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The Great Constantine I

christianity emperor rome licinius

Constantine I, The Great (c.280–337), first Emperor of Rome to convert to Christianity. After his father, Constantius, died in 306, there was a struggle for the succession. In 312 on the eve of the decisive Battle of Milvian Bridge, near Rome, Constantine, who was already sympathetic to Christianity, is said to have seen a vision of a flaming cross in the sky. He won the battle and became emperor in the West, while his brother-in-law, Licinius, was emperor in the East. In 324 war broke out between them, and in 325 Licinius was killed. Constantine thus became the sole ruler of the Roman world. In 325 he convened the Council of Nicaea, which settled various disputes in church doctrine. He made Christianity the official religion of the empire and moved the capital to the city of Constantinople, named for him and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Constantine reigned as an absolute ruler until his death.

See also: Christianity; Rome, Ancient.

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