Conversion of Constantine Essay

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Discuss the evidence for Constantine's "conversion" to Christianity. To what extent does Constantine's experience before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in October, 312 represent a conversion experience? 1. What is the context in which Constantine could be said to have been converted to Christianity? 2. What differences do you note in the stories told by Lactantius and Eusebius? How might these differences be accounted for? (You will need to consider the time of writing for Lactantius and Eusebius.) 3. In what ways did Constantine deal with the Christian Church following his conversion if we can, indeed, call it conversion? 1. Lactantius, De Mortibus Persecutorum Chapter XLIV 2. Eusebius, Vita Constantini, Chapters 28-31 3. The Book of the Pontiffs 4. Of the adversaries of God there still remained one, whose overthrow and end I am now to relate. Daia had entertained jealousy and ill-will against Licinius from the time that the preference was given to him by Galerius; and those sentiments still subsisted, notwithstanding the treaty of peace lately concluded between them. When Daia heard that the sister of Constantine was betrothed to Licinius, he apprehended that the two emperors, by contracting this affinity, meant to league against him; so he privily sent ambassadors to Rome, desiring a friendly alliance with Maxentius: he also wrote to him in terms of cordiality. The ambassadors were received courteously, friendship established, and in token of it the effigies of Maxentius and Daia were placed together in public view. Maxentius willingly embraced this, as if it had been an aid from heaven; for he had already declared war against Constantine, as if to revenge the death of his father Maximian. From this appearance of filial piety a suspicion arose, that the detestable old man
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