Constantine, A Biography

Constantine, A Biography

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In 305 Constantine entered into battle with his father against the Picts, unknowingly for the last time. Constantatius died at a camp in York in northern England. His soldier immediately named Constantine, Augustus, and his career as a twenty-year-old ruler began. Sometime during his rule he experienced a profound conversion and became a Christian. Under God's divine influence he defeated Maxentius at the following battle at the Milvian Bridge along the Tiber River. The very next day Maxentius's body washed ashore and they paraded his body through town. Constantine had become the ruler of Rome and Italy.

Constantine's new found Christianity had influence on all of his surroundings. In 313 he was the first to legalize Christianity. This was called the Edict of Milan. Throughout his career as ruler and emperor he favored the Christian people. He demanded that restitution be granted to all Christians that suffered under the recent persecutions. In 324 he decided to establish a new imperial capital. This new capital was called Constantinople. He was in the process of turning his empire into fundamentally Christian dwelling.

Since Constantine was still so young he allowed the small governor try to introduce this liberation to their people. None of the efforts of the governor proved to be able to provide relief for the Christians. Constantine said that life was without enjoyment as long as the imperial city was thus afflicted. So Constantine prepared himself to liberate all Christians. "He sought out divine assistance, deeming the possession of arms and a numerous solidarity of soldier of secondary importance. He weighed the fact that people who had trusted in many gods had also fallen before him. He thought it would be stupid to join in on this idle worship. He was satisfied on honoring his father's God alone. So Constantine prayed to his God and he received a marvelous sign from heaven. The next day while he continued to wonder about it's reason and meaning, night came and in his sleep God appeared with the same sign. Believing that God instructed him to, he made a sign in its likeness and carried it at the forefront of all of his battles from then on. He also made all of his followers and counselors honor the God who had appeared to him with all devotion.

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This seemed to spark a new life and inspiration into Constantine. Relying solely on his god Constantine prepared for war. He marched all of his forces trying to regain the freedom that they all were born into from their ancestors. Constantine and his men overcame the first, second, and third divisions of the tyrant's army, defeating them all with ease at the first advancement. Constantine and his divinely-aided forces had cornered Maxentius and the only way to escape was to cross the river that was blocking his route. There was a bridge of boats that he made to be an "engine of destruction." But little did he know that this would be the engine of his death. When Maxentius and his men mounted the boats they began to sink, and he and his men were swallowed up like Pharaoh and his men at the Red Sea. Constantine was victorious and gave his God all the praise and honor. This was a key and defining moment for Christianity for Constantine and his empire.

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