The story goes that Constantine had a vision of the words in hoc signo vinces ("in this sign you will conquer") upon a cross, and he swore that, should he triumph against great odds, he would pledge himself to Christianity. 41, No. Constantine I, byname Constantine the Great, Latin in full Flavius Valerius Constantinus, (born February 27, after 280 ce?, Naissus, Moesia [now Niš, Serbia]—died May 22, 337, Ancyrona, near Nicomedia, Bithynia [now İzmit, Turkey]), first Roman emperor to profess Christianity. 55, No. The Roman Emperor Constantine (c 280 - 337 A.D.) was one of the most influential personages in ancient history. He is known for his economic, political, and military achievements, as well as his religious reforms. In 344 came the martyrdom of Catholicos Shimun bar Sabbae, with five bishops and 100 priests. Today, depending on which branch and denomination of Christianity you're following, Constantine might not count as a Christian without the baptism, but it's not an event that clear in the first few centuries of Christianity when Christian dogma had yet to be fixed. [27] The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was built on his orders and became the holiest site in Christendom. While the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great reigned (306–337 AD), Christianity began to transition to the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Flavius Constantius was an army officer, and in 289 he divorced Constantine's mother to marry Theodora, the daughter of his commanding officer. But his work for the faith of Jesus was enduring. It was the only way he would hold onto his position and anyway, the situation was now at a stage were a belief in any religion was vitally important in civilian and political life. Answer: Constantine the Great (AD 280—337) was one of Rome’s most powerful and successful emperors and the first to self-identify as a Christian. The story goes that Constantine had a vision of the words "in hoc signo vinces" upon the symbol of Christianity, a cross, that led him to promise to follow the Christian religion if victory were granted. Constantine—also known as Emperor Constantine I or Constantine the Great—decreed tolerance for Christians in the Edict of Milan, convened an ecumenical council to discuss Christian dogma and heresy, and constructed Christian edifices in his new capital city (Byzantium/Constantinople, now Istanbul). Constantine —also known as Emperor Constantine I or Constantine the Great—decreed tolerance for Christians in the Edict of Milan, convened an ecumenical council to discuss Christian dogma and heresy, and constructed Christian edifices in his new capital city (Byzantium/ Constantinople, now Istanbul) "The Christian Signs on the Coins of Constantine." He may have been Christian since 312 when he won the Battle at the Milvian Bridge, although the accompanying medallion showing him with the Sol Invictus deity a year later raises questions. Contrary to popular belief, however, Constantine did not make Christianity the official religion of the empire. Constantine and Helena were shuffled off to the eastern emperor, Diocletian, in Nicomedia. Maxentius raised an army of 170,000 foot soldiers and 18,000 horsemen. He supported the Church financially, built various basilicas , granted privileges (e.g., exemption from certain taxes) to clergy, promoted Christians to some high offices, and returned confiscated property. The Arian Controversy and the Council of Nicea, Constantinople: Capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, Timelines and Chronologies of Roman Emperors, Roman Empire: Battle of the Milvian Bridge, M.A., Linguistics, University of Minnesota. This praise-filled biography came from the hand of Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, and perhaps Constantine's greatest admirer. In 313 AD he issued the edict of Milan banning the persecution of Christians and he continued a hands on approach in the expansion of the church throughout his reign. Gill is a Latinist, writer, and teacher of ancient history and Latin. Constantine raised an army from Britain that included Germans and Celts, which the Byzantine historian Zosimus said included 90,000 foot soldiers and 8,000 cavalry. 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