[210] Eventually, however, Constantine decided to work on the Greek city of Byzantium, which offered the advantage of having already been extensively rebuilt on Roman patterns of urbanism, during the preceding century, by Septimius Severus and Caracalla, who had already acknowledged its strategic importance. The division was merely pragmatic: the empire was called "indivisible" in official panegyric,[40] and both emperors could move freely throughout the empire. He crushed this revolt with extreme cruelty in 793. [206] Thus Constantine became the sole emperor of the Roman Empire. Because he was so old, he could not be submerged in water to be baptised, and therefore, the rules of baptism were changed to what they are today, having water placed on the forehead alone. [58], On 1 May AD 305, Diocletian, as a result of a debilitating sickness taken in the winter of AD 304–305, announced his resignation. [38], In July AD 285, Diocletian declared Maximian, another colleague from Illyricum, his co-emperor. Constantine gained his honorific of "the Great" from Christian historians long after he had died, but he could have claimed the title on his military achievements and victories alone. The failure resided in the fact that the silver currency was overvalued in terms of its actual metal content, and therefore could only circulate at much discounted rates. In the 12th century Henry of Huntingdon included a passage in his Historia Anglorum that the Emperor Constantine's mother was a Briton, making her the daughter of King Cole of Colchester. It subsequently became the capital of the Empire for more than a thousand years, the later Eastern Roman Empire being referred to as the Byzantine Empire by modern historians. In the desperately fought encounter that followed, Ruricius was killed and his army destroyed. [39] Maximian ruled in the West, from his capitals at Mediolanum (Milan, Italy) or Augusta Treverorum (Trier, Germany), while Diocletian ruled in the East, from Nicomedia (İzmit, Turkey). [1] A movement developed in favor of his uncle, the Caesar Nikephoros. His public actions and policies, however, were not entirely without ambiguity. [257] Therefore, an alternative explanation for the execution of Crispus was, perhaps, Constantine's desire to keep a firm grip on his prospective heirs, this—and Fausta's desire for having her sons inheriting instead of their half-brother—being reason enough for killing Crispus; the subsequent execution of Fausta, however, was probably meant as a reminder to her children that Constantine would not hesitate in "killing his own relatives when he felt this was necessary". A large Cross was planned to be built on a hill overlooking Niš, but the project was cancelled. [269] In postponing his baptism, he followed one custom at the time which postponed baptism until after infancy. [316] Geoffrey of Monmouth expanded this story in his highly fictionalized Historia Regum Britanniae, an account of the supposed Kings of Britain from their Trojan origins to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. Odahl, 283; Mark Humphries, "Constantine," review of. [17] The fullest secular life of Constantine is the anonymous Origo Constantini,[18] a work of uncertain date,[19] which focuses on military and political events to the neglect of cultural and religious matters. Colossal head of Constantine (4th century), The northern and eastern frontiers of the Roman Empire in the time of Constantine, with the territories acquired in the course of the thirty years of military campaigns between 306 and 337, Constantine's daughter Helena and his nephew and son-in-law Julian, Constantine's sons and successors: Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans. "[93], Following Galerius' recognition of Constantine as caesar, Constantine's portrait was brought to Rome, as was customary. He strengthened the circuit wall around the city with military towers and fortified gates, and he began building a palace complex in the northeastern part of the city. He could no longer rely on his connection to the elder Emperor Maximian, and needed a new source of legitimacy. Licinius departed and eventually defeated Maximinus, gaining control over the entire eastern half of the Roman Empire. Constantine was nonetheless a prominent member of the court: he fought for Diocletian and Galerius in Asia and served in a variety of tribunates; he campaigned against barbarians on the Danube in AD 296 and fought the Persians under Diocletian in Syria (AD 297), as well as under Galerius in Mesopotamia (AD 298–299). [260] Constantine resettled some Sarmatian exiles as farmers in Illyrian and Roman districts, and conscripted the rest into the army. [288], The Orthodox Church considers Constantine a saint (Άγιος Κωνσταντίνος, Saint Constantine), having a feast day on 21 May,[293] and calls him isapostolos (ισαπόστολος Κωνσταντίνος)—an equal of the Apostles. [52] Constantine could recall his presence at the palace when the messenger returned, when Diocletian accepted his court's demands for universal persecution. [307] In spite of Barnes' work, arguments continue over the strength and depth of Constantine's religious conversion. [272], Although Constantine's death follows the conclusion of the Persian campaign in Eusebius's account, most other sources report his death as occurring in its middle. [264], Constantine knew death would soon come. Bleckmann, "Sources for the History of Constantine" (CC), 26; Lieu and Montserrat, 40; Odahl, 3. [117] His final act survives: a letter to provincials posted in Nicomedia on 30 April 311 AD, proclaiming an end to the persecutions, and the resumption of religious toleration. The term is a misnomer as the act of Milan was not an edict, while the subsequent edicts by Licinius—of which the edicts to the provinces of Bythinia and Palestine are recorded by Lactantius and Eusebius, respectively—were not issued in Milan. He ordered his cavalry to charge, and they broke Maxentius' cavalry. [108] Along with using propaganda, Constantine instituted a damnatio memoriae on Maximian, destroying all inscriptions referring to him and eliminating any public work bearing his image. Gaul and Britain quickly accepted his rule;[70] Hispania, which had been in his father's domain for less than a year, rejected it. At the time of his death, he was planning a great expedition to end raids on the eastern provinces from the Persian Empire. Istoria Militară a Daciei Post Romane 275–376. Constantine then resolved to campaign against Persia himself. The regency ended when Constantine reached maturity, but Irene sought to continue her participation in government. He planned a great campaign against the Sassanid rulers of Persia but fell ill in 337. [57] Although no contemporary Christian challenged Constantine for his inaction during the persecutions, it remained a political liability throughout his life. Constantine went to the court of Diocletian, where he lived as his father's heir presumptive. Following Alexander's death, the new and shaky regime survived the attempted usurpation of Constantine Doukas, and Patriarch Nicholas Mystikos quickly assumed a dominant position among the regents. Constantine I (Latin: Flavius Valerius Constantinus; Greek: Κωνσταντῖνος, translit. This new Roman imperial fashion lasted until the reign of Phocas. The two were bitter rivals however, and war soon broke out. By 311 AD, however, he was spreading another version. 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