesar) and Hannibalianus, presumably to eliminate possible contenders to an already complicated succession. He also had two daughters, Constantina and Helena, wife of Emperor Julian.

Legacy

Bronze head of Constantine, from a colossal statue (4th century).


Although he earned his honorific of "The Great" ("Μέγας") from Christian historians long after he had died, he could have claimed the title on his military achievements and victories alone. In addition to reuniting the Empire under one emperor, Constantine won major victories over the Franks and Alamanni in 306–8, the Franks again in 313–14, the Visigoths in 332 and the Sarmatians in 334. In fact, by 336, Constantine had actually reoccupied most of the long-lost province of Dacia, which Aurelian had been forced to abandon in 271. At the time of his death, he was planning a great expedition to put an end to raids on the eastern provinces from the Persian Empire.

The Byzantine Empire considered Constantine its founder and the Holy Roman Empire reckoned him among the venerable figures of its tradition. In the later Byzantine state, it had become a great honor for an emperor to be hailed as a "new Constantine". Ten emperors, including the last emperor of Byzantium, carried the name. Monumental Constantinian forms were used at the court of Charlemagne to suggest that he was Constantine's successor and equal. Constantine acquired a mythic role as a warrior against "heathens". The motif of the Romanesque equestrian, the mounted figure in the posture of a triumphant Roman emperor, came to be used as a visual metaphor in statuary in praise of local benefactors. The name "Constantine" itself enjoyed renewed popularity in western France in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Most Eastern Christian churches consider Constantine a saint (Άγιος Κωνσταντίνος, Saint Constantine). In the Byzantine Church he was called isapostolos (Ισαπόστολος Κωνσταντίνος)—an equal of the Apostles. Niš airportmarker is named Constantine the Great in honor of his birth in Naissus.

Historiography

During his life and those of his sons, Constantine was presented as a paragon of virtue. Even pagans like Praxagoras of Athens and Libanius showered him with praise. When the last of his sons died in 361, however, his nephew Julian the Apostate wrote the satire Symposium, or the Saturnalia, which denigrated Constantine, calling him inferior to the great pagan emperors, and given over to luxury and greed. Following Julian, Eunapius began—and Zosimus continued—a historiographic tradition that blamed Constantine for weakening the Empire through his indulgence to the Christians.

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 Renaissance rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources prompted a re-evaluation of Constantine's career. The German humanist Johann Löwenklau, discoverer of Zosimus' writings, published a Latin translation thereof in 1576. In its preface, he argued that Zosimus' picture of Constantine was superior to that offered by Eusebius and the Church historians, and damned Constantine as a tyrant. Cardinal Caesar Baronius, a man of the Counter-Reformation, criticized Zosimus, favoring Eusebius' account of the Constantinian era. Baronius' Life of Constantine (1588) presents Constantine as the model of a Christian prince. For his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–89), Edward Gibbon, aiming to unite the two extremes of Constantinian scholarship, offered a portrait of Constantine built on the contrasted narratives of Eusebius and Zosimus. In a form that parallels his account of the empire's decline, Gibbon presents a noble war hero corrupted by Christian influences, who transforms into an Oriental despot in his old age: "a hero...degenerating into a cruel and dissolute monarch".

Modern interpretations of Constantine's rule begin with Jacob Burckhardt's The Age of Constantine the Great (1853, rev. 1880). Burckhardt's Constantine is a scheming secularist, a politician who manipulates all parties in a quest to secure his own power. Henri Grégoire, writing in the 1930s, followed Burckhardt's evaluation of Constantine. For Grégoire, Constantine only developed an interest in Christianity after witnessing its political usefulness. Grégoire was skeptical of the authenticity of Eusebius' Vita, and postulated a pseudo-Eusebius to assume responsibility for the vision and conversion narratives of that work. Otto Seeck, in Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken Welt (1920–23), and André Piganiol, in L'empereur Constantin (1932), wrote against this historiographic tradition. Seeck presented Constantine as a sincere war hero, whose ambiguities were the product of his own naïve inconsistency. Piganiol's Constantine is a philosophical monotheist, a child of his era's religious syncretism. Related histories by A.H.M. Jones (Constantine and the Conversion of Europe (1949)) and Ramsay MacMullen (Constantine (1969)) gave portraits of a less visionary, and more impulsive, Constantine.

These later accounts were more willing to present Constantine as a genuine convert to Christianity. Beginning with Norman H. Baynes' Constantine the Great and the Christian Church (1929) and reinforced by Andreas Alföldi's The Conversion of Constantine and Pagan Rome (1948), a historiographic tradition developed which presented Constantine as a committed Christian. T. D. Barnes's seminal Constantine and Eusebius (1981) represents the culmination of this trend. Barnes' Constantine experienced a radical conversion, which drove him on a personal crusade to convert his empire. Charles Matson Odahl's recent Constantine and the Christian Empire (2004) takes much the same tack. In spite of Barnes' work, arguments over the strength and depth of Constantine's religious conversion continue. Certain themes in this school reached new extremes in T.G. Elliott's The Christianity of Constantine the Great (1996), which presented Constantine as a committed Christian from early childhood.

Donation of Constantine

Latin Rite Catholics considered it inappropriate that Constantine was baptized only on his death-bed and by a bishop of questionable orthodoxy, viewing it as a snub to the authority of the Papacy. Hence, by the early fourth century, a legend had emerged that Pope Sylvester I (314–35) had cured the pagan emperor from leprosy. According to this legend, Constantine was soon baptized, and began the construction of a church in the Lateran Palacemarker. In the eighth century, most likely during the pontificate of Stephen II (752–7), a document called the Donation of Constantine first appeared, in which the freshly converted Constantine hands the temporal rule over "the city of Romemarker and all the provinces, districts, and cities of Italymarker and the Western regions" to Sylvester and his successors. In the High Middle Ages, this document was used and accepted as the basis for the Pope's temporal power, though it was denounced as a forgery by Emperor Otto III and lamented as the root of papal worldliness by the poet Dante Alighieri. The 15th century philologist Lorenzo Valla proved the document was indeed a forgery.

Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia

Because of his fame and his being proclaimed Emperor in the territory of Roman Britain, later Britons regarded Constantine as a king of their own people. In the 12th century Henry of Huntingdon included a passage in his Historia Anglorum that Constantine's mother Helena was a Briton, the daughter of King Cole of Colchestermarker. Geoffrey of Monmouth expanded this story in his highly fictionalized Historia Regum Britanniae, and account of the supposed Kings of Britain from their Trojanmarker origins to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. According to Geoffrey, Cole was King of the Britons when Constantius, here a senator, came to Britain. Afraid of the Romans, Cole submitted to Roman law so long as he retained his kingship. However, he died only a month later, and Constantius took the throne himself, marrying Cole's daughter Helena. They had their son Constantine, who succeeded his father as King of Britain before becoming Roman Emperor.

Historically, this series of events is extremely improbable. Constantius had already left Helena by the time he left for Britain. Additionally, no earlier source mentions that Helena was born in Britain, let alone that she was princess. Henry's source for the story is unknown, though it may have been a lost hagiography of Helena.

See also



References

Ancient sources

*Apologia conta Arianos (Defence against the Arians) ca. 349.
:*Atkinson, M., and Archibald Robertson, trans. Apologia Contra Arianos. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 4. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Online at New Advent. Accessed 14 August 2009.
*Epistola de Decretis Nicaenae Synodi (Letter on the Decrees of the Council of Nicaea) ca. 352.
:*Newman, John Henry, trans. De Decretis. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 4. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Online at New Advent. Accessed 28 September 2009.
*Historia Arianorum (History of the Arians) ca. 357.
:*Atkinson, M., and Archibald Robertson, trans. Historia Arianorum. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 4. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Online at New Advent. Accessed 14 August 2009.
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*Mommsen, T. and Paul M. Meyer, eds. Theodosiani libri XVI cum Constitutionibus Sirmondianis et Leges novellae ad Theodosianum pertinentes2 (in Latin). Berlin: Weidmann, [1905] 1954. Complied by Nicholas Palmer, revised by Tony Honoré for Oxford Text Archive, 1984. Prepared for online use by R.W.B. Salway, 1999. Preface, books 1–8. Online at University College London and the University of Grenoble. Accessed 25 August 2009.
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*Historia Ecclesiastica (Church History) first seven books ca. 300, eighth and ninth book ca. 313, tenth book ca. 315, epilogue ca. 325.
:*Williamson, G.A., trans. Church History. London: Penguin, 1989. ISBN 97801404453350
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* Oratio de Laudibus Constantini (Oration in Praise of Constantine, sometimes the Tricennial Oration) 336.
:*Richardson, Ernest Cushing, trans. Oration in Praise of Constantine. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1890. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Online at New Advent. Accessed 16 August 2009.
* Vita Constantini (The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine) ca. 336–39.
:* Richardson, Ernest Cushing, trans. Life of Constantine. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1890. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Online at New Advent. Accessed 9 June 2009.
:* Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine. 2009. Reprint of Bagster edition [1845]. Evolution Publishing. ISBN 978-1-889758-93-0. [770]
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* Fletcher, William, trans. Of the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Online at New Advent. Accessed 9 June 2009.
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Notes

  1. Birth dates vary but most modern historians use c. 272". Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 59.
  2. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 272.
  3. Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), 14; Cameron, 90–91; Lenski, "Introduction" (CC), 2–3.
  4. Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), 23–25; Cameron, 90–91; Southern, 169.
  5. Cameron, 90; Southern, 169.
  6. Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), 14; Corcoran, Empire of the Tetrarchs, 1; Lenski, "Introduction" (CC), 2–3.
  7. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 265–68.
  8. Drake, "What Eusebius Knew," 21.
  9. Eusebius, Vita Constantini 1.11; Odahl, 3.
  10. Lenski, "Introduction" (CC), 5; Storch, 145–55.
  11. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 265–71; Cameron, 90–92; Cameron and Hall, 4–6; Elliott, "Eusebian Frauds in the "Vita Constantini"", 162–71.
  12. Lieu and Montserrat, 39; Odahl, 3.
  13. Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), 26; Lieu and Montserrat, 40; Odahl, 3.
  14. Lieu and Montserrat, 40; Odahl, 3.
  15. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 12–14; Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), 24; Mackay, 207; Odahl, 9–10.
  16. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 225; Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), 28–29; Odahl, 4–6.
  17. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 225; Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), 26–29; Odahl, 5–6.
  18. Odahl, 6, 10.
  19. Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), 27–28; Lieu and Montserrat, 2–6; Odahl, 6–7; Warmington, 166–67.
  20. Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), 24; Odahl, 8.
  21. Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), 20–21; Johnson, "Architecture of Empire" (CC), 288–91; Odahl, 11–12.
  22. Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), 17–21; Odahl, 11–14.
  23. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 3, 39–42; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 17; Odahl, 15; Pohlsander, "Constantine I"; Southern, 169, 341.
  24. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 3; Barnes, New Empire, 39–42; Elliott, "Constantine's Conversion," 425–6; Elliott, "Eusebian Frauds," 163; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 17; Jones, 13–14; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 59; Odahl, 16; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 14; Rodgers, 238; Wright, 495, 507.
  25. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 3; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 59–60; Odahl, 16–17.
  26. Panegyrici Latini 8(5), 9(4); Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum 8.7; Eusebius, Vita Constantini 1.13.3; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 13, 290.
  27. MacMullen, Constantine, 21.
  28. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 3; Barnes, New Empire, 39–40; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 17; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 59, 83; Odahl, 16; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 14.
  29. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 8–14; Corcoran, "Before Constantine" (CC), 41–54; Odahl, 46–50; Treadgold, 14–15.
  30. Bowman, 70; Potter, 283; Williams, 49, 65.
  31. Potter, 283; Williams, 49, 65.
  32. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 3; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 20; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 59–60; Odahl, 47, 299; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 14.
  33. Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum 7.1; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 13, 290.
  34. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 3, 8; Corcoran, "Before Constantine" (CC), 40–41; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 20; Odahl, 46–47; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 8–9, 14; Treadgold, 17.
  35. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 8–9; Corcoran, "Before Constantine" (CC), 42–43, 54.
  36. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 3; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 59–60; Odahl, 56–7.
  37. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 73–74; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 60; Odahl, 72, 301.
  38. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 47, 73–74; Fowden, "Between Pagans and Christians," 175–76.
  39. Constantine, Oratio ad Sanctorum Coetum, 16.2; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 29–30; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 60; Odahl, 72–73.
  40. Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 29; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 61; Odahl, 72–74, 306; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 15. Contra: J. Moreau, Lactance: "De la mort des persécuteurs", Sources Chrétiennes 39 (1954): 313; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 297.
  41. Constantine, Oratio ad Sanctorum Coetum 25; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 30; Odahl, 73.
  42. Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum 10.6–11; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 21; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 35–36; MacMullen, Constantine, 24; Odahl, 67; Potter, 338.
  43. Eusebius, Vita Constantini 2.49–52; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 21; Odahl, 67, 73, 304; Potter, 338.
  44. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 22–25; MacMullen, Constantine, 24–30; Odahl, 67–69; Potter, 337.
  45. MacMullen, Constantine, 24–25.
  46. Oratio ad Sanctorum Coetum 25; Odahl, 73.
  47. Drake, "The Impact of Constantine on Christianity" (CC), 126; Elliott, "Constantine's Conversion," 425–26.
  48. Drake, "The Impact of Constantine on Christianity" (CC), 126.
  49. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 25–27; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 60; Odahl, 69–72; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 15; Potter, 341–42.
  50. Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum 19.2–6; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 26; Potter, 342.
  51. Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 60–61; Odahl, 72–74; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 15.
  52. Origo 4; Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum 24.3–9; Praxagoras fr. 1.2; Aurelius Victor 40.2–3; Epitome de Caesaribus 41.2; Zosimus 2.8.3; Eusebius, Vita Constantini 1.21; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 61; MacMullen, Constantine, 32; Odahl, 73.
  53. Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 61.
  54. Odahl, 75–76.
  55. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 27; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 39–40; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 61; MacMullen, Constantine, 32; Odahl, 77; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 15–16; Potter, 344–5; Southern, 169–70, 341.
  56. MacMullen, Constantine, 32.
  57. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 27; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 39–40; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 61; Odahl, 77; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 15–16; Potter, 344–45; Southern, 169–70, 341.
  58. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 27, 298; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 39; Odahl, 77–78, 309; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 15–16.
  59. Mattingly, 233–34; Southern, 170, 341.
  60. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 27–28; Jones, 59; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 61–62; Odahl, 78–79.
  61. Jones, 59.
  62. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 28–29; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 62; Odahl, 79–80.
  63. Jones, 59; MacMullen, Constantine, 39.
  64. Treadgold, 28.
  65. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 28–29; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 62; Odahl, 79–80; Rees, 160.
  66. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 29; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 41; Jones, 59; MacMullen, Constantine, 39; Odahl, 79–80.
  67. Odahl, 79–80.
  68. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 29.
  69. Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 16–17.
  70. Odahl, 80–81.
  71. Odahl, 81.
  72. MacMullen, Constantine, 39; Odahl, 81–82.
  73. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 29; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 41; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 63; MacMullen, Constantine, 39–40; Odahl, 81–83.
  74. Odahl, 82–83.
  75. Odahl, 82–83. See also: William E. Gwatkin, Jr. Roman Trier." The Classical Journal 29 (1933): 3–12.
  76. Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum 24.9; Barnes, "Lactantius and Constantine", 43–46; Odahl, 85, 310–11.
  77. Odahl, 86.
  78. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 28.
  79. Rodgers, 236.
  80. Panegyrici Latini 7(6)3.4; Eusebius, Vita Constantini 1.22, qtd. and tr. Odahl, 83; Rodgers, 238.
  81. MacMullen, Constantine, 40.
  82. Qtd. in MacMullen, Constantine, 40.
  83. Zosimus, 2.9.2; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 62; MacMullen, Constantine, 39.
  84. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 29; Odahl, 86; Potter, 346.
  85. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 30–31; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 41–42; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 62–63; Odahl, 86–87; Potter, 348–49.
  86. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 31; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 64; Odahl, 87–88; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 15–16.
  87. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 30; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 62–63; Odahl, 86–87.
  88. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 34; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 63–65; Odahl, 89; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 15–16.
  89. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 32; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 64; Odahl, 89, 93.
  90. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 32–34; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 42–43; Jones, 61; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 65; Odahl, 90–91; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 17; Potter, 349–50; Treadgold, 29.
  91. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 33; Jones, 61.
  92. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 36–37.
  93. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 34–35; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 43; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 65–66; Odahl, 93; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 17; Potter, 352.
  94. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 34.
  95. Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 43; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 68; Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 20.
  96. Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 45; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 68.
  97. Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum 30.1; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 40–41, 305.
  98. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 41; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 68.
  99. Potter, 352.
  100. Panegyrici Latini 6(7); Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 35–37, 301; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 66; Odahl, 94–95, 314–15; Potter, 352–53.
  101. Panegyrici Latini 6(7)1. Qtd. in Potter, 353.
  102. Panegyrici Latini 6(7).21.5.
  103. Virgil, Ecologues 4.10.
  104. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 36–37; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 67; Odahl, 95.
  105. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 36–37; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 50–53; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 66–67; Odahl, 94–95.
  106. Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum 31–35; Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica 8.16; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 43; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 68; Odahl, 95–96, 316.
  107. Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum 34; Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica 8.17; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 304; Jones, 66.
  108. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 39; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 43–44; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 68; Odahl, 95–96.
  109. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 41; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 45; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 69; Odahl, 96.
  110. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 39–40; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 44; Odahl, 96.
  111. Odahl, 96.
  112. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 38; Odahl, 96.
  113. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 37; Curran, 66; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 68; MacMullen, Constantine, 62.
  114. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 37.
  115. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 37–39.
  116. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 38–39; MacMullen, Constantine, 62.
  117. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 40; Curran, 66.
  118. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 41.
  119. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 41; Elliott, Christianity of Constantine, 44–45; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 69; Odahl, 96.
  120. Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica 8.15.1–2, qtd. and tr. in MacMullen, Constantine, 65.
  121. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 41; MacMullen, Constantine, 71.
  122. Panegyrici Latini 12(9)2.5; Curran, 67.
  123. Curran, 67.
  124. MacMullen, Constantine, 70–71.
  125. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 41; Odahl, 101.
  126. Panegyrici Latini 12(9)5.1–3; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 41; MacMullen, Constantine, 71; Odahl, 101.
  127. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 41; Jones, 70; MacMullen, Constantine, 71; Odahl, 101–2.
  128. Panegyrici Latini 12(9)5–6; 4(10)21–24; Jones, 70–71; MacMullen, Constantine, 71; Odahl, 102, 317–18.
  129. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 41; Jones, 71; Odahl, 102.
  130. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 41–42; Odahl, 103.
  131. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 42; Jones, 71; MacMullen, Constantine, 71; Odahl, 103.
  132. Jones, 71; MacMullen, Constantine, 71; Odahl, 103.
  133. Jones, 71; Odahl, 103.
  134. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 42; Jones, 71; Odahl, 103.
  135. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 42; Jones, 71; Odahl, 103–4.
  136. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 42; Jones, 71; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 69; MacMullen, Constantine, 71; Odahl, 104.
  137. Jones, 71; MacMullen, Constantine, 71.
  138. MacMullen, Constantine, 71.
  139. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 42; Curran, 67; Jones, 71.
  140. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 42; Jones, 71; Odahl, 105.
  141. Jones, 71.
  142. Odahl, 104.
  143. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 42.
  144. MacMullen, Constantine, 72; Odahl, 107.
  145. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 42; Curran, 67; Jones, 71–72; Odahl, 107–8.
  146. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 42–43; MacMullen, Constantine, 78; Odahl, 108.
  147. Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum 44.8; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 43; Curran, 67; Jones, 72; Odahl, 108.
  148. Odahl, 108.
  149. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 43; Digeser, 122; Jones, 72; Odahl, 106.
  150. Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum 44.4–6, tr. J.L. Creed, Lactantius: De Mortibus Persecutorum (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), qtd. in Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 71.
  151. Eusebius, Vita Constantini 1.28, tr. Odahl, 105. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 43; Drake, "Impact of Constantine on Christianity" (CC), 113; Odahl, 105.
  152. Eusebius, Vita Constantini 1.27–29; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 43, 306; Odahl, 105–6, 319–20.
  153. Drake, "Impact of Constantine on Christianity" (CC), 113.
  154. Cameron and Hall, 208.
  155. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 306; MacMullen, Constantine, 73; Odahl, 319.
  156. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 306; Cameron and Hall, 206–7; Drake, "Impact of Constantine on Christianity" (CC), 114; Nicholson, 311.
  157. Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 71, citing Roman Imperial Coinage 7 Ticinum 36.
  158. R. Ross Holloway, Constantine and Rome (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), 3, citing Kraft, "Das Silbermedaillon Constantins des Grosses mit dem Christusmonogram auf dem Helm," Jahrbuch für Numismatik und Geldgeschichte 5–6 (1954/55): 151–78.
  159. Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 71.
  160. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 43; Curran, 68.
  161. MacMullen, Constantine, 78.
  162. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 43; Curran, 68; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 70; MacMullen, Constantine, 78; Odahl, 108.
  163. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 44; MacMullen, Constantine, 81; Odahl, 108.
  164. Cameron, 93; Curran, 71–74; Odahl, 110.
  165. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 44; Curran, 72; Jones, 72; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 70; MacMullen, Constantine, 78; Odahl, 108.
  166. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 44–45.
  167. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 44; MacMullen, Constantine, 81; Odahl, 111. Cf. also Curran, 72–75.
  168. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 45; Curran, 72; MacMullen, Constantine, 81; Odahl, 109.
  169. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 45–46; Odahl, 109.
  170. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 46; Odahl, 109.
  171. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 46.
  172. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 44.
  173. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 45–47; Cameron, 93; Curran, 76–77; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 70.
  174. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 45.
  175. Curran, 80–83.
  176. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 47.
  177. Portrait Head of the Emperor Constantine, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 26.229
  178. Curran, 83–85.
  179. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 45; Curran, 76; Odahl, 109.
  180. Curran, 101.
  181. Krautheimer, Corpus Basilicarum Christianarum Romanorum, 5.90, cited in Curran, 93–96.
  182. Odahl, 109.
  183. The term is a misnomer as the act of Milan was not an edict, while the subsequent edicts by Licinius - of which the edicts to the provinces of Bythinia and Palestine are recorded by Lactantius and Eusebius, respectively - were not issued in Milan.
  184. Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 24.
  185. Drake, "Impact," 121–123.
  186. Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 38–39.
  187. Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 41–42.
  188. Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 42–43.
  189. Scarre, Chronicle of the Roman Emperors, 215.
  190. MacMullen, Constantine.
  191. Sardonyx cameo depicting constantine the great crowned by Constantinople, 4th century AD at "The Road to Byzantium: Luxury Arts of Antiquity". The Hermitage Rooms at Somerset House (30 March 2006 – 3 September 2006)
  192. According to the Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum, vol. 164 (Stuttgart: A. Hiersemann, 2005), column 442, there is no evidence for the tradition that Constantine officially dubbed the city "New Rome" (Nova Roma or Nea Rhome). Commemorative coins that were issued during the 330s already refer to the city as Constantinopolis (Michael Grant, The Climax of Rome (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1968), 133). It is possible that the emperor called the city "Second Rome" (Deutera Rhome) by official decree, as reported by the 5th century church historian Socrates of Constantinople.
  193. See Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum 34–35.
  194. R. Gerberding and J. H. Moran Cruz, Medieval Worlds (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004) p. 55. Also, Percival J. On the Question of Constantine's Conversion to Christianity, Clio History Journal, 2008.
  195. Peter Brown, The Rise of Christendom 2nd edition (Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, 2003) p. 60
  196. R. Gerberding and J. H. Moran Cruz, Medieval Worlds (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004) pp. 55–56.
  197. Cf. Paul Veyne, Quand notre monde est devenu chrétien, 163.
  198. Richards, Jeffrey. The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages 476–752 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) 14–15; The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages 476–752 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) 15.
  199. Richards, Jeffrey. The Popes and the Papacy in the Early Middle Ages 476–752 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979) 16.
  200. Life of Constantine Vol. III Ch. XVIII by Eusebius; The Epistle of the Emperor Constantine, concerning the matters transacted at the Council, addressed to those Bishops who were not present
  201. Christol & Nony, Rome et son Empire, 247; Carrié & Rousselle L'Empire Romain, 658.
  202. Carrié & Rousselle L'Empire Romain, 658–59.
  203. Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae 1222; Carrié & Rousselle L'Empire Romain, 659.
  204. Carrié & Rousselle, L'Empire Romain, 660.
  205. Cf. Arnhein, The Senatorial Aristocracy in the Later Roman Empire, quoted by Perry Anderson, Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism, 101.
  206. Cf. Paul Veyne, L'Empire Gréco-Romain, 49.
  207. Christol & Nony, Rome et son Empire, 247.
  208. De Rebus Bellicis, 2.
  209. Sandro Mazzarino, according to Christol & Nony, Rome et son Empire, 246
  210. Guthrie, 325–6.
  211. Guthrie, 326; Woods, "Death of the Empress," 70–72.
  212. Guthrie, 326; Woods, "Death of the Empress," 72.
  213. Guthrie, 326–27.
  214. Art. Pass 45; Woods, "Death of the Empress," 71–72.
  215. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 250.
  216. Eusebius, VC 4.9ff, cited in Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 259.
  217. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 258–59. See also: Fowden, "Last Days", 146–48, and Wiemer, 515.
  218. Eusebius, Vita Constantini 4.58–60; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 259.
  219. Eusebius, Vita Constantini 4.61; Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 259.
  220. Eusebius, Vita Constantini 4.62.
  221. Eusebius, Vita Constantini 4.62.4.
  222. Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 75–76; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 82.
  223. Because he was so old, he could not be submerged in water to be baptised, and therefore, the rules of baptism were changed to what they are today, having water placed on the forehead alone. In this period infant baptism, though practiced (usually in circumstances of emergency) had not yet become a matter of routine in the west. Thomas M. Finn, Early Christian Baptism and the Catechumenate: East and West Syria (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press/Michael Glazier, 1992); Philip Rousseau, "Baptism," in Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Post Classical World, ed. G.W. Bowersock, Peter Brown, and Oleg Grabar (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1999).
  224. Marilena Amerise, 'Il battesimo di Costantino il Grande."
  225. Eusebius, Vita Constantini 4.64; Fowden, "Last Days of Constantine," 147; Lenski, "Reign of Constantine" (CC), 82.
  226. Julian, Orations 1.18.b.
  227. Origo Constantini 35.
  228. Sextus Aurelius Victor, Historiae abbreviatae XLI.16.
  229. Eutropius, Breviarium X.8.2.
  230. Fowden, "Last Days of Constantine," 148–9.
  231. Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 75–76.
  232. Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 71, figure 9.
  233. Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 72.
  234. Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 91.
  235. Seidel, 237–39.
  236. Pohlsander, Emperor Constantine, 83–87.
  237. Lieu, "Constantine in Legendary Literature" (CC), 305.
  238. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 272–23.
  239. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 273.
  240. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 273; Odahl, 281.
  241. Johannes Leunclavius, Apologia pro Zosimo adversus Evagrii, Nicephori Callisti et aliorum acerbas criminationes (Defence of Zosimus against the Unjustified Charges of Evagrius, Nicephorus Callistus, and Others) (Basel, 1576), cited in Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 273, and Odahl, 282.
  242. Caesar Baronius, Annales Ecclesiastici 3 (Antwerp, 1623), cited in Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 274, and Odahl, 282.
  243. Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 18, cited in Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 274, and Odahl, 282. See also Lenski, "Introduction" (CC), 6–7.
  244. Gibbon, Decline and Fall, 1.256; David P. Jordan, "Gibbon's 'Age of Constantine' and the Fall of Rome", History and Theory 8:1 (1969): 71–96.
  245. Jacob Burckhardt, Die Zeit Constantins des Grossen (Basel, 1853; revised edition, Leipzig, 1880), cited in Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 274; Lenski, "Introduction" (CC), 7.
  246. Lenski, "Introduction" (CC), 7.
  247. Lenski, "Introduction" (CC), 7–8.
  248. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 274.
  249. Lenski, "Introduction" (CC), 8.
  250. Lenski, "Introduction" (CC), 8–9; Odahl, 283.
  251. Odahl, 283; Mark Humphries, "Constantine," review of Constantine and the Christian Empire, by Charles Odahl, Classical Quarterly 56:2 (2006), 449.
  252. Averil Cameron, "Introduction," in Constantine: History, Historiography, and Legend, ed. Samuel N.C. Lieu and Dominic Montserrat (New York: Routledge, 1998), 3.
  253. Lenski, "Introduction" (CC), 10.
  254. Lieu, "Constantine in Legendary Literature" (CC), 298–301.
  255. Constitutum Constantini 17, qtd. in Lieu, "Constantine in Legendary Literature" (CC), 301–3.
  256. Henry Charles Lea, "The 'Donation of Constantine'". The English Historical Review 10: 37 (1895), 86–7.
  257. Inferno 19.115; Paradisio 20.55; cf. De Monarchia 3.10.
  258. Fubini, 79–86; Lenski, "Introduction" (CC), 6.
  259. Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum, Book I, ch. 37.
  260. This list of primary sources is based principally on the summary in Odahl, 2–11 and further lists in Odahl, 372–76. See also Bruno Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), "Sources for the History of Constantine," in The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine, trans. Noel Lenski, ed. Noel Lenski (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 14–31; and Noel Lenski, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 411–17.


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