Custom «Constantine the Great» Essay Paper Sample
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My name is Constantine. I was born on the 27th February of 278 in the ancient city o Naissus, which is known presently as Moesia. I was born out of wedlock of my father called Costantius and my mother called Helen. My father, Constantius, was a renowned general in the army who served under the rule of Emperor Diocletian. Helen, my mother was the daughter of an innkeeper. My parents met during my father's military missions in the area. For most of my childhood age, I stayed with my father but later rejoined with my mother when I was at my schooling age. It was after this family reunion that I received my parents' full attention.
My father later left my mother under special arrangements with the then emperor Diocletian, to marry Theodora. Under the arrangement if my father married Theodora, another emperor's daughter he would be elevated to the rank of a governor while I was to gain access to Emperor Diocletian's imperial court. My father fell for this, and Helen divorced though he remained with my custody. In 293, when Diocletian and Maxian appointed their own Caesars, it was then that I moved out of Diocletian's empire and followed Galerius. Consequently, my biological mother Helen moved into Nicodema, a city next to Galerius.
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When Galerius replaced Diocletian at the throne, I still served under him. At this time, my father's influence on the army was so enormous as to make Galerius uncomfortable with him. When I realized that Galerius was holding me at ransom against my father. I escaped and went back to my father. My life under both Galerius and Diocletian taught me a lot. I was hardened as enough to face most of life's challenges.
Life after my father
During this time of my life, the Roman Empire was undergoing major, radical changes. It was during this period that, according to Diocletian's plan, that the empire became under a Tetrarchy. Under the rule it, if, power be among four governors and luckily enough; due to the influence my father left I was elevated to the rank of a governor.
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When Diocletian and d Maximian resigned from the throne, the empire, according to Diocletian's plan was ruled by a Tetrarchy of a four-governed rule. After significant changes in the leadership positions, |I rose to a power-sharing position .it was also during this time that Fausta, daughter of Maximian. My marriage, by coincidence, replicated that of my father's marriage to Theodora, stepdaughter of Maximian. Just like my father before, I had been married before. My former wife was Minervina, with whom I had a son, Crispus. Funny enough, for the very same reasons my father divorced my mother Helen and married Theodora, I divorced my first wife.
Through my second marriage to Mervina, I had five children; two sons and three daughters. However, there was a moment of intrigued conspiracy when my family and I went to Rome for my anniversary celebrations. The event, intended for joyful celebrations, ended in tragedy due to Fausta's conspiracy to secure her sons' interests at the expense of her my firstborn son Crispus. The conspiracy ended in a-not -good manner. It was after this incident that I ordered the imprisonment of Crispus, my elder son and later had him executed. After this turn of events, Constantine shifted his attention away from Rome and went back to the east to establish a new city that named Anthousa.
Establishment of Constantinople
After series of conflicts and wars, I defeated Lucinius, and moved on to establish a new imperial in the east, which I named Constantinople. Constantinople, situated at a good harbor, placed the empire at a strategic position. I chose the harbor because of various reasons, one of which was to provide security from my enemies. Establishment of Constantinople, however, had some other costs. It reduced, to my delight, the power held in Rome as the capital of the Roman Empire.
While in York, I made my empire stronger and stronger through establishment of forces that provided security at all time. I used the army against both my enemy-empires as well as against my staff who appeared to pose danger to my position. It was during my rule in the York that I conquered the northern portion of Italy, and in somewhere around October I successfully attacked and conquered Rome. Prior to the war, I he had received a define vision that inspired me in most of my ventures. Series of intrigues for territorial gains and control inevitably led to a war between Lucinius and I. I went into war with him, defeated him and had him captured and later ordered his execution.
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Prior to the fall of my empire, it had lived through a series of invasions from the west who I found out that they were invading under the pretext of Crusades. The city became the ruling seat of the empire and lasted until 1453. During this time, I took part in commissioning and setting up many buildings including churches. My administration was vertically structured. Through this power was concentrated at the top of the empire with less powerful categories and other subdivisions. This way, I retained the ultimate authority provided by little number of subordinate staff. Although my vertical system of leadership was criticized as being more of dictatorial and monarchy, it was the surest way to ensure that complete authority remained with me.
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My religious life
My religious opinions showed an obvious preference to Christianity (Baker, 2003). Before, in my rule, I designed a policy that guaranteed my subjects freedom of religious orientation. I was so inclined to tolerance that I preached freedom of worship within and outside my staff. Under my rule, Christianity was not the only beneficial religious group. My tolerance for freedom of religious orientation seen from the fact that even in even my own empire, there were a number of non-Christian believers but who still served under me. I worked very closely with the clergy and supported them most of the time though occasionally I differed greatly with them but still accorded them the freedom of expressing their opinions.
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However, just like any other person with a military personality would d, in had my own reservation to the rules that governed how Christianity was to be propagated. I made exceptions to his rule that provided for the clergy's undisputed obedience especially at matters that drained my patience. Because of the Christian way of upbringing I was accorded in my childhood, I developed strong beliefs in submitting to the Christian teachings. However, many scholars have disputed on whether my inclination toward Christianity was spontaneous or a gradual process because of the way I was brought up.
I grew up under the Christian influence of my religious father. In positioning myself favor of Christianity, I was more of influenced by conscience resulting from the impression made on me by my father and not really my own ideologies concerning Christianity. Just like my father, I had a soft spot for other people, I, nonetheless showed compassion for other people. As the ultimate emperor, I did a lot for children and women as well as I did slaves. My religious inclination led me to prefer the company of bishops to that of pagans. In my quest to uphold values based on Christian teachings, I was highly against immoral practices such as of selling one's self and abduction of girls.
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During my rule, I reinstated the earlier abolished equestrian administration, and subsequently raising many of my allies to senatorial positions, which lead to the elimination of equestrianism and bureaucratic ruling systems. Under these reforms, one could assume the position of a senator either through an election by a peator or portraying excellence in their senatorial duties. During this period also, I restored the senatorial rule that had been abolished by Caesar. The power of the military commands was outside the senate's jurisdiction and was composed only of my royal family. These moves again arouse controversy and criticism (Benjamin, 1923).
I continued to rule by an elaborate army built by Diocletian. I came up with a massive and centralized army that by my standards was the most efficient of all as it could, at any time, be dispatched to deal with troubles of any kind. However, with time, the number of barbarians in the army increased exponentially because my favor toward the Germans. I preferred the Germans more to my people because they would strictly follow orders and without any questions.
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After the infamous inflation that occurred in the third century, I established a credible minting procedure for silver and gold coins and constituted a better measure for gold currency. I was of the opinion of concentrating on minting of standard gold pieces to avoid discrepancies that previously existed and which consequently led to inflation. Because of this monetary policy, the gap between classes widened. Initially, Constantine was of the opinion of equality in terms of class, but upon implementation of his monetary policy, it lead to isolation of the poor and widened the rift between classes.
I won major victories during my rule and am for that I am regarded as a proficient conqueror. In the cultural aspects of my empire, I immensely contributed to revival of clean-shaven face of emperors. The Catholic Church to date presents me as the ideal ruler of all time and, that I set a standard against which every other ruler should be measured.
However, my relations with my family, surprisingly enough, were more of impersonal. This relation with them was not guided by either Christian affection or charity I hate to think that o led a life of paranoia, calculating every step and always suspicious of everyone and everything around me.
Deterioration of my health
There was a time I realized time was closing in on me. I knew the end was so inevitable, but when I suddenly fell ill, I realized that the end was coming sooner than I anticipated. Therefore, I secretly prepared what I intended to be my final resting place. It was after the most celebrated Feast of Easter that illness set in seriously. When I fell sick, I left the city for the hot baths near My mother's city. I visited a church were my mother had built an apostle, and then began to pray. Realizing that I could not make it back to the city, summoned the bishops, and expressed my wish to be baptized in River Jordan. I would have been baptized in my tender age, but I put off the baptism ceremony that long to be absolved from many of my sins (Burckhardt, 1983).