Emperor Constantine became a Christian after seeing a vision that resulted in victory, which led to serious consequences , such as persecutions, after his death.

  • Why did Emperor Constantine became a Christian?

Emperor Constantine was a strong military leader who reunited the Roman Empire into one after his multiple victories. These victories were the reason for his conversion to a Christian. He had prayed ceaselessly for victory, until one night he saw a vision of his victory at Milvian Bridge in 313CE. When his vision proved to be true, he decided to become a Christian without any hesitation; he was finally baptized on May 22, 337CE, many days before his death. "[The letters] reveal a deeply religious man who believed that the well-being of the Empire was dependent on God, and that God would prosper the fortunes of the Empire so long as he was truly worshiped by its inhabitants" (Wright, 23). Constantine believed that God controlled the fate of his empire, and that as long as he was worshipped by the civilians, the empire would remain in good condition. However, some say that in order for Constantine to maintain his power over the Roman Empire, the idea of using Christianity tenets appealed to him since it was especially beneficial for his ruling.

the_baptism_of_constantine2.jpg(Emperor Constantine baptize)

  • Emperor Constantine's Rule

EmperorConstantine.jpgDuring his reign over the Roman Empire, Emperor Constantine improved the lives of Christians, and gave them more rights and freedom. He stopped the massive persecution of Christians that was happening before he came to power, and he tried to tolerate all religions, which gave people more freedom of religion. He also gave Christians more privileges and protection from other religions and persecutors. He released Christians from military labour, gave the bishops of Christian churches jurisdiction, and provided the Christian churches with the right of taking over inheritance, gifts. Not only did Emperor Constantine provide aid for Christians, he also liberated slaves. Constantine was so devoted to Christianity, due to the fact that it had brought him to power, that he even went to name his children after Christian terms, such as resurrection. Another way that he showed this strong devotion to Christianity was through the construction and building of several Christian churches. However, at this point of his reign, Constantine's true notion is unknown, and what he displays as an emperor and Christian is debatable. As one who has such strong belief in Christianity, Emperor Constantine has clearly violated the tenets of the religion when he ordered the murder of his wives and sons. Also, he claimed to have devoted himself to Christianity and only worshipped the God of Christianity, but in several cases where he expressed his "devotion", it gave the impression that his faith in Christianity was superficial. He never once mentioned "Christ" or "our savior", but instead used phrases such as "god" or "the divine power". When he built his capital, Constantinople, it was named after himself, instead of Jesus Christ. Thus, it is unclear if Emperor Constantine had truly put his faith in Christianity. However, for one that wasn't a Christian when he performed deeds out of devotion for the religion, it is evident that Constantine was an emperor with good intentions for his people, and that his devotion is most likely not superficial. However, his way of displaying dedication for his religion eventually led to consequences after his death.

  • What are the Consequences of Him Being a Christian?

p1030008hq6.jpgAfter Emperor Constantine had died, church leaders, from the churches that he had built during his lifetime to honor Christianity, began having "holy wars", where they would fight for civil support. As the church leaders gained more support, they eventually controlled large amounts of property and money, which deteriorated the condition of the Roman Empire and Christianity. Persecutions commenced again, and this time, it included Christian persecutions by other Christians. Although Constantine didn't perform any discrimination against Christians, but his becoming one led to several persecutions, including inhumane ones, after his death. However, it would be wrong to say that Constantine's conversion to Christianity only led to consequences. If Emperor Constantine hadn't become a Christian and spread it throughout his empire, Christianity would still remain as a minor religion and Christians would be a minor group in society.

  • Documentary Videos-Ancient Rome The Rise and Fall of an Empire: Constantine


Works Cited:
Bowman, Jeffrey. “Constantine I, the Great.” EBSCOhost. EBSCO, 1 July 2006. Web. 3 Oct. 2010.
Desmond, Stewart. “Constantine: Roman Emperor, Christian Victor.” EBSCOhost. EBSCO, Mar. 2010. Web. 3 Oct. 2010.
Freeman, Charles. “THE EMPEROR’S STATE OF GRACE.” EBSCOhost. EBSCO, Jan. 2001. Web. 3 Oct. 2010.
Kelly, Christopher. “CONSTANTINE BRITAIN’S · ROMAN · EMPEROR.” EBSCOhost. EBSCO, July 2006. Web. 3 Oct. 2010.
Kuo, Yu-Bing. Middle Age World History. Taiwan: Hao Du, 2007. N. pag. Print.
Wright, David F. “Controversial Constantine.” EBSCOhost. EBSCO, 1990. Web. 3 Oct. 2010.