Donnerstag, 21.10.2021 10:09 Uhr

Constantine I the "First Christian Emperor"

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 06.10.2021, 11:15 Uhr
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Rome [ENA] The Constantinian age has always been considered a sort of historical turning point. In fact, the Costantinian age has sometimes been considered as a terminal element in the study of 'Roman' art and culture and at other times as an initial element in that relating to the time immediately following, which has been indicated as 'early Christian', or 'Byzantine', or 'late antique', depending on the contexts

and individual preferences of scholars. To further complicate matters, there’s the religious factor. Taking into account the date of the Milan Edict, 313 A.D. , which corresponds to the 'official' entry of Christianity into the world of politics, but also of art and culture , it’s possible to break the reign of Constantine into two parts. Even if the first part is certainly much shorter than the second and places the aforementioned historical turning point within the Constantinian age. Constantine I (Latin: Flavius Valerius Constantinus 27 February c. 272 – 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor from 306 to 337 A.D. He was born in Niš, Serbia

and he never liked Rome. He was the son of Flavius Constantius, a Roman army officer born in in the Central Balkans, who became one of the four emperors of the Tetrarchy, "leadership of four people”, the system instituted by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 293, at the time of Xi Jin dynasty, to govern the ancient Roman Empire by dividing it between two senior emperors and their juniors and designated successors. The mother of Constantine I, Helena, was Greek. Constantine served with distinction campaigning in the eastern provinces against barbarians and the Persians, before being recalled west in 305 to fight under his father in Britain. After his father's death in 306, Constantine was acclaimed as emperor by the army at York, in England.

The Milvian Bridge is a bridge over the Tiber in northern Rome, Italy. It was an economically and strategically important bridge in the era of the Roman Empire and was the site of the famous Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312, between the Roman Emperors Constantine I and Maxentius, which led to the imperial rule of Constantine. He emerged victorious in the civil wars against emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of the Roman Empire by 324. Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. He played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which declared tolerance for Christianity in the Roman Empire. He has historically been referred to as the "First Christian Emperor"

and he did favour the Christian Church. While some modern scholars debate his beliefs and even his comprehension of Christianity, he is venerated as a saint in Eastern Christianity.To see the places where the emperor's building activity took place the most one has to move away from the Roman Forum. Only in this way, it is possible to find much more traces of a specific building and urban planning activity made by Constantine, which is documented in detail because it is connected with the 'official' Christian cult. The first example that comes to mind in this sense, also because it is linked to the victory of 312 A.D. against emperor Maxentius and the Edict of Milan in 313 A.D. is the construction, on the area of the destroyed barracks

of the mounted troops devoted to Maxentius, of the enormous Christian Lateran Basilica , which was completed very early and was equipped, not much later, with the octagonal baptistery which still retains much of the original structure.The age of Constantine marked a distinct epoch in the history of the Roman Empire. He built a new imperial residence at Byzantium and renamed the city Constantinople (now Istanbul, in Turkey) after himself, as a “New Rome”. The Emperor left in Rome his greek mother Helena who built the church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme and because she was a fervent christian traveled to Middle East and brought from Palestine a fragment of wood from the cross of Christ. But the church was built within a pre-existing

complex of buildings and gardens of great beauty, of which remains are not always visible evidence.In the Constantinian era the Palace of the Sessorium (Imperial Palace) was reutilized, the imperial apartments were built and the public area expanded. A large civil basilica dates back to this period, a rectangular apsidal hall intended for representative functions: the place where the emperor granted his presence to his subjects. Of it remains a large ruin, which the scholars called the Temple of Venus and Cupid. Sessorium and Lateran became the new Christian part of Constantinian Rome.

At the north-eastern end of the palace, there are the Aurelian Walls, a line of city walls built between 271 AD and 275 AD in Rome, Italy, during the reign of the Roman Emperor Aurelian. Right next to the Walls there’s the residential area was built for the members of the court. In 1982, houses for the dignitaries of the imperial court were found near the Aurelian defense walls of Rome. From the corridor paved with mosaic you enter a large rectangular room with frescoed walls.The important Claudian aqueduct one of nine aqueducts of the imperial city of Rome was incorporated into the walls. Completed by the Emperor Claudius, 41-54 AD, this aqueduct was remarkable for the quantity of water it conveyed to the city and was by far the grandest

in point of architectural effect, inasmuch as it presented, for about 6 miles before it reached the city, a continuous range of exceedingly lofty structure, the arches being in some places 33 meters hight. The nine aqueducts of imperial Rome brought in water from pristine mountain lakes and springs as far as 50-60 miles. It’s a weird history that Rome became the center of world Christianity because of Constantine I the "First Christian Emperor" who did not love Rome.

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