The Christian Influence on The Middle Ages

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In 312 CE, Roman Emperor Constantine achieved a victory at the Milvian Bridge. The night previous to this battle, Constantine dreamt of a cross inscribed in hoc signo vinces, in this sign you will conquer. As trivial as this dream may seem, it ultimately signified the beginning of the rise of Christianity. With his victory, Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and supported and encouraged it throughout the empire. In 313 CE, another milestone occurred as the emperors, both Constantine I of the West and Licinius of the East, signed the Edict of Milan declaring that the Diocletianic Persecution would end, and Christianity would be tolerated in the Roman Empire. This religion began to flourish as people quickly converted from pagan religions and joined those following Christianity. 391 CE solidified the practice of Christianity as Theodosius declared it the state religion and outlawed paganism (Bennett). These pious progressions offered the people a new way of life along with their religion. They practiced a religion that saves them eternally from damnation and works towards salvation for their entire earthly lives. As well as enriching the lives of Christians from a perspective of eternal salvation, it could be questioned whether the spread of Christianity supplemented only the souls of those practicing, or had it provided more to the people of the Medieval Ages? The late 3rd century developed Christianity further, as it was the rise of the monastic movement. Beginning in the Mediterranean, it quickly spread to Europe and beyond. This movement was based off of the ideology of saiculum relinquere, to withdraw from the world. Withdrawing allowed humans to become solitary people whose goal in life was to pursuit spiritual s... ... middle of paper ... ...quality of life for people living in the Medieval Age. Works Cited Benedict, and Justin McCann. The Rule of Saint Benedict. London: Burns and Oates, 1952. Print. Bennett, Judith M. Medieval Europe: A Short History. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print. Buchholz, Peter. "Perspectives for Historical Research in Germanic Religion." History of Religions. 2nd ed. Vol. 8. E.J. Brill, 1965. 111-38. Print. Chesterton, G. K. "12: Paganism and Mr. Lowes Dickinson." Heretics. Kessinger, LLC., 2003. The Literature Network. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. McColman, Carl. "Pagan Afterlife and Salvation." Balanced Views of Religion and Spirituality with Faith. Patheos, Inc., 2011. Web. 08 Mar. 2012. Robert, P., and N. Scott. A History of Pagan Europe. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1995. Print. Thomas, Oliver. "Why Do We Need Religion?" USA Today. Gannett, 8 Aug. 2010. Web. 08 Mar. 2012.

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