Constantine the Great and Christianity.

Constantine Monument in the city of York.
The Roman Emperor Constantine, called the Great, was born in the city of Nish [1] February 27 272 and died at age 65 on May 22, 337, in Pontus. Son of Constantius, to his death he was elected Caesar troops from July 25 to 306.
At the beginning of the fourth century, the Empire was ruled by a tetrarquía:
a. A Caesar Augustus and the Western Roman Empire
b. A Caesar Augustus and the Eastern Roman Empire: It covered Bretania, Spain and Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Corsica and Sardinia, Malta, all of North Africa [3].
Flag of the Western Roman Empire. [2] It is also the image that Constantine used on the shields of his army (Labarum).
Since the beginning of the Tetrarchy in 305 until the unification of the empire under the absolute rule of Constantine in 326 passed 29 years of wars, intrigues, murders, betrayals and endless dramas. Constantine represents the birth of absolute monarchy by divine right hereditary. During his reign he introduced important changes affecting all levels of society in the late empire. Court reformed the laws and structure of the army. Constantine moved the capital of empire to Byzantium which renamed it Constantinople. He died, of disease in 337, 31 years after he was named emperor in Britain. At the end of his life and just before he died was baptized to die as a Christian.
East Roman Empire Shield

ImageMap of the Eastern Roman Empire and the West.
Constantine and Christianity
Surely, Constantine is best known for being the first Roman emperor who authorized Christian worship. Historians generally claim that Constantine adopted Christianity as the official substitute Roman paganism, yet he never cease to worship Greek gods or the Unconquered Sun (later we will see how your worship is maintained today in the Roman Liturgy) . His reign came to be a turning point in the history of the Church, llegándosele to call for its importance the ‘Thirteenth Apostle. ” In the Orthodox Church [4], the ancient Eastern Churches [5] and the Greek Byzantine Catholic Church [6], as St. Constantine.
Before Constantine the Christian church was persecuted cruelly, first by the Jews themselves and from Rome 64. In the first 300 years the church suffered great persecutions [7], though not continuously but sporadically.
In 313 Constantine is the legalizing of Christianity by the Edict of Milan in 313 [8], convened the First Council of Nicaea [9] at 325, which gave legal legitimacy to Christianity in the Roman Empire for the first time. This was essential to the expansion of Christianity, and historians present him as the first Christian emperor, although he was baptized when he was on his deathbed, after a long catechumenate [10].
His relationship with Christianity was difficult because he was educated in the worship of the sun god (Sol Invictus), whose symbol was carrying and whose cult was associated with the emperor officially.
His conversion, according to official sources cristianasfue the immediate result of an omen before his victory in the Battle of Milvian Bridge on 28 October 312. Following this vision, Constantine instituted a new banner to march into battle I would call Labarum. Constantine’s vision came in two parts: First, he marched with his soldiers saw the shape of a cross in front of the Sun After this he had a dream in which he was ordered to put a new symbol on the banner, and he saw a cross with the inscription “In hoc signo vinces” (“In this sign conquer”). The commander immediately painted on the shields of his army, defeated Maxentius. It is said that after these visions and the military outcome of the battle of the Milvian Bridge, Constantine converted to Christianity immediately.
It is thought that the influence of his family was in part the cause of its adoption of Christianity. He says his mother Elena, probably born in a Christian family, although no one knows almost nothing about their environment, except that his mother was the daughter of an innkeeper and his father was a successful soldier, a career that excluded open practice Christianity as contemporary worship was Mithraism soldiers [11] (worship of Mithra). It is known, however, that Elena did in his later years many pilgrimages.
Coin of Constantine.
In 321, Constantine instructed that Christians and non-Christians should be united in observing the “venerable day of the sun” (obviously on Sunday) referring to the esoteric eastern sun-worship which Aurelian had helped introduced. The coins still lead the symbols of sun worship (Sol Invictus) to 324. Even after the pagan gods had disappeared from the coins, Christian symbols appeared only as Constantine’s personal attributes.
The persecution of the pagans [12]
In the year 314, immediately after its full legalization, the Christian Church attacks the Gentiles: at the Council of Ancyra, denouncing the worship of the goddess Artemis. In 326 Constantine ordered the destruction of all the images of the gods and the confiscation of the goods of the temples. Already in 319 prohibited the construction of new statues of the gods and to surrender existing cult. Many pagan temples were destroyed by Christian hordes and their priests were killed. Between the years 315 and the sixth century thousands of pagan believers were slain. Between 316 and 326 are proclaimed a number of provisions that favor to Christianity against traditional religion (haruspicia ban on magic and private sacrifices, tax exempt Christian clerics, gave jurisdiction to the bishops …), although Christianity does not become the official religion of the Roman Empire until 380 Edict of Thessalonica. In Dydima, Asia Minor, is plundered the oracle of Apollo and tortured to death by his pagan priests. They are also evicted all pagans of Mount Athos and destroyed all pagan temples there.
In 326, Emperor Constantine, following the instructions of his mother Helen, destroys the temple of the god Asclepius in Aigeai of Cilicia and many more of the goddess Aphrodite in Jerusalem, in Lebanon Afka in Mamre, Phoenicia, Baalbek, etc.
In 330 the Emperor Constantine steals the treasures and statues of the pagan temples of Greece, to take them and decorate your Nova Roma (Constantinople), the new capital of the Roman Empire.
As we can see, the “Christianity” of the time of Constantine is far from being true Christian:
From Constantine, who was said believer but never left the cult of Sol Invictus (see that even today the Church of Rome still worshiping through the use of its symbol on clothes, monuments, buildings and utensils used for religious services).
Continuing along the pious hordes who killed non-believers have a different religion.
The legacy of Constantine to the Church of Rome
I. The Christian church, in the midst of persecution and martyrdom had reached a high spiritual stature, thanks to the help and support of Constantine is totally corrupted. Some saw this and fled to the outskirts of the Empire, withdrawing into monasteries sections (Monasterismo) but most fell into the trap of hollow religiosity, syncretism doing and giving rise to all sorts of false doctrines. The fact that the Gentile leaders of the early church were the vast majority (if not almost all) people ignorant not only of general (not be so bad), but also in relation to Scripture and this made many false doctrines were lost or misinterpretation.
II. Constantine imposed the belief that he ruled the world (Rome) by God’s command. This idea persists even to this day in the few monarchies that still remain. But not only in secular governments but also in the mentality of the Catholic Church, where up to 200 years ago was the Pope’s authority over the kings of each state. (It is the same vision of Augusto on puppet kings of his empire).
III. The figure of the Holy Father is the same as that of Imperial Rome. Follow dictating what is or is not “religiously correct” according to the “Tradition of the Church,” regardless of what God says.
IV. Policy domain growth and the Church of Rome remains the same as the old Empire: The syncretism.
V. The Cult of Sol Invictus in the Church of Rome: This point will treat independently
Mithras killing the bull.
The Cult of Sol Invictus in the Roman Church
The Unconquered Sun symbol is present in the worship of the Catholic Church:
[1] Niš (Serbian, Ниш, Latin Nish, Nish sometimes transliterated as) is the third largest city of Serbia. It is situated on the river Nišava, Serbia Located on the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe, according to its constitution borders Hungary to the north, with Romania and Bulgaria to the east, Macedonia and Albania to the south, and Bosni and Herzegovina, Croatia oeste.Su and Montenegro to the capital and most populous city is Belgrade.
[4] The Catholic Apostolic Orthodox Church is a Christian community, whose antiquity traditionally goes back to Jesus and the twelve apostles through apostolic succession never interrupted. It is the second largest Christian church in the world after the Roman Catholic Church. It has over 225 million members worldwide. The Orthodox Church is considered the heir of all the Christian communities of the eastern half of the Mediterranean and sometimes clashes with the Catholic Church. You can see that the old rivalry between the Eastern Roman Empires and West continued between the two Churches. The Orthodox Church is composed of 15 autocephalous churches that recognize only the power of their own hierarchical authority (eg, the Patriarch of Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, etc..), But keep each other doctrinal and sacramental communion.
[5] In the name of Ancient Eastern Churches are grouped all jurisdictions that were excised from the body of the Church to reject the Christology issued by the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon in 451. Also known as the Eastern Orthodox Churches and who call themselves Orthodox, because usually keep the most primitive liturgical traditions of Eastern Christianity, but they should not be confused with the Orthodox Church which split in the Great Schism of 1054, six years later. Generically, the Churches of the three councils are also known as the Churches are the historical family of the Oriental Orthodox Churches Monophysites are distributed among various cultural traditions and are divided into several churches.
Churches Coptic tradition: Coptic Church, Coptic Church of Alexandria Coptic Church Ethiopian, Eritrean Coptic Church
Churches Syriac tradition: Syriac Orthodox Church, Syro-Malankara Orthodox Church, Malankara Orthodox Church, independent Malabara Church, Orthodox Syrian Church francophone.
Armenian tradition Churches: Armenian Apostolic Church.
[6] The Greek Byzantine Catholic Church is one of the Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris (in its own right, ie autonomy to judge for itself), in full communion with the Holy See of the Catholic Church.
[8] The Edict of Milan known as tolerance of Christianity, which established freedom of religion in the Roman Empire, ending the persecutions directed by the authorities against certain religious groups, particularly Christians.
[9] The purpose of this council should be to establish religious peace and build unity of the Christian Church.
[10] In the early Church this was done with great care and ceremony: To those who want to be Christians, the bishop laid hands and blessed that God gave him to the graces of a Christian. The catechumenate could last two years, depending on the progress of the believer, both in knowledge and in their life changes. In the case of Constantine, took his time, being baptized shortly before his death, having lived a life full of situations “wrong” from the Christian point of view. The catechumens were distinguished from the faithful not only by name but by carrying their place in the church. With penitents were under the porch or in the gallery above the basilica. They were not allowed to attend the celebration of the holy mysteries, but immediately after the instruction of the gospel and the deacon told aloud: Ite, catechumeni, missa est; retire, catechumens, is commanded to leave. This part of the Mass was also called the Mass of the catechumens. Apparently, a canon of the Council of Orange not allowed to pray with the faithful were given holy bread, called for this reason catechumens bread as a symbol of communion, which may be admitted on .
[11] a god Mithra was known in antiquity, mainly in Persia and India. Mithra was the sun god of Persian origin that became part of the Roman Empire. Various sculptures are preserved, for the most part of the third century. He is depicted as a young man, wearing a Phrygian cap, killing a bull with his hands. During the Roman Empire, the cult of Mithra was developed as a mystery religion, and was organized in secret societies, exclusively male, esoteric and initiatory character. He enjoyed particular popularity in military environments. He forced honesty, purity and courage among its adherents. Excavations started in 1857 under the church of San Clemente in Lateran (Rome) showed that it was built on a Christian church in the fourth century, and this in turn over a temple dedicated to the god Mithras. For the archaeological finds is known to be a religion of Persian origin, adopted by the Romans in the year 62. C., which competed with Christianity until IV.http century :/ / / wiki / Mitra_ (dios_romano)
[12] (emperor)


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