Justinian Church and State

2040 Words9 Pages
How did Constantine attempt to appeal to various groups within the Roman Empire? Discuss the evidence for change in Constantine's projection of his image during the course of his reign. Constantine at or just before the battle of the Milvian Bridge had some element of a Christian divine revelation, though it is often said that Constantine favored the Christian religion on the basis of political power and influence, it does appear this was not so due to the fact that the Christians were a very small minority in the empire. After a long period of sporadic and severe persecutions of the Christians in the Roman Empire, Constantine appealed to them in different ways. First he decreed an edict of toleration, which in essence greatly appealed to the Christians who were a minority in his empire, as it allowed them to practice their faith without government persecution. Secondly Constantine returned all church property which had been seized during the persecutions and also patronized the Christian church by diverting the imperial funds from the many different pagan cults to the church. Constantine also appealed to the Christian church in matters of doctrinal disputes that had risen in the church as a sort of mediator between the conflicting groups attempting to unite the church as one. This was done by funding and presiding over numerous councils and meetings attempting to have a united church, this must have greatly influenced the bishops of the Christian church. With the Donatist controversy Constantine eventually appealed to them using force, attempting to persuade them to Catholic Church. He eventually abandoned this method as it appeared to be a persecution of the Christians all over again. Constantine did not just patronize the Christian religion, after the battle at the Milvian Bridge a triumphal arch was erected in remembrance of his victory, which had
Open Document