Flavius Valerio Aurelio Constantino (Naissus, Moesia [present-day Nis, in Serbia] on 27 February 272 A.D. – Ancyrona, Bitina [present-day Turkey] on 22 May 337 A.D.)
Military Leader, Political Leader, Noble and Roman Emperor, historically known as Constantine, “The Great” or Constantine I, refounded the city of Byzantium (present-day Istanbul, capital of Turkey) by christening it Constantinople.
Likewise, in 313 A.D., he issued the Edict of Milan, which legitimized Christianity for the first time within the Roman Empire. In 325 AD, he convened the Council of Nicea to answer the great unknown about the nature of Jesus Christ, events that made him go through history as the first emperor converted to Christianity.
The son of Constantius Chlorine and Helena – who is not known for certain whether he was wife or concubine of Constantius – was born in the city of Naissus, Moesia, on February 27, 272 A.D., although historical sources differ, throwing dates ranging from the 272nd year of our era to the 27th of our era and the 2nd 84).
His father was an officer in the Roman Army, while his mother was a woman of humble origin. In 289, Constantine Chlorine abandoned Helena, mother of Flavius Valerius, and married Flavia Maximiliana, daughter of the Western Roman emperor, with whom he would have six sons.
In 293 A.D., Chlorine Constantius, father of the future Constantine I, was appointed by his father-in-law, Emperor Maximian, as one of the two Caesars, in what is historically known as Tetrarquía, made up of two Augustus: Diocletian (Emperor of the East) and Maximian (sovereign of the West) and two Caesars: Galrio and Chlorine Constantius.
For his part, Flavius Valerio was sent to the court of Diocletian, where he studied Greek and Latin. Some historians believe that at that time, Flavius Valerio witnessed the persecutions of Christians by the Empire.
In 305 A.D., both Diocletian and Maximian resigned their positions of Augustus, being replaced respectively by Galerio and Constantius Chlorine. Flavius Valerius’s father became Constantius. While the positions of Caesars were assumed in the East by Maximino Daya and in the West by Severus II.
Fight for power
Constancio I then undertook a military campaign against the Picts in Caledonia, which Flavius Valerio joined to fight alongside his father. However, he died on 25 July 306. At his side remained Flavius Valerio, who was proclaimed by his troops as the successor to the throne.
However, Galrio, emperor of the East, appointed the western caesar Store II, while the Roman people appointed Majencio, son of the former august Maximian, as the legitimate heir to the title of emperor. Which sat out a civil war for power.
For six years, Constantine fought the other two Roman factions. In 312, he clashed with Majencio’s troops in Italy.
History refers that during the decisive battle, which occurred on the Milvius bridge over the waters of the Tiber, Constantine sent his troops to paint on their shields a Christian symbol, known in history as the cross of Constantine, according to a vision he had before of the contest, in which he was victorious, triumphantly entering Rome.
Constantine then assumed the post of Roman Emperor of the West. A year later, in 313 A.D., exercising his authority as Augustus, he issued the historical document known as the Edict of Milan, which legalized Christianity, allowing it to be practiced freely throughout the territory of the Roman Empire, which was crucial to the expansion of this religion.
The next twelve years, the Roman Empire continued to be ruled by two Augustus, one for the East and one for the West.
In 324, Constantine confronted and defeated Licinius, emperor of the east, assuming the power of the entire Roman empire, unifying him under his rule and founding Constantinople, over what had been the territory of the city of Byzantium. During his tenure he reorganized and strengthened the Roman army, shielding it against attacks by Visigoths and Saarmata, thus strengthening his Empire.
Nicea Council and Final Years
In addition, Constantine continued to proclaim his belief in the Christian faith. Within this religion, however, a strong debate began to arise about the figure of Christ. To avoid division, Constantine I convened in 325 A.D. the First Council of Nicea, from which the Creed of Nicea originated, which signed by consensus the divine nature of Jesus Christ.
In the city of Helenopolis, while planning a military campaign against Persia, Constantine became seriously ill. On his deathbed he was baptized in the Christian faith, although other sources refer that this is a legend, and that Constantine was actually baptized Christian in Constantinople by Bishop Eusebius.
He died in Ancyrona, located near Nicomedia, Bitina, in present-day Turkey, on 22 May 337 A.D., aged 57. His body was taken to Constantinople, where he was buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles.
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July 27, 2019